, WASHINGTON, Dec 15 – US President Barack Obama on Wednesday called on all Kenyans to cooperate with an International Criminal Court investigation into the violence triggered after contested elections there three years ago that left more than 1,500 people dead.
"I urge all of Kenya’s leaders, and the people whom they serve, to cooperate fully with the ICC investigation and remain focused on implementation of the reform agenda and the future of your nation," he said.
Obama, whose father was from Kenya, noted the progress the country has made since the unrest "moving away from impunity and divisionism toward an era of accountability and equal opportunity."
"The path ahead is not easy, but I believe that the Kenyan people have the courage and resolve to reject those who would drag the country back into the past and rob Kenyans of the singular opportunity that is before them to realise the country’s vast potential," he said.
The International Criminal Court on Wednesday accused six Kenyans, among them the son of the nation’s founder Jomo Kenyatta, of masterminding the 2007-8 post-election violence.
They included senior allies of both President Mwai Kibaki and his rival Raila Odinga, now his prime minister in a power-sharing government brokered to end the unrest.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, sacked education minister William Ruto – a declared candidate for the 2012 presidential election – and former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali were also named.
The others are Francis Muthaura, the head of Kenya’s public service, Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang.
The court’s chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told a press conference the six cited "are the most responsible, but of course there are many others… We concentrate on the most responsible… of course, Kenya can decide to prosecute more."