Without Teeth, the ICC Lacks Real Bite

  On December 15, 2010 the International Criminal Court (ICC) revealed the names of six Kenyan government officials involved in the 2007-2008 post-election violence in the country. The highly publicized announcement had been long-awaited by the Kenyan population. Citizens stopped their daily activities to tune into the announcement made by chief ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. The news provided answers to the violence that took place after the general elections in Kenya in December 2007. In that month, political riots broke out in Kenya after presidential candidate Raila Odinga accused President Mwai Kibaki of rigging the election process. The political riots soon erupted into ethnic attacks directed at President Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe. In the end, at least 1,100 people were killed, 3,500 were injured and 600,000 were forced to flee their homes. The ICC’s announcement formally accused several prominent Kenyan government officials, including the son of founding president Jomo Kenyatta, two cabinet ministers, and the head of the civil service. These officials were accused of committing "massive crimes," including crimes against humanity during the post-election crisis. But what did this accusation actually accomplish? So far, the ICC has taken no action. All of the accused persons continue to deny the charges against them and to search for ways to avoid a trial at The Hague. Immediately following the ICC announcement, the accused persons pressured the Kenyan Parliament to remove the...

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