IMLU – Preliminary Report – Military Operation in Mt. Elgon

PRELIMINARY REPORT OF MEDICO-LEGAL INVESTIGATION OF TORTURE BY THE MILLITARY AT MOUNT ELGON

“OPERATION OKOA MAISHA”

April 2008

An Investigative report by the

Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU)

Released by:

International Commission of Jurists-Kenya Section

Child Legal Action Network

IMLU

Executive Summary

Since the January post election violence and subsequent mediation and resultant national accord by the political elites there continues massive appeals on reconciliation by the grand coalition government behind the scenes the government has and continues to engage in massive infringement of fundamental rights of historical proportions never witnessed before on the civilian population in Mount Elgon district and surrounding areas.

The much touted joint military operation that has been conducted under the secrecy veil since early march 2008 and has resulted in mass arrests and subsequent prosecution of over twelve hundred persons and most of the persons arraigned have raised complaints of torture and exhibited injuries that remain to be accounted for by the state, the government has on its part termed allegations of torture as propaganda and argued that no complaints have been lodged with relevant agencies. Government denial has three stages, starting with saying torture did not happen, continuing by saying that what happened was something else, and finally saying that what happened was justified for the protection of national security or some other purpose.

Currently denial, passivity, and indifference exist and the government through the minister of defence has alleged that the torture was perpetrated by the local residence a clear admission of acquiesce by the state in condoning torture.

This report seeks to independently analyse and make public findings by a joint team of medical and legal professionals and seek to hold to account all relevant agencies involved and bring to book all individual perpetrators of the crime.

It is apparent that a crime against humanity has been committed and continues to be committed on a civilian population that has been victim of atrocities by the SDLF1 for more than one year.

This work has been made possible thro the tireless sacrifice by IMLU Doctors and other members of the Kenya medical association, the Law Society of Kenya North rift branch, the international commission of jurists-Kenya section and countless human rights defenders within the region.

Finally, the report makes recommendations for proper and conclusive investigations in the interest of truth and justice following this great misfortune to our beloved country. It is our hope that such tragedies can quickly become a thing of the bitter past and all perpetrators are brought to book.

IMLU Report mt_elgon-2

IMLU

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