UN Expert calls for renewed efforts to protect and assist Kenya’s internally displaced persons as essential to conflict resolution and peacebuilding

Source: United Nations Human Rights Council

Date: 27 May 2008

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UN Expert calls for renewed efforts to protect and assist Kenya’s internally displaced persons as essential to conflict resolution and peacebuilding


Nairobi and Geneva, 27 May 2008 – “At this crucial beginning of recovery, special efforts by the government, humanitarian agencies and the donors are essential if the return of those displaced by the post-election violence is to be sustainable and compatible with international human rights standards. In the absence of substantially increased efforts, we will jeopardize the fragile process of building and restoring of peace in displacement affected communities.” This is the main conclusion of Walter Kaelin, the Representative of the UN Secretary General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, at the conclusion of his working visit to Kenya, from 19 to 23 May 2008.

The Representative commended the Government of Kenya, the Kenyan Red Cross, the international humanitarian organizations and the people of Kenya for the effective assistance and support provided to those living in camps since they were displaced by the post-election violence of December 2007 and January 2008. Today, the government’s effort to return the displaced from camps to their fields and homes (Operation Rudi Nyumbani) create particular challenges. These challenges include ensuring that returns are safe and voluntary, providing humanitarian assistance in the areas of return and at the transit sites, and restoring full protection of the IDPs’ human rights in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. Continue reading

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