International Or National Kenya Trials?

The people of Kenya are attempting to deal with the horror that arose during last year’s presidential election when Kibaki government unleashed violence against their opponents, many of whom were of different tribal groups. The conflict now emerging is whether those who perpetuated the violence should be tried before the International Criminal Court of Justice or should trials be conducted at the local level. At a meeting with Kenyans in the United States, Prime Minister Raila Odinga said he supported trials being conducted by the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission, but he has now come out in support of trials at the local level by local courts.

The question is whether it is possible to have “justice” if defendants are tried at the local level. Many believe it might be necessary to have trials conducted by outside groups such as the International Criminal Court. However, South Africa was able to try defendants by their Truth and Reconciliation Commission.