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Kenya sued for 2007 election violence

Feb. 21, 2013 at 10:29 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- A campaigner for women's rights said the Kenyan government is being sued for sexual assaults in the aftermath of December 2007 general elections.

Eight women who were victims of sexual violence in Kenya filed suit against the government in the Nairobi High Court. They claim the government didn't do enough to investigate the incidents in the aftermath of the 2007 election.

"The survivors are suing the government for non-action both in terms of protecting people from violence (and) for failing to institute investigations," Saida Ali, the executive director of the Coalition on Violence Against Women, told the United Nations' humanitarian news agency IRIN.

Thousands of people were killed following 2007 elections amid clashes between supporters of incumbent President Mwai Kibaki and those of Raila Odinga.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto, were cleared by a Kenyan court last week to run in the March 4 election. Both men could face charges at the International Criminal Court for crimes related to conflicts after the 2007 elections.

The court dismissed a challenge to the presidential bid saying Kenyatta and Ruto are presumed innocent until proven guilty and are therefore eligible to pursue their political ambitions.

Human Rights Watch warned the March elections could led to an escalation of violence.

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