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.

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OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 10, 05 – 12 March 2008

OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 10, 05 – 12 March 2008


HIGHLIGHTS

– Security forces strike at Sabaot Land Defence Force militia in Mount Elgon area
– Differences emerging over power-sharing pact
– Cautious return of IDPs in Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia districts
– Most Kenyan refugees at Ugandan transit site ask to be moved
– Schools, camps hosting IDP children need sanitation facilities urgently

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

While there is optimism for permanent peace in Kenya due to the power-sharing pact signed between the Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), a new row is brewing over the powers of the president, vice president, prime minister and deputy prime ministers.

Announcing the structure of the new coalition on Monday, Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura said the president would remain head of state and government and would retain powers to appoint the prime minister and his two deputies and cabinet ministers. However, the ODM balked at this saying Muthaura did not have the mandate to interpret the agreement. The disagreement, unless clarified, could awaken raw public feelings tempered by the signing of the accord 28 Feb.

The mediation teams from both parties have been holding talks to address Agenda Item No. 4, which focuses on long-term issues and solutions. Discussions under this Agenda item will examine and propose solutions for long standing issues such as, inter alia:

– Undertaking constitutional, legal and institutional reform
– Tackling poverty and inequity, as well as combating regional development imbalances
– Tackling unemployment, particularly among the youth
– Consolidating national cohesion and unity
– Undertaking land reform
– Addressing transparency, accountability and impunity

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1,500 flock to Uganda camps – 18 Feb 08

1,500 flock to Uganda camps

More than 1411 Kenyans who have fled the country after the eruption of post election violence have camped at a Ugandan camp, some 60km from Busia Town. Ms Yumiko Takashima, head of the UNHCR office in Uganda, said the refugees at the Mulanda Community Polytechnic Instructor’s College came from as far as away Kibera slums in Nairobi, while others were from Eldoret, Mt Elgon, Busia, Malaba and Nakuru. Ms Takashima said those fleeing were of different ethnic backgrounds. He assured them that Mulanda was safe for all of them. “We have decided to set up temporary tents with the hope that peace will return in Kenya so that those who have been displaced can go back to their homes once negotiations that are being headed by former UN boss Kofi Annan are complete,” she said.

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