17 December 2008

Kenya agrees to election tribunal


Kenya's president and prime minister have signed a deal that will pave the way for an election violence tribunal. They agreed to it within hours of a deadline set out in a report into the deadly clashes that erupted after last December's elections. The court will seek to try the ringleaders of the violence. Parliament now has 45 days to set it up to begin hearings by March or a sealed list of suspects will be handed over to the International Criminal Court. 

The deadline for Wednesday's agreement was set out by a commission of inquiry into the violence, chaired by Justice Phillip Waki, which reported in October. That commission also handed over a list of suspects, some thought to be prominent politicians, to the mediator of the power-sharing deal, former UN chief Kofi Annan. 

On Tuesday, Kenya's electoral commission was dissolved by MPs - a key recommendation of another inquiry into the election.  Some 1,500 people died in the post-election clashes and another 300,000 people fled their homes. President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga signed a power-sharing deal in February to bring an end to the violence and formed a coalition government.