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Uhuru and Ruto unveil political alliance

03 December 2012, 07:54

Nakuru - Two key Kenyan politicians, both charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, launched a formal alliance on Sunday as running mates for the presidential poll in March.

Former rivals Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta will run for the presidency with ex-minister William Ruto as his deputy in the first polls since post-election violence in 2007-2008 killed at least 1 100 people.

Thousands of supporters cheered as the pair formally unveiled their alliance at a rally in Nakuru, some 150km northwest of the capital Nairobi, one of the worst hit areas by the post-poll ethnic violence.

"Our union is not to attack anyone, but to build Kenya," Kenyatta said, after dancing alongside Ruto on a stage in a packed football stadium. "Our work is to preach peace, and make sure there is no blood spilt again."

"The journey to unite the country has started," Ruto told the crowds. "We have the leadership that can bring Kenyans together... to build a country based on equality."

Both Kenyatta and Ruto must also stand trial at the ICC for their alleged role in having orchestrated the post-election unrest that also displaced more than 600 000 people.

Kenya, as a signatory of the Rome Statute of the ICC, would be forced to act on any arrest warrant issued by the court should the pair refuse to attend trial.

Kenyatta faces five charges of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, persecution, deportation and other inhumane acts.

Ruto faces three charges of crimes against humanity.

Both have proclaimed their innocence, remain free and have promised to co-operate with The Hague-based court.

- AFP

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