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.