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Kenya called to task on justice

April 24, 2013 at 9:34 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 24 (UPI) -- The new Kenyan government needs to consider the rule of law, including support for justice at The Hague, the Africa director at Human Rights Watch said.

Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya's first president since independence in 1964, was sworn into office April 9. He had won a narrow victory over former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who challenged the outcome of the election in Kenya's high court.

Director of Africa programs at Human Rights Watch Daniel Bekele said Kenyatta's administration has pledged to uphold the rule of law.

"Turning those pledges into action will require addressing serious past and present abuses and supporting justice, both at home and in The Hague," he said in a statement.

Odinga's challenge to a 2007 sparked political violence that left more than 1,000 Kenyans dead. Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto were indicted by the International Criminal Court for allegedly playing a role in the post-election violence.

Bekele said that, although recent elections were relatively peaceful, there's been a cycle of violence in Kenya that requires comprehensive justice and reconciliation.

"Authorities should set up special mechanisms to bring new investigations and prosecutions and close gaps in accountability," he said.

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