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Most Kenyans Expect Justice for Post-Election Violence

by Christine Weigel

Majority support The Hague as the trial venue instead of Kenya

NAIROBI -- As International Criminal Court hearings continue this week to determine whether six high-profile Kenyans will stand trial for post-election violence in 2008, Kenyans are increasingly confident that justice will prevail. Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) Kenyans surveyed in 2011 believe those responsible for the post-election violence will be prosecuted, up from 46% last year.

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Six Kenyans, among them three government ministers and a former police chief, are accused of crimes against humanity -- including murder, forcible transfer, and persecution -- following the disputed elections in late December 2007. More than 1,300 Kenyans were killed and hundreds of thousands were displaced as a result of the violence. The hearings taking place in The Hague will confirm whether there is sufficient evidence for each man accused to stand trial and what the charges will be.

When asked where the eventual trial should take place, either in Kenya or The Hague, more than 6 in 10 Kenyans (62%) support The Hague as the venue. The push for The Hague may reflect Kenyans' lack of faith in their own judiciary and their belief that these senior politicians would not receive a fair trial at home.

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Kenyans are more likely to support The Hague over Kenya than they were in 2009, when a slim majority (52%) thought it would be fairer to try the people responsible in The Hague. At that time, no suspects' names were released.

Kenyans More Satisfied With Government, Expect Violence-Free Elections in 2012

Although the accused include allies of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Kenyans believe their coalition government is working better than it has in previous years. Their satisfaction with the coalition government's performance has nearly tripled from what it was two years ago, increasing from 14% in 2009 to 41% in 2011.

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This climate may further bolster Kenyans' increasing confidence that the violence that took place in 2008 will not happen after the next elections in 2012. Seventy percent of Kenyans say there will be no repeat of that violence, up from 53% in last year.

Bottom Line

Gallup's data show Kenyans increasingly confident that justice will be served and hopeful that future elections will be free from violence. Most Kenyans will likely watch the events taking place in The Hague over the next few weeks, with the hope for victims and their families to finally find closure and justice and for Kenya a long-awaited end to impunity.

For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries Gallup continually surveys, please contact or call 202.715.3030.

Survey Methods

Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted June 3-14, 2011, in Kenya. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3.9 percentage points. Results in 2009 and 2010 are based on surveys with approximately 1,000 adults each year. Respective margins of error for those surveys were ±3.7 percentage points and ±3.8 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

For more complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.


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