Today the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, announced that he has submitted to the Pre-Trial Chamber II a request to issue six summons to appear in relation to two cases for serious crimes allegedly committed in Kenya during the post-election violence from December 2007 including killing, forced displacement and sexual violence. On 31 March 2010, Pre-Trial Chamber II had granted the Prosecutor’s request to commence an investigation on crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the Republic of Kenya between 1 June 2005 (i.e., the date of the Statute’s entry into force for the Republic of Kenya) and 26 November 2009 (i.e., the date of the filing of the Prosecutor’s Request).

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice and the Transnational Nonviolent Radical Party welcome the Prosecutor’s request to issue six summons to appear in relation to two cases for the crimes committed during the violence that followed the announcement of the results of the Presidential elections in Kenya in December 2007. This is a fundamental step to ensure that for the first time in Kenya’s electoral history, post‑election violence is not rewarded and the cycle of violence is broken before the next round of elections to be held in 2012.

“NPWJ appreciates the policy focus of the Prosecutor on “those who bear the greatest responsibility” for the totality of crimes allegedly committed and notes that the summons to appear announced today refer to individuals belonging to both parties that were allegedly involved in the post‑election violence in Kenya (PEV). The number of potential trials before the ICC inevitably leaves an “impunity gap” of lower level perpetrators that is for the national judicial system to investigate and prosecute. Kenya has a vibrant civil society and legal professionals who have already showed their commitment to accountability in the immediate aftermath of the PEV, playing a crucial role in its documentation. NPWJ calls on the Kenyan authorities to investigate and prosecute other people responsible for crimes committed during the PEV, and calls on Kenyan civil society and legal professionals to support the intervention of the ICC and national proceedings through continued activism, documentation and legal actions.

“NPWJ also urges Kenyan authorities to cooperate fully with the ICC and give absolute implementation to the orders of the Court, including summons to appear. Just this summer, Kenya failed to execute the arrest warrant issued by the ICC against Sudanese President Al‑Bashir when he visited the country on the occasion of the promulgation of Kenya’s new constitution, contravening its legal obligation to arrest and surrender him. As a State Party to the Rome Statute, which it has implemented in its domestic legislation, Kenya is under a legal obligation to abide by any orders of the Court. NPWJ hopes and expects that Kenya will prove itself as a State Party, particularly given its incidents of non-cooperation earlier this year.

“Finally, NPWJ also urges the ICC to establish a field office in Kenya as soon as possible to reinforce the work the Court has carried out to date through short-term missions from Kampala and The Hague, including outreach, victims’ participation and reparation and witness and victims protection. NPWJ commends the ICC Registrar for the efforts to set up a Registry presence in the territory of Kenya and the early launch of its activities in this country. With the Prosecutor’s request for summons to appear, there is now even a greater need to engage the people of Kenya in two‑way dialogue to promote understanding of the Court and manage expectations, with a particular focus on women and children; the establishment of a field office is important to facilitate that work. A strong field presence is also absolutely necessary to ensure that proper protection for witnesses and victims as well as victims’ participation and reparation are effectively undertaken in Kenya.”

For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548 39 12 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-39 15.