Kenya vows ICC cooperation over post-vote violence

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Kenya pledged Monday to cooperate with the International Criminal Court's investigation into deadly post-vote violence in the country in 2007-8 and promised to protect witnesses.

The declaration came at a meeting in Geneva between the UN Human Rights Council and a Kenyan delegation led by its justice minister over the probe into the unrest, which claimed around 1,200 lives.

In a summary of the meeting, Kenya said it would "fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court and ensure the protection of witnesses from intimidation and violence".

The promise to protect witnesses who could testify came after requests to do so by Austria, South Korea, Ireland, Australia, Norway and Portugal.

Kenya also agreed to "take further measures to prevent impunity of the perpetrators of the post-electoral violence".

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor for the ICC, which is the world's only permanent independent war crimes court, went to Kenya last week to meet victims of the bloodshed.

Speaking in Nairobi he had said it was "important to investigate these crimes to make sure that the elections in 2012 in Kenya are peaceful."

In March the ICC authorised an investigation of the Kenya violence, which erupted after then opposition leader Raila Odinga accused President Mwai Kibaki of rigging his re-election in December 27, 2007 polls.

The unrest also injured at least 3,500 people and left about 350,000 more internally displaced.

© 2010 AFP

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