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Africa
Kenya to form poll violence court
Government decision 'may still not satisfy' Kenyan people's demand for justice.
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2009 18:33 GMT
Post-election violence in Kenya claimed the lives
of more than 1,000 people [AFP]

Kenya's cabinet has decided to reform the judiciary in dealing with those accused of orchestrating last year's post-election violence, in which more than 1,000 people were killed.

Mwai Kibaki, the president of Kenya, announced on Thursday that a special division of the country's High Court would be formed.

The decision came after Kenya's coalition government failed twice to agree on details over the domestic court.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague was poised to take over the justice process if a local court was not created.

Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons reporting from Kenya, said: "Now it's really a question of whether or not the ICC is happy with this plan when the full details of this plan come out.

"Early indications suggest that this sort of justice is not going to be enough to satisfy the standards normally followed in this sort of investigation.

"This is a test that the grand coalition has faced and it has taken more than a year and half to come up with a formula of justice and it has come under massive pressure from the international community to come up with its own formula. If this formula is not sufficient, the ICC could step in."

Architects of violence

Protests broke out in the country at the end of 2007 following an election which the opposition claimed was rigged in favour of Kibaki.

The demonstrations quickly descended into ethnic violence amid longstanding tribal and economic tensions, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

Following months of chaos, Kibaki and Raila Odinga, the then opposition leader, formed a coalition to help curb the violence, but their term has been riven by bickering.

In video

 Kenyans seek justice over post-election violence

Al Jazeera's reporter said that "Everyone in Kenya is aware that serving government ministers are believed to be amongst those suspected of helping orchestrate the violence."

Politicians stoked ethnic tensions prior to the election and activists say a handful of prominent Kenyans, including several sitting ministers, should face justice.

The ICC has been handed an envelope by Kofi Annan, who helped to mediate an end to the crisis, with the names of 10 senior suspects.

While some Kenyans see justice as crucial to the future stability of the country, others believe a judicial process could destabilise Kenya by bringing up old rivalries.

Kibaki and Odinga both wanted a local court, but the majority of Kenyans hope the ICC will take the case.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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