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: 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

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.

Continue reading

Women still a target as Kenya’s social wounds gape

Women still a target as Kenya’s social wounds gape


By Lisa Ntungicimpaye

NAIROBI, April 24 (Reuters) – More than three months have passed since youths stormed Mary’s home in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, slashing her leg with a machete as she fled.

But the single mother of five still shudders at the thought the men may hunt her down again, rape or kill her because she belongs to a rival ethnic group.

To the outside world, life in Kenya may have returned to normality as a power-sharing accord drew the line under some of the worst tribal clashes since independence from Britain. But for Mary and others like her, the terror goes on.

‘We all used to live together. We don’t know where this evil comes from,’ said the 49 year old, nervously fingering the gash in her leg that has yet to heal.

With no sign yet that the rule of law is returning to her neighbourhood, the Kikuyu woman fears her Luo neighbours may come after her again. She is too afraid to give her last name.

Besides more than 1,200 people killed, 300,000 were uprooted and hundreds more sexually assaulted in the wave of violence and reprisal attacks triggered by President Mwai Kibaki’s disputed re-election in December.

As is often the case, women and children were prime targets: the United Nations said the rate of reported rapes doubled during Kenya’s crisis. The youngest victim was 1 year old.

Continue reading

OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 14, 03 – 09 Apr 2008

OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 14, 03 – 09 Apr 2008

HIGHLIGHTS – Civil unrest as power-sharing talks break down – Diplomats and donors warn of aid cuts if peace deal is not implemented – Growing concern over rising food prices and inflation – $189 million Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan launch on 14 April – Deal agreed to ensure IDP children can sit national exams The information contained in this report has been compiled by OCHA from information received from the field, from national and international humanitarian partners and from other official sources. It does not represent a position from the United Nations.

I General Overview Protests and violence erupted in Nairobi’s Kibera slum and Kisumu on 8 April following the Orange Democratic Movement’s suspension of power-sharing talks. A 40-member Cabinet was due to be announced on 6 April but disagreements resurfaced over the sharing out of ministries. European Union diplomats said aid will be cut until the peace deal is fully implemented. Inflation rose to 21% in March. The impact is greatest on the poor. WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran expressed concern over rising farm input and food prices as she toured IDP camps on 3 April. Some have called for subsidies to avert riots over food prices as witnessed elsewhere in the world. Human Rights Watch accused the army and rebels of torture and extra judicial killings. The alleged spiritual leader of Sabaot Land Defence Forces Jason Psongoywo was charged with promoting war like activities. Planned evictions from the Mau Forest caused hundreds to flee to Narok trading centre.

II. Humanitarian Situation Continue reading