, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 14 – Those who bear the greatest responsibility over the Tana River massacre have been warned that they will face crimes against humanity before a Special Division of the High Court.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko on Friday said that he welcomed the formation of a commission of inquiry into the Tana clashes and said his office will deal firmly with those found culpable by the commission.
He said the crimes committed in Tana River have all the traits of crimes against humanity.
“The magnitude, the character and the nature of what has been happening in Tana River reflects a situation that borders on crimes against humanity,” Tobiko said.
“Those that bear the greatest responsibility; organisers, planners and leaders of different groups must be prepared and be ready to face special division of the High Court if the commission of inquiry finds them responsible.”
More than 100 people have been killed in the last one month following clashes between Orma and Pokomo ethnic groups who have been fighting over land and water.
He said that Kenya does not need the intervention of the International Criminal Court to deal with the perpetrators since The International Crimes Act which domesticated the Rome Stature empowers the High Court like the ICC.
“We should not wait for Fatou Bensouda (ICC Prosecutor) to come and investigate; we have adequate legal framework to deal with such cases,” the DPP said.
Four Kenyans; Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang are already facing trial before the international court with charges of crimes against humanity.
Their trial is scheduled for hearing on April 10, 2013 at The Hague.
President Mwai Kibaki imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Tana River following repeated incidences of retaliatory attacks but despite the clampdown, more attacks occurred leading to more deaths.
On Wednesday morning, Parliament passed a motion urging the government to consider sending the military to the affected area. On the same day the government deployed 1,000 para-military General Service Unit personnel.
Calm has since returned to the area that has seen weeks of clashes between pastoralists and farmers in Tana Delta.