Forwarded By Leo Odera Omolo
The fates of Mr. William Ruto and Mr Henry Kosgey at their September 1 confirmation hearing at The Hague hinges on how they fight off charges that they commanded, financed and armed an unnamed Kalenjin terror network.
ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo will be arguing that Ruto and Kosgey, the MPs for Eldoret North and Tinderet respectively, held at least nine meetings at which the post-election violence was designed, and that the planning began in 2005.
Mr Joshua Arap Sang of Kass FM, the third suspect in the joint case with the two former ministers, will also face charges that he sat in meetings where the attacks were planned, and gave the coded orders in his broadcast programmes for the terror visited on Party of National Unity (PNU) sympathisers in various parts of the Rift Valley to commence.
In the Document Containing Charges (DCC) filed by Moreno-Ocampo Monday, he claims that the two MPs and Sang hatched a plot to punish and expel PNU supporters from specified areas in the North Rift region under a ‘common plan’ which had military command structure, logistical approach, and precision in execution.
The MPs were accused of financially supporting the attacks because they were allegedly the direct perpetrators of the heinous crimes. Ocampo also claimed part of the money Kosgey and Ruto raised was used to buy grenades.
“Ruto was crowned Kalenjin leader, which gave him the authority to decide on matters affecting the Kalenjin community,” said Moreno-Ocampo. He claimed given Ruto’s position as the Kalenjin leader, and Kosgey’s authority as his subordinate, the former oversaw attacks throughout the Rift Valley, while the latter oversaw attacks that were executed in Nandi District.
He also hints the violence was reinforced with support of other Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) MPs, whose party Kosgey was the chairman and Ruto one of the two deputy leaders.
“In December 2007, other ODM affiliated MPs participated in planning and financially supported the Post Elections Violence (PEV) attacks or otherwise attacks, or otherwise participated in preparatory meetings and even attacks in the Uasin Gishu and Nandi Districts,” argued Moreno-Ocampo.
He said Ruto was the single most authoritative ODM figure in the Rift Valley and therefore used existing structures and roles in Kalenjin society to create the network.
The ICC Prosecutor claimed authority was subordinated only to Ruto, but Kosgey acted in his absence. “Five commanders responded directly to Ruto or to Kosgey in his absence and they both ensured members of the network understood and believed in the common plan,” read the charges.
The network is said to have had a military component consisting of former members of Kenya’s military and police. This is the cadre, the Prosecutor will be arguing, advised Ruto on logistical issues, obtained weapons, identified financial resources and mobilized those who were to commit the crimes.
It is further claimed that in 2006 and 2007 the network also had a military structure that included three “Commanders” or “Generals”, all of whom reported to either Ruto or Kosgey.
“The Commanders were responsible for specific geographic areas in the North Rift, including the greater Eldoret area, Turbo town and Kapsabet town, the Central Rift area including Nandi Hills town, and the South Rift Area,” Moreno-Ocampo went on.
Ruto is claimed to have been the head of the Military Component and below him the three Commanders led in hierarchical order in their respective geographical areas. Each hierarchy contained a horizontal layer of subordinates and direct perpetrators.
Moreno-Ocampo further submitted that the two MPs controlled the alleged crimes by operating as the ‘hubs’ of the organisation.
They are further accused of obtaining information from groups in Rift Valley and sharing plans and information from group to group regarding targeted locations and reporting overall progress of the common plan.
Moreno-Ocampo further contends that Ruto and Kosgey garnered supporters to create the network, provided money and weapons to their subordinates and established a localised level of subordinates who were responsible for specific geographical areas.
Apart from establishing a functioning command structure; they also were accused of using events and specific language on Kass FM under the command of Sang to communicate with subordinates and direct perpetrators.
They also provided weapons, training; and imposed order by threatening punishment in case of insubordination. That meant there was near automatic compliance with Ruto and Kosgey’s instructions, he concluded.
Ruto, Kosgey and Sang and others are said to have ensured near compliance with their instructions by indoctrinating network perpetrators to accept and agree with the common plan by referring to PNU supporters in a derogatory manner.
They also allegedly ensured compliance by training direct perpetrators and creating localised coordination structures headed by local subordinates who ensured compliance in their respective areas.
Loyalty was also earned through paying subordinates and direct perpetrators; and instilling in the subordinates and direct perpetrators a fear of punishment if they did not participate.
“Ruto and Kosgey were mutually aware and mutually accepted that implementing their common plan might result in the realisation of the crimes charged,” said Moreno-Ocampo.
He further argued that they intended to commit the crimes charged, or were aware that crimes would occur in the ordinary course of events.
“As the leaders of the Network and architects of the common plan, which called for the commission of the crimes alleged, they had full knowledge that their actions would cause the crimes to occur as they did,” said Moreno-Ocampo..
He said the two MPs forged the common plan, and held preparatory meetings and events to plan and organise the attacks. Moreno-Ocampo will be telling the court Ruto’s awareness and knowledge was demonstrated by his anti-PNU rhetoric at meetings and rallies, inciting anti-PNU sentiment among the perpetrators.
Ruto statements to the network’s perpetrators were allegedly made to attack PNU supporters and expel them from their land, killing them if necessary.
“Ruto’s awareness and knowledge is through the requests to recruit ex-soldiers who were already trained,” said Ocampo.
He claims Kosgey’s awareness and knowledge was demonstrated through his meeting with Ruto to organise and plan for the expulsion of PNU supporters from the area. He also allegedly used derogatory language, directed at PNU supporters and used network perpetrators in advocating for the eviction of PNU supporters from the Rift Valley.
The Tinderet MP allegedly participated in plans for deployment, attacks and logistical arrangements by which reinforcements were co-ordinated between Uasin Gishu and Nandi districts. “Kosgey’s statement that financial assistance would be provided for, weapons, bows and arrows, transportation and food, or for use for bribes,” is cited as proof that he was aware of the pending crimes.
Ocampo said the awareness and knowledge of subordinates and direct perpetrators were demonstrated by their full integration into the Network, their attendance at meetings with Ruto and Kosgey where they received information regarding the planning, organisation, and logistics of the attacks.
Ruto and Kosgey, he will be arguing, should be held liable because of their commitment to listening to Kass FM radio which functioned as a communication tool for the network; and their provision of logistical assistance and or support for the attacks.
Widespread or systematic attack against members of the civilian population, within the specified areas are said to have taken place from December 30, 2007 through January 31, 2008.
Network perpetrators are said to have been responsible for nine attacks in different parts of the region while targeting PNU supporters.
“The direct perpetrators implemented the Network’s policy of attacking the PNU supporters to punish and permanently expel them from the Rift Valley by systematically inflicting fear, killing, looting, burning or otherwise destroying their property,” claims Moreno-Ocampo. He said their express purpose was to force PNU supporters in Rift Valley out using whatever means necessary, including the commission of crimes.
Uasin Gishu and Nandi Districts are said to have suffered the most with approximately 230 deaths recorded. The media, including Sang who served as a broadcaster on KASS FM, allegedly furthered the network’s organisational policy, both prior and during the attacks.
“Prior to the attacks, Kass FM broadcast propaganda against PNU supporters, broadcast the locations of preparatory meetings and events, and organised fundraising events that financed the attacks,” claimed Moreno-Ocampo.
He further alleged that at the preparatory meetings, the network designated specific persons to call into Sang’s programme and spread the network’s views.
“After the presidential election results were announced, Sang called on perpetrators to begin the attacks and broadcast coded language signaling that PNU supporters were to be attacked; and broadcast the locations where the attacks were to take place,” claimed Moreno-Ocampo.
He said that apart from Kass FM, financial support for the network was received from Ruto, Kosgey, ODM supporters, supporting organisations and businessmen.
“The financial component raised funds to compensate attendees at preparatory meetings, purchase weapons, purchase materials to make traditional weapons and to sustain attacks,” read the charges.
Tribal elders allegedly participated by supporting, planning, coordinating and conducting blessings all of which contributed to the attacks.