Significance of ICC trials in ending endemic climate of impunity in Kenya

Kenya Election ViolenceInternational Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) observes administering credible, impartial and effective criminal justice is a prerequisite for sustainable peace building and preempt disdain for rule of law.

“Ending impunity for those who commit serious crimes is fundamental to deterring them from occurring in the future and allowing victims and communities to seek justice and peace,” said ICPC Executive Director Ndung’u Wainaina.

“I believe the start of prosecution of William Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang, later in November of Uhuru Kenyatta, at the ICC will act as a deterrent to those who use violence as a tactic of political and other objectives”, adds Mr. Wainaina

However, though critical step, the prosecution of the three ICC indictees namely President Uhuru Kenya, Deputy President William Ruto and Journalist Joshua Arap Sang does not mean end of endemic climate of impunity in Kenya. The country still has glaring impunity gap that urgently need redress.

National justice systems in Kenya are still particularly weak especially police and prosecutorial services with little substantial investment to build impartial, credible ones. This has allowed the ICC to assert its jurisdiction under the principle of complementarity to protect civilians.

Finally, deterring impunity is a victory for humanity. The concern remains that of victims and their deplorable conditions.

Mr. Wainaina observes, “We know how they (victims) have struggled each day and night to overcome their traumatic experience, to move on from horrors they suffered. The journey to full healing and recovery will not be complete without both reparatory and retributive justice for them”.

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