Justus Nyang'aya: An important milestone, but the quest for justice should not stop here

Kenyans will only be able to close this regrettable chapter if all of the perpetrators are held to account
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The Independent Online

For more than four years, thousands of Kenyans have been waiting for justice following the violence that beset our country after the 2007 presidential elections. Yesterday's decision by the International Criminal Court that four senior political figures will stand trial is without doubt an important milestone for the victims of the attacks, described as "crimes against humanity". It has highlighted the fact that no one will avoid justice.

But the ICC ruling is just the first step in what should be a marathon of efforts to deliver justice and reparation to Kenyans. The survivors of these atrocities are eager to ensure that full and fair justice is delivered, and that all of the perpetrators involved in the atrocities will be held to account. This can only happen if these four accused are brought to trial swiftly and fairly.

During those trials survivors of the violence must not be sidelined. Not only must they be able to exercise their right to participate in proceedings – a right the Rome Statute accords them – but facilities must be provided to ensure that they can follow the progress of the trials taking place.

But this quest for justice doesn't stop with Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Joshua Arap Sang and Francis Muthaura. Kenyans will only be able to fully close this regrettable chapter of their recent history if all of the perpetrators are held to account. This means that the authorities in Kenya must follow the example of the ICC and open domestic investigations into abuses including the alleged killings, rapes, mutilations and severe injuries of civilians and hold those responsible to account. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Justus Nyang'aya is Amnesty International's Kenya Director