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Kenyatta welcomes ICC ruling; scores of Ruto supporters celebrate

Kenyatta welcomes ICC ruling; scores of Ruto supporters celebrate

Kenya

Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta has welcomed the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) ruling which he says affirms his “strong conviction from the beginning about the innocence of my Deputy President.”

The ICC on Tuesday threw out post-election charges of crime against humanity brought against William Ruto and his co-accused, Joshua Sang.

The two were accused of starting inter-ethnic violence in Kenya after the country’s 2007 elections which left some 1,200 dead.

In a statement on the government website, President Kenyatta said: “From the start of this case, I have believed that this case was ill-conceived and never grounded on the proper examination of our experience of 2007/2008 as a nation.”

He said Kenyans have over the past six years endured a “painful journey with the ICC.”

The ICC’s ruling on Tuesday, the President said “brings to a close what has been a nightmare for my nation. With the conclusion of this case at the ICC, our country is fully back on focus to enhance our efforts towards nation building, promotion peace and security.”

“For my Deputy and I, this focuses us fully on the affairs of running the State, a mandate given to us by the people of Kenya,” the statement added.

Having lost some 1,200 people to post-election violence, president Kenyatta who is currently in France noted that “every Kenyan was touched by the tragedy that befell our nation in 2007-2008” assuring that “each and every victim” of the violence “matters.”

Recalling a campaign promise to unite the country, the president’s statement further noted that “Kenya has come a long way since the dark days of 2008. We have made peace. We have given ourselves a new constitution and a new political order. We have resettled and compensated many victims, and continue to respond to the outcomes of that unfortunate period of our history. I invite each and every Kenya to double our efforts in building our nation.”

Ruto supporters celebrate

Meanwhile scores of William Ruto’s supporters Tuesday flooded the streets of his hometown Eldoret, to celebrate the court ruling.

Whereas one of the jubilant supporters told Reuters that Wednesday should be declared a national holiday to celebrate Ruto’s victory, another supporter, Major Kirwa said the ICC did a poor job.

“They went for the wrong people, so at least we can now see that justice has been done although the victims are crying foul, the ICC did not do good investigations.”

President Kenyatta in his statement called on “all Kenyans of goodwill” to attend a thanksgiving service on April 16 which he said “will be an opportunity for prayers for healing, reconciliation and unity of Kenya as we push on the path of inclusive prosperity for all.”

William Ruto has since the ruling tweeted a simple message.

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