NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta held a rally Saturday attended by thousands to celebrate the withdrawal of the crimes against humanity charges against him, his deputy president and others at the International Criminal Court.
The rally was opposed by opposition leader Raila Odinga and some members of civic organizations who say it does not respect the suffering of the victims of violence in which more than 1,000 people died and 600,000 others were evicted from their homes following a disputed presidential election in late 2007.
Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto, who were on opposing sides of the conflict, said that their coalition is a testimony to their commitment to reduce tensions between the political and ethnic groups.
Others whose ICC charges were withdrawn and who were present at the rally at the Afraha Stadium in the Rift Valley town of Nakuru include former police commissioner Maj. Gen. Hussein Ali, politician Henry Kosgey, senior civil servant Francis Muthaura, and broadcaster Joshua Sang. Ruto said they were framed and insisted on their innocence.
Cases against Ruto and Sang were the latest to collapse at the ICC. ICC judges declared a mistrial against the two last week. Charges against Kenyatta were withdrawn in December 2014. ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has blamed threats to witnesses, bribery and government interference for the collapse of those cases. While declaring a mistrial for Ruto and withdrawing charges against Kenyatta the ICC said cases could be re-opened if there is new evidence. Kenyatta said at the rally it was the end of the cases.