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Kenya report connects president, VP to post-election violence

A report [text, PDF] released Tuesday by the Kenyan Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) [advocacy website] names President Uhuru Kenyatta [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and Vice President William Ruto [JURIST report] as having contributed to human rights abuses that took place after the 2007 election. The report alleges the two officials helped fund and plan violence. Kenyatta and Ruto [ICC case materials] have already been charged with crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] from their suspected involvement. In the report, the commission also details how the media's portrayal contributed to prolonging the violence. It also analyzes the historic causes of the violence, going back to the treatment by the country's first three presidents following independence. According to the TJRC, historical discrepancies in land distribution contributed to perpetuating violence.

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. In March Kenyatta's lawyer asked the ICC to drop the charges [JURIST report] against him for lack of evidence, but the prosecution refused.

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