Kenya/NPWJ: progress report on Kenyan post-election violence investigations released

27 Mar, 2008 | Press Releases

Today, 27 March 2008, during a press briefing at its headquarters in Nairobi, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) released its progress report to the Kenyan people on its investigations into the post-election violence. The investigation, which has been ongoing since January 2008, is being conducted by the KNCHR in partnership with No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ)which has provided similar conflict-mapping expertise in Sierra Leone, Kosovo and Afghanistan,and focuses on serious violations of human rights and international criminal law committed during the post-election period. This report details progress made to date on determining what happened and who may be responsible for violations of human rights law, Kenyan criminal law and international criminal law, calling on Kenyans with information about alleged perpetrators, particularly those at the highest levels, to come forward and share that information. The report further calls for an end to impunity, an end to rewarding violence and on the Government to fulfil its responsibility to end the humanitarian plight of the Kenyan people.

NPWJ is providing support with all aspects of the investigative operations, including training and expert assistance to the teams of investigators that the KNCHR has dispatched over the past two months in more than 70 locations in those areas of Kenya where the majority of violence was suffered, as well as to Uganda. During those visits, the investigative teams visited hundreds of people, in IDP camps and elsewhere, gathering an impressive 1,000 statements that recount more than 4,500 separate episodes of violence, many of which reveal a range of violations of human rights, Kenyan criminal law and international criminal law. Many of these violations are similar to those witnessed during electoral periods in Kenya since 1992, prompting the KNCHR to state that “the current generation must say no to impunity; our leadership must bold enough to “follow truth wherever it may lead” unless we want to go through the same again or worse in 2012 and beyond”. The shield of impunity must be lifted from protecting the planners, supporters and perpetrators of violations so they can be brought to justice and so that violence is no longer rewarded in the political, electoral or State processes in Kenya..

Declaration by Sergio Stanzani, President of No Peace Without Justice:

“We fully support and underscore the KNCHR’s call for accountability highlighted in the progress report released today. This is a significant time in Kenya’s post-violence recovery, given that Kenya’s Cabinet is in the process of being determined pursuant to the political power-sharing agreement reached earlier this month. As stated in the report, NPWJ would like to stress that there must not be any reward for violence and that those who are convicted of violations committed during the post-election violence should be barred from holding public office or positions of public trust, such as government or police positions.

“Kenya is a country at the crossroads, with the potential to move forward to a peaceful future where the root causes of this latest round of post-election violence have been eliminated, yet the cloud of potential impunity still hangs over the country. We hope and anticipate that the work currently being undertaken by the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights together with NPWJ, investigating and documenting the violence, will be the foundation for the work of any accountability mechanism that is determined to play its part in the restoration of peace through justice and truth.”

For more information, contact Alison Smith, Coordinator of the International Criminal Justice Program, on or Nicola Giovannini on or +32 (0)2 548-3910.