Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kenya: - No Amnesty for Poll Violence Offenders

The Nation (Nairobi)
15 October 2008

The Commission into Post-Election Violence (Cipev) has recommended the setting up of an international tribunal to try post-election violence offenders.
In a report handed to President Kibaki on Wednesday at Harambee house by commission chairman Justice Philip Waki, Cipev implicates top politicians and the police in the violence.

President Kibaki has ordered the report to be released immediately.
Cipev was mandated to investigate the facts and circumstances related to the post-election violence and the actions or omissions of State security agencies and make recommendations.
The commission is said to have received shocking evidence of police brutality and indiscriminate shooting of ordinary Kenyans, sexual attacks and refusal to investigate crimes that were committed during the post-election mayhem.
It recommends major reform of the security agencies

No amnesty

The report also recommends there be no amnesty for people accused of serious crimes during the post-election violence. Instead, it proposes that a special international tribunal to prosecute suspects should formed within six months.
However, the report says it may be necessary to consider an offer of amnesty to some minor offenders in exchange for truthful confessions and assistance in the arrest and prosecution of the planners, organisers, funders and, in the case of security agencies, the perpetrators of the violence.
The report says immunity from possible prosecution and lack of accountability were responsible for the chaos and hat the language of "forgive and forget" will only help to breed more chaos in future.
It traces the history of election-linked violence since the advent of pluralism in 1991 and says the criminal gangs and their sponsors commit crimes in the knowledge that nothing will happen to them.
It says, for example, that the Kiliku and Akiwumi reports on the violence in the 1990s were trashed by the Moi Government thus emboldening the warriors in and around the Rift Valley and others that had sprung up elsewhere in the country.
Consequently, the Waki report says it is imperative to guard against further encouragement of the culture of impunity which would happen if blanket amnesty were granted to all and sundry.

No comments: