Kenyatta sings in defiance

13 April 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Luis Moreno Ocampo landed at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta airport in May 2010 to listen to victims of the violence that swept Kenya three years ago. While there he pledged that by Christmas he would file charges against six ring-leaders and try them in two cases. 

It seems the Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) kept his promise. The “Ocampo Six” made their initial appearance in The Hague last week.

For Ocampo, “accountability day” had finally come for Kenya. But from his office, he must have also heard Kenya’s Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta singing Kenya’s independence anthem in honour of his father. On the stairs of the ICC, the son of Kenya’s founding president Jomo Kenyatta said, “there is nothing to worry about,” as he smiled and chanted with friends and government officials. He then took a walk through the park to his hotel in The Hague.

More than 1,300 people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced, following disputed elections in December 2007. But after the dust settled, the Kenyan parliament voted down a bill to establish a tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the killings, rapes and forced evictions that took place during the fighting.

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