, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – Former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan has called on the government to resettle Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and compensate them.
Annan who mediated talks following disputed elections of 2007 leading to a power-sharing agreement, said it was important for the country to deal with the IDPs before the next general elections.
“Four years after the post-election violence that engulfed Kenya, let us remember the victims and the plight of internally displaced persons who must be resettled and compensated,” he in a statement welcoming the confirmation of charges against Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura, William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang.
Annan insisted that Kenyans should allow justice to prevail at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“The Pre-Trial Chamber II of the ICC has given its ruling in the cases against the six individual Kenyans. The chamber has confirmed the charges against four of the six suspects who are committed to trial. Justice should take its course,” he asserted.
Annan further urged the government to adhere to the reform agenda particularly on devolution in preparation for the elections.
“The period leading to the next national elections will be challenging. As reforms continue and preparations for elections and devolution pick-up momentum, I urge all Kenyans to focus on these essential tasks,” he said and added that Kenyans have an opportunity to cultivate democracy and stability if the law and human rights will be respected.
Annan heads the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation (KNDR) team which mediated the post-2007 conflict and which is monitoring the reform agenda in Kenya following the recommendations of the National Accord.
One of the recommendations was to resettle displaced persons and also to resolve issues that led to the post election violence. The team also told the government to address the post election violence to ensure victims access justice and perpetrators are made accountable for the crimes they committed.
Kenya has not managed to establish a local mechanism to try the perpetrators. But on Tuesday, Attorney General Githu Muigai disclosed plans to approach the Chief Justice’s office to discuss a possibility of establishing a division within the High Court to deal exclusively with offences of international nature.
It is not however clear if the special division will handle middle and lower level perpetrators who up to now have not faced a local tribunal as expected.
On Monday, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland issued a statement urging Kenya to continue cooperating with the ICC.
She also asked Kenya to live up to the spirit of its new constitution, “which embraces transparency, accountability and integrity.”