2 October 2012

Kenya: Musalia - All Kenyans Are Guilty for PEV

Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi has kicked off a fresh storm over the cases facing four Kenyans at the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying 'it is a betrayal of the country's sovereignty.'

Mudavadi instead argues that it is unfair for four individuals to face crimes for "sins of 40 million Kenyans".

"We must accept responsibility collectively. The nation is guilty. To prosecute four people for the sins of 40 million people is therefore preposterous," Mudavadi said in a statement issued on Tuesday, on the day he was expected to arrive from USA where he had been attending the 67th Session of UN General Assembly.

His office said the DPM had "taken time off while here (USA & UK) to reflect on the environment in our country as we prepare for the General Election next year."

In an apparent support for his counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta, Eldoret North MP William Ruto, former civil service head Francis Muthaura and former radio presenter Joshua arap Sang--Mudavadi appeared to suggest that all Kenyans were responsible for the post election violence of 2008 and should therefore stand trial.

"The four carry our national shame, but they must not carry our national guilt. We must all own up. And we must do this before we enter the 2013 electoral season," the DPM said.

His office said the statement was sent after "deep reflections on the situation in our country and the growing international media interest on the possible impact of the ICC trials, the military operation in Somalia and retaliatory Al Shabaab terror attacks in Kenya and communal violence on the coming elections and the stability of the nation."

Mudavadi wants all Kenyans to admit national guilt of all the crimes committed--including mass murder, rape and forcible transfer of persons instead of leaving the burden to be shouldered by Kenyatta, Muthaura, Ruto and Sang.

"I was among those who supported that any trial related to the PEV must be done locally," he said. "I still hold this view because no civilised society can allow their own to be tried in foreign jurisdictions."

"The four carry our national shame, but they must not carry our national guilt. We must all own up. And we must do this before we enter the 2013 electoral season."

And if it were in his powers, the DPM said "I would bring the ICC trials home as part of shouldering the guilt. Admission of national guilt is the first step to our national redemption."

Kenya has already exhausted all avenues of seeking a referral of the cases from the ICC--including through the United Nations Security Council.

Cases against the four Kenyans have passed the confirmation stage and are now at the trial stage, effectively making it practically impossible to have a referral--according to legal experts familiar with the workings of the ICC.

Nonetheless, Mudavadi argues that the ICC cannot help solve the ethnic violence culture which appears to be deeply entrenched in the country.

His statement does not however, offer any possible solution to the ethnic problems the country is facing only saying "Resolve the Violence Culture Once and For All."

"ICC will not address the root causes of the growing culture of community and election-related violence," the DPM said, "In fact, it has become a hindrance to police operations in situations of violence like Tana River and when terrorism attack."

At least 112 people were killed and many more others displaced in interethnic violence that occurred in Tana River last month.

"We cannot watch as evil people massacre others and police watch helplessly out of fear of being accused of targeting a given community. This is not good in the fight against terror and for the coming election," the DPM observed.

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