Kenya downplays The Hague option

July 12, 2009 12:00 am


MOMBASA, Kenya, Jul 12 – Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula has told leaders to stop panicking over Kofi Annan’s move to handover the list of key post election violence suspects to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He said Kenya was not a failed state and as such The Hague does not need to prosecute the perpetrators of the deadly violence.

"The government has enough machinery and capacity to handle the perpetrators of the post elections skirmishes and Ocampo cannot simply rush to arrest Kenyans," said the minister.

The country has been gripped with anxiety after ICC Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo announced on Saturday that he is to open the envelope containing the list on Monday.

Speaking in Bahari constituency, Mr Wetangula said he was optimistic that the bill to form a local tribunal will be passed when it is re-introduced in parliament.

"I am sure my colleagues will not let down the country on this serious matter once again. Kenyans want impunity to end," he said.

Mr Wetangula said Hague option only applies to failed states and Kenya was not among such countries.

"The suspects will be tried locally as Kenya’s justice system is still functional," he said.

The minister urged leaders to desist from preaching politics of ethnicity to allow healing and reconciliation.

At least 1,200 Kenyans were killed in the violence, 600,000 displaced, and property of unknown value destroyed.


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