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ICC Seeks to Recruit Kenyan Vernacular Interpreters

Posted by Administrator on April 5, 2012

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking interpreters from four local communities likely to feature prominently in the trial of four Kenyans accused of masterminding the 2007/08 post-election violence.

Jobs are available for Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, Kalenjin and Kiswahili freelance field interpreters as the ICC prepares to start the trial of four Kenyans charged with crimes against humanity.

The posts are only part of heightened activity as the court focuses on the Kenyan situation, which has the highest number of suspects standing trial.

The court has also advertised for the position of an Information Technology (IT) security officer to man its electronic documentation systems.

The prime job – coming with Euros 65,276 annual salary (about Sh600,000 a month) – is posted on the ICC website, and comes in the backdrop of alleged hacking of the court’s IT systems.

Apart from IT security officer’s position, also on offer is the position of deputy prosecutor, communications officer, legal officer and field operations co-ordinator.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Eldoret North MP William Ruto, former Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura and radio presenter Joshua Sang’ are waiting summonses to The Hague-based court after a Trial Chamber was constituted by the Court Presidency.

Following the turn of events, there has been heightened activity in regions where the suspects hail, with some seeking to have the trials postponed.

Petition for postponement

Late last month, leaders from the wider Central Kenya region under the Gikuyu, Embu and Meru Association (Gema) held a meeting in Limuru, Kiambu County, and resolved to petition for the suspension of the trial till after the General Election.

They agreed to collect five million signatures from supporters to petition the UN Security Council to postpone the cases.

A similar political rally was held in Eldoret on Tuesday during which several Kalenjin leaders also vowed to mobilise supporters to petition for postponement of the cases. They pledged to stand by Mr Ruto throughout the process.

Mr Sang has opted to remain silent, as has Mr Muthaura.

On its part the ICC has indicated that public statements and community petitions will not stop the process. “Sentiments by communities expressed outside the court process will not work. Only reasons with sound legal basis can have the trial judges postpone the cases,” said ICC spokesman Fadi El Abdallah.

Members of the Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya and Kalenjin are likely to form the majority of witnesses and even victims.

The crimes of murder, deportation or forcible transfer of persons, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts were allegedly perpetrated either through or against members of these communities following the disputed 2007 presidential election.

In the case against Uhuru and Muthaura, Kikuyu youths constituting the Mungiki were allegedly used to kill members of the Luo and Luhya communities in Naivasha and Nakuru.

In the Ruto and Sang case, the Kalenjin were allegedly part of the network used to kill and evict the Kikuyu and other PNU supporters from parts of the Rift Valley.

For an ICC job, one has to undergo rigorous and security vetting. Under the ICC policy, nationals of States that are signatory to the Rome Statute or those engaged in the accession process should preferably fill staff positions. Nationals of other states may, however, be considered.

Guidelines for application

The ICC also seeks to balance gender representation for all positions in accordance with the statute.

“All interested applicants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the guidelines for application prior to submitting their candidature,” says the ICC website.

The applicants are required to create a profile on the ICC website in order to submit their applications.

Successful applicants would then be on call when needed to work on various ICC missions in the Kenyan situation.

The ICC field interpreters will work for the court’s interpretation and translation sections and the language services unit of the Office of Prosecutor.

In addition to knowledge in either of two ICC working languages – English or French – and relevant computer programmes, the interpreters must possess degrees in either interpretation, translation, linguistics or law or any related fields and relevant experience in formal interpretation.

Successful candidates are then placed on a roster. Their deployment, however, is always dependent on their suitability for particular a mission based on their personal profiles and objectives of the missions.

The trial chamber is also expected to receive names of new victims wishing to participate in the cases.

A few weeks ago, the ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo raised an alarm that unidentified persons had hacked the court’s e-mail accounts and were threatening and intimidating potential witnesses.

Attorney-General Githu Muigai acted quickly and directed the Police Commissioner to investigate the allegations.

The AG told a news conference in Nairobi that he had received the complaint from Mr Ocampo.

Move to recruit

Following police investigations, freelance journalist Dennis Itumbi was later arrested but released after four days without charges.

On Thursday, it was not clear whether the move to recruit an IT security officer had any connection with Ocampo’s concerns.

The application must, however, be submitted by April 19, this year.

The successful security officer will have his/her job cut out, as it entails, among other duties, to investigate, analyse and review breaches of security controls and prepare recommendations for appropriate improvements.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000055677&cid=4&ttl=ICC%20seeks%20to%20recruit%20vernacular%20interpreters

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