The AU and ICC's disagreement over the 2007/8 Kenya's post-election violence : a challenge to post conflict reconstruction in Africa.
Ever since the unprecedented post-election violence that rocked Kenya in 2007/8, a lot of ink has been poured in explaining its causes and how to avert future recurrence of similar violence in Kenya. To-date, many commentators have turned their attention to the AU’s discontent on the ICC process in post-2007/8 Kenya. However, what has conspicuously moot in their literature is the impacts of the AU and the ICC’s disagreement on post-conflict peacebuilding and reconstruction. In one way or another, many analysts have either faulted/supported the AU or the ICC. This study seeks to fill in the gaps left in the existing literature by analysing the lingering threats of the AU and the ICC disagreement on post-conflict peacebuilding and reconstruction in Kenya. This study acknowledges that neither the rectificatory justice that the ICC seeks to promote nor the alternative solution that the AU suggests(withdrawal or deferral of the cases facing Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto at the ICC) can sufficiently address post-conflict peacebuilding and reconstruction in Kenya. The study argues that the causes of the 2007/8 PEV are rooted in a history of social, economic and political exclusion of other tribes practiced by all post-colonial regimes: use of tribalism in appropriating privileges to tribes affiliated to the presidential office. What transpired during the 2007/8 PEV underscores that violence is a process, not an event. Although violence may be unprecedented, it is a product of a history of actions and decisions of political process. In offering an attempt of addressing the causes of the 2007/8 PEV, firstly, the study sees both the approaches of the AU and the ICC as lacking. In doing so, the study warns that by maintaining their functional based stands, the AU and the ICC are inflaming and widening ethnic disharmony, discord and polarization in Kenya. Secondly, by problematizing the usefulness of the AU and the ICC (function-based institutions) in post-conflict peacebuilding, the study through negative-positive peace and horizontal inequality frameworks argues that the AU and the ICC stands on post-2007/8 PEV Kenya are tenable, if and only if, the ethnic division, polarisation, politics of domination and seclusion, land injustices and poor governance in Kenya need to be addressed. The study proposes addressing ethnic inequalities, politics of domination and seclusion, land injustices and discriminatory governance, healing of the ethnic hostilities as the most effective approaches of mitigating the simmering cauldron of election-related violence in Kenya.