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Kenya: Elections

Volume 489: debated on Friday 20 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the government of Kenya on the role of the International Criminal Court in investigations of post-election violence in Kenya. (264591)

[holding answer 19 March 2009]: The Government have made clear, both privately and publicly through the media, their support for the recommendations made by the independent Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence. The creation of a Special Tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the violence will be an important step in efforts to end impunity and foster healing and reconciliation in Kenya.

Our support for a local independent tribunal is in line with the views of Kofi Annan, the Inquiry’s recommendations and the Kenyan government’s adoption of the recommendations. Such a tribunal, with an international prosecutor and judges and strong witness protection systems, could help rebuild confidence in Kenya’s judiciary and would be a good route to justice for the victims of that violence, and to stopping it from re-occurring. The International Criminal Court in The Hague is another route for seeking justice and would be an alternative option if the creation of a local tribunal failed. But a local solution would be of greater benefit to Kenya in the long term.

Our high commissioner to Kenya has discussed this subject with Kenyan ministers, including the President and Prime Minister, and with MPs and civil society groups.