Six Kenyans summoned to The Hague

March 9, 2011 at 11:18 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, March 9 (UPI) -- Six Kenyan leaders from across the country's political spectrum were summoned for alleged crimes against humanity, the International Criminal Court said.

The ICC called six Kenyan leaders from opposing sides of ethnic violence surrounding 2007 elections to The Hague as part of an investigation into alleged atrocities.

Members of two major political parties -- the Party for National Unity and the Orange Democratic Party -- were among those named by the prosecutor.

Kenyan lawmakers passed a measure in December to leave the ICC for what they said were issues related to sovereignty. The move came as Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor at the ICC, requested in December that the court issue summonses for Kenyans accused of "massive crimes" during post-election violence in Kenya in 2007.

The ICC said more than 1,000 people died and 3,500 were injured in 30 days of violence that included hundreds of rapes.

Rivals in a peace deal that ended the political violence in Kenya agreed that perpetrators of violence could face justice at home or at the ICC.

Elizabeth Evenson, a senior international justice counsel at Human Rights Watch, praised the summons but stressed Kenya has no basis to call for the suspension of the ICC investigation.

"The ICC's decision means that six people implicated in Kenya's post-election violence will have to answer to the court," she said in a statement.

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