ICC ‘Witness 7’ Links Ruto to Violence

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The seventh ICC prosecution witness took to the stand yesterday with submissions that the 2007/08 violence was premeditated. The witness claimed that Deputy President William Ruto was among those who convened a meeting in Kapsaret Forest where weapons were being assembled.

The witness told Trial Chamber V(a) there was a seaming unrest even before theelections. The witness recalled an instance where he was told the ‘situation in the area was not good’. He also claimed that members of the Kikuyu community were not welcome in Rift Valley and were described in various tags in political rallies, including chumbek or mzungu (meaning they were ‘foreigners’ and not welcome in the region). They were also referred to as madoadoa or sangara (bad weed).

The prosecution lawyer led the witness into admitting that he had witnessed signs of a possible conflict just a few weeks to the elections. The atmosphere was particularly tense in Yamumbi which was mainly occupied by the Kikuyu and were allegedly required to go back to their home in Central Province.

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Asked to describe what he saw, the witness said a person, known by pseudo name ‘Person 1’ showed him bows and arrows which were to be used during the conflict and were assembled at Kapsaret. The witness further told the court that during the 1992 elections, stones were thrown to Kikuyus by the Kalenjin.

Prior to witness taking the stand, the defence wanted him to disclose the locations he witnessed violence before and after the 2007 General Election, arguing that his identity was after all protected but the prosecution objected to this. Osuji however ruled that locations would remain a secret and will only be mentioned on a need basis-By IRENE GITHINJI

– The People

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