Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sham ICC prosecutions may lead to a bigger problem

As the ICC prosecutor continues his investigations into the Kenyan Genocide, he should be aware that he has the power to plunge Kenya back into violence or end impunity. Only a true quest for justice guided by at most good faith will help put a dent on impunity and avert violence.

In the past few weeks, politicians have embarked on taking Kenyans as human shields to frustrate their impending prosecution. Individuals that have a hint that ICC may be coming after them have started to rope in their ethnic kin setting a stage for the next big explosion. In Rift Valley, politicians are making an argument that the Kalenjin politicians were only minor players in the planning of the violence and heaping the blame on ODM leader Raila Odinga (and his Luo ethnic group).

To vindicate himself, Raila Odinga has totally removed himself from the violence and delinked it from the elections leaving the Kalenjin leaders holding the can. He has presented the Luo tribe as victims of carefully planned ethnic cleansing carried out by Kenyan and Ugandan security officers. He has blamed the same forces for the sacking and burning of Kisumu. Raila claims that he called for mass action and not mass killings.

In Central Province, Kikuyu leaders are talking about attempts to victimize the Kikuyu tribe for its role in self defense. They have accused the UN and ICC of demonizing the Kikuyu tribe resulting into double victimization.

In the media, facts on the violence are being altered and public opinion is consciously being reshaped. The effect on this effort is very clear in Ocampo’s pre-trial presentation at the ICC. Ocampo ignored very crucial facts in the case in what looks like an attempt to shelter President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga from any prosecution. Through out the investigations, Ocampo has regarded the President and the PM as his partners and not suspects when it is clear that the two politicians were the reason we had bloodshed in Kenya.

Ocampo should withdraw the cases if his plan is for a semblance of justice. He will only be handing a keg of gunpowder to the masters of impunity and asking them to blow Kenya into smithereens.