Community based Human Rights networks statement

Community based Human Rights networks statement

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE COMMUNITY BASED HUMAN RIGHTS NETWORKS
Friday, February 15, 2008

CONCERNED with the political developments in our country resulting from the disputed presidential elections that have triggered politically and ethnically instigated violence affecting most parts of our country and has resulted in the killings of over 1000 people, displacements of an estimated 300,000 people, a third of whom are children who should be in school, teachers and health workers that should be at their workstations alleviating the physical and emotional effects of the violence, and destruction of property worth billions of shillings and the economic effects that this continues to have which include the price hikes of basic commodities,
NOTING the polarisation, negative ethnicity, repression, governance crisis and more so loss of confidence in state institutions.

UNDERSTANDING as human rights defenders that the on going crisis has resulted to violation of fundamental human rights such as rights to life, human dignity, self determination, right to education, right to food, security, information, property, development, protection, freedom of assembly, expression and association, right to information as well as freedom of the press.

APPRECIATING the significant steps through mediation by the Annan led National Dialogue and Reconciliation committee.

WE representatives of the 21 Community Based Human Rights Networks drawn from all the regions of Kenya, purposely convened at the SavelBerg Retreat Centre to discuss the aforestated crisis, wish to outline our observation and proposed remedial measures that in our view will curb the recurrence of a similar scenario in future, while giving adequate redress to the current situations.

WE note with concern that incidences of politically, instigated violence have been experienced in the past especially to the run up to the general elections of 1992,1997 and now 2007.These incidences were generally viewed as state sponsored violence whose purpose was to dispel the increasing demands for comprehensive and people driven reforms. The current crisis took the form of political contestation. It is our observation however, that the driving force for all these clashes were similar. This includes among others:

1. Historical injustices dating back to colonial times especially with regard to distribution of essential resources such as land.
2. Failure to address the constitutional legal policy and institutional reforms in order to redress the above injustices.
3. Negative ethnicity perpetrated by the political class to achieve selfish ends. Tribal political mushrooming.

It is our believe that a permanent and lasting solution can and must be found. In this regard, we wish to declare our full support to the Annan led committee and the progress that has been made so far in regards to;

Constitutional, legal and policy and institutional reforms targeting.
a) The Electoral Commission, The Executive, The Judiciary, Parliament
b) Redress poverty, insecurity and general inequalities
c) Redress historical injustices dating back to the colonial period through a properly constituted and independent truth and justice commission
d) Find a political solution to the current crisis at local levels (division and District levels)
e) Ensure that the state takes up primary responsibility for the IDPs, with non governmental and faith based organizations only playing a complementary role, in dealing with IDPs adhere to the UN Guidelines on IDPs in the numerous IDP camps within Kenya and those in neighbouring countries
f) Note particularly that the state has a duty to safeguard and respect the interests of the IDPs as per the International Humanitarian laws that oblige the state and its agents to provide protection to all IDPs that have a well founded fear for not returning to their homes. The camps must not be closed down without respecting the humanitarian laws.
g) We demand that the state ensures that law and order is maintained by averting further violence (including that perpetrated by state agents) and destruction of property by distinguishing between genuine grievances and the exploitation of the ongoing crisis to resort to criminal activity for personal gain under the pretext of expressing genuine grievance
h) Ensure that in maintaining law and order, state agents do not resort to witch hunting and victimization of real or perceived political opponents,
i) That Hon. Mwai Kibaki and Hon. Raila Odinga must put Kenya’s interests before their own personal interests.

SIGNED BY:

1. Narok Human Rights Networks
2. Wajir Human Rights Network
3. Pro-Active Youth Group, Kangemi
4. Miss-Koch Initiative, Korogocho Nairobi
5. Isiolo Network Human Rights Network
6. Daniel Muoti-Centre for Human and Civic Education, Mwingi
7. I.D.P’s network-Transzoia KTC
8. Kinango Human Rights Network
9. Taita Taveta Human Rights Network
10. Mombasa Human Rights Network
11. Siaya Human Rights Network
12. Laikipia Human Rights Network
13. Mara River Resource Centre
14. Mukogodo Human Rights Network, Laikipia
15. Citizen Land Network, Kibwezi
16. Nyando Human Rights Forum
17. Human Rights Education and Outreach in Schools.
18. Kakamega Human Rights Network
19. Kwale Human Rights Network
20. Ndula Information and Human Rights Resource Centre
21. Mt. Kenya Human Rights Network.

Pambazuka 

Advertisements

1 Comment

  1. it strikes me, that the way to prevent such occurrences in Kenya as elsewhere is to implement & apply HR ED Literacy curriculum as promoted by the UN’s World Program’s first phase; “A plan of action for hr ed in the primary & secondary school systems,” unless this is put in place, why should any country, society, tribe, clan, culture, or individual behave differently, if the imagination is not alive to another way than business as usual, where the strong oppress the weak, & this is accepted simply as normal human nature—maybe with all this chaos & horror & Kofi Anan involved you could find a way to simultaneously put a hr ed program in place—in Chile on of the rationals for a program is, “in Chile no one knows their HR—& it’s the only way to insure against another Pinochet government, if the people know their HR,”—hopefully this will not come across as preachy or disrespectful & with more a tone of urgency—in the midst of chaos there is opportunity—all the very best in yours & everyones herculean task—nothing else has to date been effective anywhere.

    warmly,
    gershon


Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s