Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kenya: United Kingdom supports ICC effort to re-locate witnesses in Kenyan post-election probe

UN - The International Criminal Court (ICC) today received a donation from the United Kingdom for a fund to help relocate witnesses who may be at risk in Kenya, where the Court’s prosecutor is investigating the 2007-2008 post-election violence.

Welcoming the £200,000 ($311,945) donation, ICC Registrar Silvana Arbia said it constituted an important gesture towards the victims and witnesses of post-election violence in Kenya, and towards international justice and the common fight against impunity.

“The UK supports the Court’s work, with the Kenyan Government, to promote justice for the many victims of the post-election violence,” said Paul Arkwright, the UK ambassador to the Netherlands, as he handed the donation to Ms. Arbia at The Hague, where the ICC is based.

“We welcome the Kenyan Government’s cooperation with the Court on this case. The UK agrees with the ICC Chief Prosecutor that Kenya, with the Court’s assistance, has an opportunity to restore its image and lead the way globally on approaches to the restoration of justice and challenging impunity,” Mr. Arkwright said.

The ICC Special Fund is intended to assist States parties that are willing to host witnesses at risk, but lack the capacity to finance such support. It is aimed at fostering regional solutions for the relocation of witnesses at risk, thereby reducing the impact of relocations on their lives.

The ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is investigating the violence that erupted in Kenya in the wake of general elections in December 2007. An estimated 1,300 people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in the weeks after the results of the elections were disputed, sparking intra-communal unrest.

The post-election violence in Kenya is one of five situations – along with Central African Republic (CAR), Darfur, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda – currently under investigation by the Prosecutor.