3 June 2015

Kenya: Why Victims Have Lost Hope in the ICC Kenya Trials

opinion

The victims of the post-election violence are disappointed with how the ICC has handled the Kenya cases, according to this blog.

Twice, I have been forcibly evicted from my home. First, during the 1992 clashes. Then again, in 2007, following the disputed presidential elections. Now, I am an internally displaced person in Kenya.

Of the two incidents, the latter was the most harrowing, it shook the conscience of mankind. There were over 1200 deaths, 650,000 displacements, and a wanton destruction of property and livelihoods.

The government had its chance to try the suspected perpetrators. But, what did they do with this opportunity? Nothing. Then, The Hague came in and, for the last seven years or so, it has been nothing but drama. Full of political theatrics at the altar of justice.

From the onset, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo messed up the whole process. When he came to Kenya, he vapuored political statements and went to see cheetahs in a forest. He did not contact the victims.

Enter Fatou Bensouda, and things have gotten worse. The Gambian lady came to Kenya and did nothing apart from public forums. Hungry victims jammed the meetings, eager to give statements in what they thought was a fresh start. But just like Ocampo, she did her shows and jetted back to The Hague.

By the way, who nominated the purported lawyers for the victims? Victims never gave instructions to them! Have they ever talked to victims? Here in Kenya, nobody, not even human rights NGOs that claim to fight for victims, ever visits or speaks with the victims. They only turn up when there is a mention or hearing in The Hague.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Victims have waited for justice for over seven years but, all they are getting are sideshows, accusations and counter-accusations. The quest for justice - in the guise of 'justice for the victims' - has become a cash cow for the prosecution, victims' lawyers, ICC public relations offices and some rogue NGOs, among others.

Victims are tired and disappointed. And the time to call this charade off is now. We're better off living without justice than with a theatre of absurdity in the name of helping us.

*Charles Maina is an internally displaced person from Timboroa, Rift Valley. He now lives in Kikuyu, Kenya.

Kenya

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