Annan dismayed at Tribunal rejection

February 13, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 13 – The Chief Mediator in Kenya’s peace talks Kofi Annan says he is “disappointed that the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2009, which would have paved the way for the establishment of a Special Tribunal in Kenya, was defeated in Parliament.”

Mr Annan who chaired the panel of eminent African Personalities said in a statement that the team would now decide what course of action to take on the matter.

“The Panel will now review the actions it should take in line with the spirit, letter and intent of (the Waki) report,” the statement read in part.

Mr Annan is the custodian of a secret list of those believed to have caused deadly post election violence and it is his prerogative whether the top Kenyan officials who stand accused in that document ought to be subjected to international jurisprudence.

Popularly known as The Waki Report, the Commission of Inquiry into the Post-Election Violence document was the audit of the post-poll crisis which brought Mr Annan here at the request of the international community.

The Waki report details timelines when the coalition government should implement certain key reform agenda, and in this case, the setting up of a local Special Tribunal to try the perpetrators of post election violence. The Unity Government that was brokered by Mr Annan and his team missed that deadline about two weeks ago, and worse still, failed to convince legislators that a Bill seeking to entrench that Tribunal in the constitution was good for the country.

The former UN Secretary General said the development was a major setback for the country.

“I believe it is also a blow to efforts aimed at ending the culture of impunity in Kenya, which is a central objective of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation process,” the statement issued by his spokesman at the United Nations office in Nairobi continued.

Justice Phillip Waki, the author of the Waki report, said if its implementation would be met by opposition, a secret list of post election violence suspects would be sent to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. 

Those on the ‘Waki list’ are alleged to have played the greatest hand in the death of more than 1,000 Kenyans in violence related to a disputed December 2007 presidential poll outcome. 

Mr Annan said ending impunity was critical to addressing the root causes of the crisis that engulfed Kenya in 2008.

“The findings of the just-released independent report on the implementation of the (national dialogue and reconciliation) agreements and the defeat of the bill have underscored the absolute necessity for Kenya’s political leadership to live up to their responsibilities and to redouble their efforts to implement the agreements,” he said.

And in particular, Mr Annan referred to those outlined in the final mediated question Agenda Item Four, which deals with the reform agenda in the country.


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