Post Election Violence Victims in Western Kenya, Nyanza Province and other parts of the country still puzzled on the way the government can provide for them the justice that they have been seeking over what they through during post-election violence in 2007/8.
Today the Kenyan Government’s continues its failure by not properly investigating crimes committed during the 2007-2008 Post Election Violence and to providing justice and reparation for its victims, an Amnesty International report revealed.
In the Amnesty International report dabbed Crying for Justice, Victims Perspectives on Justice for Post Election Violence in Kenya provides powerful evidence of the ongoing suffering of the IDPs in the camp.
Sadly in Nyanza and Western Provinces the victims ware left out of all the benefits that the government lined up for all those who ware affected during the skirmishes but instead rewarded those who were affected from their backyard.
We have never been considered as those who were affected during the hard times that the Kenyan people walked in bloody route of the 2007/8, said Nelson Owegi Nyanza IDPs Chairman
Crying for Justice, Victims Perspective on Justice for the Post Election Violence in Kenya report which inclusively surrounds all those who were affected can now reveal the neglect by the Kenyan Government to her own citizens.
The report, based on interviews with victims of the violence and consultations with numerous Civil Society Groups, found that many victims are desperate for assistance to help them recover from injuries sustained and property and livelihoods destroyed in the violence which swept the country between December 2007 and February 2008.
Six years after post-election violence rocked Kenya, the victims are still awaiting justice. It is vital that their voices are heard and urgent action should be taken, said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
Many of the displaced have yet to be resettled or compensated, many of the injured or the families of those killed have yet to receive reparation to help rebuild their shattered lives and most of the perpetrators have yet to face justice.
They also found that failure by the police to investigate crimes has recently stated, after reviewing more than 4,000 files related to the post election violence, there was insufficient evidence to proceed with any cases. Given the government’s unwillingness to address impunity, most of the victims interviewed were supportive of the involvement of the International Criminal Court (ICC) despite the fact that the two current cases before the Court are limited in scope.
The Government has also initiated political efforts and supported efforts by the African Union (AU) to undermine the work of the ICC and stop the ICC’s cases, including: calling on the UN Security Council to terminate or defer the Kenyan cases before the ICC; promoting non-cooperation with the ICC; and proposing amendments that seek to undermine the effectiveness of the ICC.
Despite Kenya’s categorical failure to address fully the needs of hundreds of thousands of victims of the post election violence the report nonetheless finds that there remains potential to rebuild confidence in the justice system.
In the report Amnesty International is calling for the following :
Justice delayed is justice denied and the victims of Kenya’s post election violence have waited long enough, said Muthoni Wanyeki, Regional Director for East Africa at Amnesty International
Victims who met with Amnesty International were from some of the worst affected areas of the post election violence: Nairobi, Naivasha and Nakuru (Central Rift Valley), Eldoret (West Rift Valley), Kericho (South Rift Valley), Kisumu and Kisii (Nyanza).
They included internally displaced persons, victims of police shootings or their relatives, survivors of rape and victims beaten by groups of men, some of whom were suspected to be from the criminal gang and political militia known as Mungiki.
The report is based on in-depth interviews Amnesty International conducted with 49 victims of the post election violence from October to December 2013.
Of the 49 victims interviewed by Amnesty International, 35 had attempted to report the crimes they had suffered and in only one case did the police take action they said.
Many rapes have gone unreported and there are some estimates that as many as 40,000 incidents of sexual and gender-based violence linked to the post-election violence took place in the first few months of 2008, far higher than the 900 cases reported to the Waki Commission.
The police have conducted some investigations into post-election violence but only very few of the cases investigated have resulted in prosecutions and most of those were for minor offences.
Violence erupted between groups supporting Mwai Kibaki of the Party of National Unity (PNU), who was declared the winner of the presidential elections and his main rival Raila Odinga, leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and was particularly concentrated in Kenya’s Rift Valley and in the west of the country.
Two cases concerning the post-election violence are currently before the ICC. President Kenyatta and Deputy-President Ruto, who were both senior political figures at the time of the post-election violence, are accused of crimes against humanity including murder, forcible population transfer, and persecution along with Ruto’s co-accused, former radio journalist Joshua Arap Sang. President Kenyatta is also accused of responsibility for rape and other inhumane acts including forced circumcision and penile amputation carried out by the Mungiki, a criminal gang.
In both cases the Office of the Prosecutor alleges witness interference and intimidation, leading to a number of witnesses withdrawing. Many victims interviewed raised concerns that the charges in the two cases currently before the ICC do not cover the crimes they suffered.
The report also recommends that the ICC Prosecutor considers expanding its investigations into the 2007-2008 post election violence but notes that the ICC will never be able to prosecute more than a representative number of cases. The Kenyan authorities are ultimately responsible to investigate the crimes that the ICC does not address.
Many victims want to engage with the ICC’s cases and to be informed about the cases, even if they do not address their crimes.
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