Kenya's tribunal stance draws criticism

Aug. 3, 2009 at 8:10 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Kenya's move against establishing a tribunal to deliver justice for the victims of post-election violence is a U-turn from earlier commitments, advocates say.

The country's Cabinet last week decided instead to rely on a "reformed" national judicial system to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators, which Human Rights Watch said in a release Monday violates promises the country's leadership had made.

Georgette Gagnon, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said an independent domestic court with international participation remains the best option to start establishing accountability and called on the government to immediately adopt legislation to establish the special tribunal.

"Bringing justice to these victims is the most urgent test of the coalition government's willingness to resolve Kenya's crisis," said Gagnon, "The Cabinet just resoundingly failed that test."

Violence in the country following the December 2007 elections claimed hundreds of lives and forced an estimated 300,000 from their homes, some of them still living in camps.

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