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Kenya opposition brings ICC 'crimes against humanity' complaint against government

[JURIST] Kenya's main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) [party website], has filed a formal complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website], alleging that the Kenyan government has committed crimes against humanity in using force against demonstrators protesting the recent disputed re-election [JURIST report], an ODM spokesperson said Tuesday. The violence began after the re-election of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki [official profile], who has has long been accused of using his position to favor members of the Kikuyu tribe. Over 700 people have died since protests began last month, prompting Human Rights Watch to urge the government to ban police from using excessive and lethal force against protesters [press release]. Thirteen nations, including several European Union members and the United States, have threatened to cut off aid to Kenya's government until the crisis is resolved.

The controversial presidential vote has sparked simmering ethnic tensions in Kenya [JURIST news archive]. Kibaki won the election despite early opinion polls that placed rival ODM candidate Raila Odinga in the lead. Thousands of opposition supporters have continued calls for protests against the elections [JURIST report], despite the government's temporary ban on public rallies. The ODM has also threatened to use economic boycotts and strikes [JURIST report] to continue their protests. AFP has more.

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