NPWJ welcomes launch of ICC investigation as an important step towards ending impunity in Kenya

1 Apr, 2010 | Press Releases

On 31 March 2010, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court granted the Prosecutor’s request to commence an investigation on crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the Republic of Kenya during the post-election there. From December 2007 to February 2008, following disputed Presidential elections in Kenya, more than 1,000 people were killed, nearly 500,000 people were displaced and a critical humanitarian situation took place. From January to March 2008, No Peace Without Justice provided technical support to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) in its wide-scale investigations of serious violations of human rights and international criminal law committed during the post-election period.

Declaration by Sergio Stanzani and Niccolo’ Figa-Talamanca, President and Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice:

“NPWJ welcomes the decision of the International Criminal Court to open an investigation on crimes against humanity with regard to the situation in Kenya as an important step towards securing accountability for the crimes committed in the aftermath of the 2007 elections. We look forward to the ICC Prosecutor maintaining the policy focus on “those who bear the greatest responsibility” for the crimes as a whole. Bringing to justice those who planned, ordered and instigated these crimes will help ensure that violence is no longer rewarded in the Kenyan political, electoral or State processes.

“NPWJ calls on the ICC to make it a priority to safeguard witnesses and victims in its investigations as well as to take immediate steps to carry out a focused, sustained and widespread outreach program in Kenya, to engage local communities affected by the election violence, including a strong focus on children and the youth.

“We call on the Kenyan authorities to cooperate fully with the ICC in order to ensure that those who allegedly bear the greatest responsibility for the crimes committed are held accountable and the cries for justice from the people of Kenya are answered.

“Particularly since the ICC’s efforts are likely to target only a small number of senior officials, it is essential for Kenya’s political leaders to make good on their commitment to ensure that investigations and prosecutions are also undertaken at a national level in order to provide full accountability for the post-election violence. Perhaps more now than ever, as political actors in Kenya begin their campaigning for the next elections in 2012, Kenya stands at the crossroads between moving forward to a peaceful future, where the root causes of this latest round of post-election violence have been eliminated, and being doomed to repeat the pattern of political tragedies of the past, if impunity is not avoided. Redress for the victims during the post-election violence and an accounting from those responsible for that violence must not be held hostage to personal or political agendas”.

For more information, contact Alison Smith, Coordinator of the International Criminal Justice Program, at or Nicola Giovannini at or +32 (0)2 548-3910.