NAIROBI, Kenya, July 12 – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Kenya to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and support its process in prosecuting six Kenyans suspected of masterminding the 2008 post election violence.
During a public address at the University of Nairobi during her visit to Kenya on Tuesday, Ms Merkel challenged the government to make the crucial step of accepting justice to prevail especially for the victims who were still bearing atrocities caused to them and their families.
“It is important for Kenya to continue with cooperation with the ICC, we discussed this when I met President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga and they assured me they will cooperate. Reconciliation is not possible without justice,” she said.
She said she believed The Hague proceedings would play a crucial step in addressing impunity and laying a basis that will prevent recurrence of violence in future electoral processes.
Recognising that the ICC process was not the ultimate means to address injustices in Kenya, she advocated for local processes that will address impunity, bring justice to the victims and also lead to reconciliation by resolving issues blamed for the post election violence.
Constitutional Lawyer Paul Muite who was present during the public speech accused the government of undermining the ICC and asked the Chancellor if she had raised concerns with the government over the issue.
In her earlier meetings with President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga she discussed Kenya’s cooperation with the court.
She said the two principles re-assured her of their commitment and support for the court.
Peace and democracy were also noticeable topics in her meetings with the two leaders and during her public speech.
Dr Merkel who illustrated Germany’s process to peace after the World War II urged Kenya to choose the path of peace by making compromises to evade violence and other serious disputes that threaten the security of a country.
She said Kenya’s success in restoring peace after the violence will be a good example for the rest of countries especially those in conflict situations.
She also encouraged the coalition government to keep its determination in working together and resolving differences that occur in such political arrangements as she described them as common and hard to avoid.
“Disagreements are part and parcel of every coalition. It is the task of the leaders to meet and make agreements and also harmonise differences by making compromises,” she said.
The Chancellor who was visiting Kenya for the first time pledged Germany’s support in the implementation of the new Constitution as well as in preparations for the next General Election.
Her discussions with the President and Prime Minister also touched on regional peace as she pledged Germany’s support to the newest nation, Southern Sudan and appreciated Kenya’s support in its independence.
Ms Merkel said her country will donate a million Euros to support the growing number of refugees at Kenya’s Dadaab camp.
She also acknowledged the role Kenya was playing in promoting peace and stability in Somalia
Together with President Kibaki they agreed it was important for the international community to join hands in supporting the Kampala Accord and strengthen the capacity of the Transitional Federal Government and peacekeeping forces to stabilise Somalia.
Dr Merkel identified piracy and terrorism as global areas of concern that affected not only Somalia neighbours but the entire world.
She also asked the Africa Union to keep its spirit of ending conflicts in Somalia and call for solid cooperation that will enhance peace in the war and crime torn country.