KNCHR POSITION ON AMNESTY FOR ALLEGED PERPETRATORS OF POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE

KNCHR POSITION ON AMNESTY FOR ALLEGED PERPETRATORS OF POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE
I. Introduction
Recently, a debate in Kenya has raged regarding whether persons arrested in the wake of the post election violence should be prosecuted or granted amnesty. These persons comprise mainly youths from Rift Valley, Nyanza, Coast, Central and Nairobi Provinces who are alleged to have committed diverse offences between December 27th and February 28th. There are conflicting figures as to how many youths are being held and the offences they are alleged to have committed. According to a statement attributed to Agriculture Minister Ruto, around 12,000 youths are being held in police and prison custody following the violence. However, the police dispute this figure and claim that less than 1000 people are in custody.
II. The different shades of arguments
1. One argument made, supporting the case for amnesty, is that by doing what the youths are alleged to have done, they contributed to the formation of the grand coalition government and it therefore does not make sense to have the youths languishing in jail while the politicians they ‘fought for’ enjoy power. It has also been argued that holding the youths in custody discriminates against the poor since politicians who mobilized the youths to those actions are themselves enjoying their liberty.
2. Another argument advanced is that ‘host communities’ are unlikely to cooperate with the return of the internally displaced people (IDPs) while their own sons are languishing in jail. It is a compelling argument from the point of view that the situation is still volatile in some of the regions with some locals threatening not to allow the IDPs to return. Indeed violence has broken out since the return of some IDPs in places like Molo. However this argument is countered by those who say that Kenyans have a right to property and to settle anywhere in the republic and the government should not be blackmailed into releasing alleged perpetrators on the pain of communities sabotaging the IDP return programme.
3. A third argument, rejecting amnesty, suggests that granting amnesty to the suspects would encourage impunity and threaten the rule of law. This would be tantamount to abolishing civilized society and going back to the rule of the jungle. This would also encourage organized violence.
III. Amnesty in other jurisdictions Continue reading

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CCP Meeting 16-05-08

MINUTES OF THE CCP MEETING HELD AT OXFAM OFFICES, SHELTER AFRIQUE HOUSE ON 16/05/08

CORE CORE GROUP MEMBER PRESENT


1. Amb. Bethuel Kiplagat

Matters Arising

Security at Internally Displaced Camps

Mathare

Security is a major threat in Mathare and as it is, there are gangs from both the Kikuyu and Luo communities terrorising residents. The gang leaders are known to the people of Mathare and so far, about 47 names of gang leaders are available.

There’s also a lot of destroyed property, both business and residential. A school/home was also demolished in the area leaving its patrons homeless and without a school to attend. Repair and construction of this school would cost approximately ksh 1.5m. CUPAK has tried to seek funding for this cause, but it has not succeeded.

Action

There is need to identify exactly where these gang members live and initiate dialogue with them in order to promote community policing within the area. The provincial administration can also be involved in this initiative.

A plea to the government to confiscate all manner of weapons from gang members and from the area as well would also be good. The setting up of two police posts in the locality would also be helpful, one at Mathare 4a and another at Kosovo.

CCP should seek building materials from well wishers and corporate organisations to rebuild these schools. Ambassador Kiplagat will seek assistance from St. Mark’s church.

Landlords/ Tenants of Mathare Continue reading

KENYA: Govt raises funds, resettlement ongoing despite hitches

KENYA: Govt raises funds, resettlement ongoing despite hitches


Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
Internally displaced persons (IDPs) at a camp in Eldoret, Rift Valley Province

NAIROBI, 13 May 2008 (IRIN) – The Kenyan government has raised Ksh1.46 billion (US$22.4 million) of the Ksh30 billion ($462 million) it says it needs to resettle at least 350,000 people displaced during the post-election crisis.

“The magnitude of the destruction caused by the violence was enormous; we will therefore require about 30 billion shillings to meet the full costs of resettlement, including reconstruction of basic housing, replacement of household effects, as well as rehabilitation of community utilities and institutions destroyed during the violence,” President Mwai Kibaki said on 12 May during a funding drive in Nairobi.

Kibaki helped to raise Ksh457,272,129 ($7 million), with donations mainly from government ministries and individual businesses, for the Humanitarian Fund for Mitigation of Effects and Resettlement of Victims of Post-2007 Election Violence.

On 5 May, the government launched a resettlement plan targeting 158,000 IDPs in camps across the country, which has seen some 85,000 IDPs resettled so far.
Continue reading

KENYA: IDPs in Central reluctant to return to Rift Valley

KENYA: IDPs in Central reluctant to return to Rift Valley


Photo: Waweru Mugo/IRIN
Samuel Ngumo Kamau and wife, Teresia Muthoni, and their three-week old baby

RURING’U, 23 May 2008 (IRIN) – Samuel Ngumo Kamau cannot dispel the images of burning houses and Kenyans killing each other from his mind – a key factor in his decision not to return to his home of nearly four decades in Burnt Forest area in Rift Valley Province.

Kamau, a father of 10, who hails from Kamuyu Farm in Burnt Forest, has little trust in the government, which he accuses of “watching and doing nothing” while armed gangs violently ejected him and thousands more from their rich agricultural lands soon after presidential election results were announced in December 2007.

Having experienced the same tortuous treatment every election year since 1992 when the region repeatedly bore the brunt of tribal violence, he feels “enough is enough”.
Continue reading

KENYA: Concern over increase in illegal arms after post-poll violence

KENYA: Concern over increase in illegal arms after post-poll violence


Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
A boy plays with mud pistols in Nairobi’s Mathare slum: The post-election violence in January and February led to an increase in illegal guns in circulation across the country

NAIROBI, 26 May 2008 (IRIN) – Very little has been done to check the increase in illegal guns in parts of Kenya that were hardest hit by the post-election crisis, an official of a peace and development NGO said on 23 May.

“The small arms problem is bigger at this point than at any other time in our country’s history, especially owing to the post-election violence, which created new markets for illegal arms more than ever before,” Mutuku Nguli, chief executive of the Peace and Development Network (Peace-Net), said. “The danger is these arms may not necessarily be in use currently but could be used for the wrong reasons in the near or distant future.”

Nguli said efforts to check the increase in arms had begun in parts of Rift Valley Province, with the expected induction on 28 May of 105 reformed Pokot warriors in West Pokot district. This, he said, follows the surrender of arms this month in West Pokot. Nine guns were recovered in the district in April, he said.

Nguli added that the arms surrender and induction of reformed warriors were some of the activities planned to mark the Global Week of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons from 2-9 June. Continue reading

Kenya: Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #13 (FY 2008)

Kenya: Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #13 (FY 2008)


U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)

Note: The last fact sheet was dated April 23, 2008.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

– According to USAID/OFDA staff, on May 5, the Government of Kenya (GOK) launched an initiative in Rift Valley Province to facilitate the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to pre-crisis lands. USAID/OFDA staff report that IDP returns appear to be voluntary and note no evidence of forced returns to date. However, USAID/OFDA staff report concern regarding the sustainability of recent returns in some areas and the lack of GOK coordination with the humanitarian community prior to the implementation of the return operation.

– On May 2, the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART) transitioned to an early recovery team, following improvements in Kenya’s political environment and stabilized humanitarian conditions in IDP camps and host communities. The demobilization of the USAID/DART reflects the shift from an acute emergency to early recovery in Kenya following post-election violence.

– USAID/OFDA will maintain a presence in Kenya to monitor the humanitarian situation; oversee USAID/OFDA-funded relief, early recovery, and disaster risk reduction programs; and facilitate coordination and information sharing regarding response and early recovery efforts.

NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
SOURCE
Conflict-Affected Population at Risk of Poverty(1)
2,000,000
The World Bank – January 18, 2008
Estimated IDPs in camps and centers
158,891
KRCS(2) – May 2, 2008
Estimated IDPs within host communities
196,000
NDOC(3) – March 26, 2008
Deaths(4)
1,020
NDOC – April 8, 2008
Kenyan Refugees in Uganda
2,000
UNHCR(5) – April 18, 2008

FY 2008 HUMANITARIAN FUNDING PROVIDED TO DATE

USAID/OFDA Assistance to Kenya: $9,223,232
USAID/FFP(6) Assistance to Kenya: $39,719,000
State/PRM(7) Assistance to Kenya: $10,843,105
Total USAID and State Humanitarian Assistance to Kenya: $59,785,337

CURRENT SITUATION Continue reading

CONCERNED CITIZENS FOR PEACE – CCP Report March 08

CONCERNED CITIZENS FOR PEACE

http://forums.rescuekenya.org/ccp/

Giving a voice to Kenyan citizens to engage and contribute in the creation of peace and hope

CCP REPORT

INTRODUCTION

Following the announcement of the disputed presidential elections and the subsequent violence, there emerged an urgent need to initiate a process that would have national appeal for calm as solutions were being sought. The Concerned Citizens for Peace (CCP) led by renowned mediators, peace builders and diplomats, was formally launched on 1st January 2008. It immediately emerged as a crucial vehicle for rallying Kenyans around the call for peace and dialogue. The initial step was to call upon Kenyans through the media to shun violence, and stop the killings and wanton destruction of property. CCP at the same time began making contacts with the leadership of the leading political parties, as well as encouraging international solidarity and support. As other initiatives emerged (the humanitarian response, religious leaders, civil society-led efforts and the national dialogue process, etc), the role of CCP in bridging the gap between these initiatives became important. CCP’s key initiatives can be grouped as follows:

  1. Supporting high-level political dialogue
  2. Creating public awareness by spreading positive messages to dissuade people from engaging in violence and retaliation
  3. Advocating peace through the mass media
  4. Encouraging dialogue at the grassroots level
  5. Linking civil society initiatives with the national dialogue and reconciliation process

These initiatives can further be categorized as Upstream, Middle level and Downstream activities.

UP STREAM supporting the top level mediation and dialogue process.

Continue reading