What Kenya Needs

Is the ICC the best hope for Kenya? Some suggest that re-opening old wounds may reduce Kenya’s stability and security.

But the record is clear and there should be no doubt: it was the Kenyan government’s own failure to provide justice to the victims and their survivors that paved the way to the I.C.C., a court of last resort. These trials also do not reflect the court’s unfair targeting of Africa, as has been alleged. Instead they are the first steps toward a sustainable peace that Kenyans want, deeply, and can only be assured of if their leaders are not above the law.

A long road lies ahead. The I.C.C. cases are not a comprehensive solution to Kenya’s impunity crisis. Kenya’s authorities must also act to investigate and prosecute additional cases connected to the 2007-8 violence. Making clear that no one is above the law is essential to combat decades of the use of violence for political ends by Kenya’s political elite.

via Justice for Kenya – NYTimes.com.

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5 thoughts on “What Kenya Needs

  1. jackdavis says:

    While it may be true that the ICC’s actions will open “old wounds”, doing nothing would be far more disastrous. By being lenient with war criminals in Kenya, it sends the message that we are willing to simply forget past crimes and past violence. This cannot be the message we send across the world, especially with all that is happening in Africa and the Middle East.

    In regards to the allegations that the ICC unfairly targets Africa, simple observation tells us that this is not the case. To put it bluntly, the fact of the matter is that the majority of war crimes and crimes against humanity happen in Africa, which leads to great ICC presence there. The ICC prosecutes where the crimes are happening, and right now the greatest concentration is in Africa and the Middle East.

  2. dallinholden says:

    I agree with what the article says regarding the “long road ahead” for the I.C.C. but at the same time am glad that the I.C.C. is pursing criminals within Africa. I agree with you Jack that it is not targeting Africa, it is the series of events that have and continue to transpire within Africa. From civil wars to ethnic violence it can be a tumultuous region of the world.

    It would be nice to see more power put behind the I.C.C. as an international power. For example rather than get involved in military operations within Syria, if their was international consensus among the nations within the U.N. to cooperate and turn over criminals traveling outside their country.

  3. jacobbills says:

    I too agree that prosecutions in the ICC are the right path for Kenya. Furthermore this could be good test for reforming the ICC to possibly make it more efficient. On that note, I don’t think the ICC is targeting Africa (at least not in an amount disproportionate to the human rights violations there). However, I do think that more power could be given to it to bring people to court and that it may be only picking on “easy” targets, so to speak. Some people, like Yoweri Museveni, probably should be prosecuted by the ICC but aren’t and won’t thanks to their powerful allies. So if there is any targeting, it not to Africa specifically but to less popular leaders.

  4. natmyrrha says:

    The idea of authorities being protected by their titles must not go on. They need to be judged for the crimes they committed, ending the vicious cycle of exoneration. This ICC action might be painful in the short-run but definitely worth it in the long one.

  5. araujophm says:

    Having an international institution that regulates crime against humanity is essential to maintaining peace in places where there is not a lot of legitimacy in government and where the military and police forces might be corrupt. The cases in Kenya are cases that need to be addressed and it is time that African nations see what a justice system is supposed to look like when working properly. I believe that as long as this doesn’t become something that happens often and replaces the local authorities, that this is a great opportunity to teach the people of Kenya what to expect of their own leaders. This needs to be an opportunity to show how the government in Kenya must be run, and can be very influential if taken advantage of.

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