NAIROBI, Kenya - A solution to the dispute over the presidential election must be found "for the sake of Kenya and its people and for the sake of Africa," the former United Nations chief said yesterday.
Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan will try to bring President Mwai Kibaki and his main challenger, Raila Odinga, together after the Dec. 27 election that foreign observers say was deeply flawed.
"I am confident that, in this crucial endeavor, we can count on the will, maturity, resourcefulness, and judgment of the leaders," Annan said.
Hours earlier, the opposition accused the government of "crimes against humanity" and said it would file a complaint with the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Both sides have traded accusations of who is behind the postelection violence, and each side has accused the other of genocide. The death toll has reached 685, the government said yesterday.
The complaint with the International Court will be about "the abuse of rights by the police in this country," and will name Kibaki, Cabinet ministers, and the police commissioner, said Anyang Nyongo, secretary general of Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement.
"The complaint states that crimes against humanity and state-sponsored terrorism are being committed by individuals as part of a systematic plan to target selected civilian populations in pursuit of political goals," Nyongo said.
It was not clear whether the complaint would result in an investigation. The court has looked into information sent to it by groups citing abuses in places ranging from Iraq to Ivory Coast, but has not yet opened a formal inquiry based on such tips.
The court also investigates complaints by the UN Security Council or countries that signed the treaty that created it in 2002. The court has launched formal cases in just four countries: Sudan, Congo, Uganda, and Central African Republic.
The ICC Office of the Prosecutor noted in a statement that Kenya was a party to the statute establishing the court, and that it "considers carefully all information relating to alleged crimes within its jurisdiction . . . regardless of the individuals or group alleged to have committed the crime."
The election returned Kibaki to power for a second five-year term, with official results putting Odinga in second place. Odinga accused Kibaki of stealing the vote.