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African leaders to request Kenyan leaders be tried domestically

African foreign ministers agreed Friday to request that Kenyan leaders accused of inciting violence following the 2007 elections stand trial in their home country rather than before the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] in The Hague. This follows Tuesday's report [text, PDF] by the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission [advocacy website] connecting [JURIST report] the Kenyan leaders to the violence. The African leaders' request stems from accusations [AFP report] by members of the African Union that the ICC targets African governments that do not please western leaders. The president and vice president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and William Ruto [JURIST news archive], respectively, stand accused of inciting violence following the 2007 elections [JURIST news archive] in which more than 1,100 people died.

This is the latest in the controversy surrounding Kenyatta and Ruto's involvement in the human rights violations. Despite the allegations, both were able to win the recent election [JURIST report]. Earlier this month the Kenyan ambassador to the UN requested the ICC drop the charges [JURIST report] against Kenyatta and Ruto. Also this month the ICC continued to postpone [JURIST report] Ruto's trial. In April a judge overseeing Kenyatta's case withdrew [JURIST report] from the case, after the President's personal attorney requested that the charges be dropped.

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