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Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Tuesday, 18 November 2008

EU in Kenya poll tribunal threat

Protest in Kibera (Dec 2007)
Critics warn prosecutions could lead to further clashes

The European Union is threatening to withhold aid to Kenya unless a recent report's recommendations on January's post-poll clashes are implemented.

The report called for an international tribunal to try the politicians and businessmen implicated in the violence.

A list of 10 suspects is to be given to the International Criminal Court by the mediators of Kenya's power-sharing deal if a court is not set up next month.

But the cabinet has avoided the topic since the report's release last month.

The BBC's Muliro Telewa in the capital, Nairobi, says the government's budget would be short of $500m if the EU did cut its aid.

President Mwai Kibaki of the Party of National Unity (PNU) and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga, now prime minister, signed an agreement in February to end the crisis and formed a coalition government.

More than 1,500 people were killed in the violence that engulfed the country after December's elections and some 300,000 more fled their homes.

Split

The EU's representative in Kenya Eric van der Linden told journalists that Kenya had no option but to implement the recommendations of the commission of inquiry into the post-election violence.

It was chaired by Justice Phillip Waki, who found that in some areas the violence was planned and organised with the support of politicians and businessmen.

When the report came out, both Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga pledged to implement its recommendations.

But in the intervening weeks, many politicians have split over the issue - supporters arguing it will put an end to impunity and critics insisting the report is flawed and full of hearsay.

Some also warn that any prosecutions could spark further clashes between communities, our reporter says.

The commission of inquiry was appointed following recommendations by the international mediation team led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Mr Waki handed over the sealed list of suspects to Mr Annan, who is to hand it over to the ICC in The Hague if the court is not set up as agreed.

Human rights groups have warned that the government cannot afford to ignore the findings of the inquiry if it wants to avoid a repeat.



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