- Kenyan government has been urged to set up a special international tribunal that will prosecute people believed to be at the heart of post-election violence that claimed more than 1000 lives and displaced another more than 300,000 people.
This is one of key recommendations made by Kenya's commission, headed by Justice Philip Nyamu Waki, which investigated violence that followed 2007 general election.
Mr Justice Waki released report today as another by retired South African judge Johann Kriegler, whose commission investigated the conduct of general election, was tabled in parliament, Kenya's Daily Nation reported, saying both president Kibaki and prime minister Raila Odinga had promised that Waki report’s recommendations would be fully implemented.
Report attributes chaos that led to deaths of 1,133 Kenyans to tribalism, a culture of impunity and poor police conduct, which report called worst ever and “unprecedented” and “the most deadly and destructive violence ever experienced in Kenya.”
Local media also said report is highly critical of state and security agencies, claiming they were unprepared, uncoordinated and, in a number of cases, directly behind the violence.
Recommendations in the report, in addition to the international tribunal, are that there should be no general amnesty, as has been sought particularly by members of Orange Democratic Party headed by prime minister.
Among those said to face justice will be 10 prominent politicians and businessmen, who allegedly helped to fund and organise killings.
However, according to local media reports, their names will not be made public as yet and will instead be handed over this week to former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan in a sealed envelope, which is also said to be containing evidence linking those listed with violence.
Mr Annan, according to reports will hold onto envelope for safe keeping and pass it still sealed to tribunal when it is set up, which is expected to be established within next six months.
Damning report is also said to have suggested that only limited amnesty be offered to some minor offenders in exchange for truthful confessions and to help in arrest and prosecution of organisers and funders of violence, and of those who actually carried it out.
While report hit hard especially on Kenyan police and other state organs, it has also however observed that even though some of violence was planned, in other cases it was spontaneous.
The report is expected to be tabled before Cabinet next week Thursday, to which president Kibaki and prime minister Raila Odinga said would give ministers a chance to show way forward in implementing its recommendations.
Speaking today after receiving report, local media quoted the two saying that they were committed to ensuring that recommendations in the 500-page report are implemented.
“I believe that this report provides us with an opportunity to learn from the past in order to avoid future pitfalls. Accordingly, it marks an important step forward in our efforts to resolve the social and political challenges that have faced our country,” president Kibaki was quoted in Daily Nation.
Mr Odinga was also reported to have said many Kenyans and the country’s leadership was eager to read report, however arguing that Kenya cannot fully recover unless it understands exactly reasons for the post-poll chaos.
“We have and are still seeking reconciliation in this country, but this will not be possible until we know the truth. We hope we are going to find the truth in this report, which is going to set us free,” he told media.
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