- Senior UN human rights official has said that problems that led to violence following Kenyan presidential election must be attended to core as ahealing process.
Kyung-Hwa Kang, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, indicated that issues such as violations of socio-economic rights, land issues, large disparities between classes, marginalisation and exclusion require immediate attention as they are foundation of bloodshed that followed disputed polls whereby president Mwai Kibaki beat opposition leader Raila Odinga.
She said that "durable solutions to these problems will take determination and require broad participation from all sectors of Kenyan society."
Commissioner Kang also noticed that reforming existing constitution and police system as well as adopting new laws including on witness protection would be crucial.
"Implementation and action must replace evasion and denial," she said, adding she was encouraged to learn from meetings with Mr Odinga and other senior officials, that they were commitment to put recommendations of a report by Commission of Inquiry on Post Electoral Violence into practice.
She further said bearing in mind special recommendations pertaining to those who committed outrageous crimes following elections, "will be a critical test of the Kenyan political leadership in the struggle to end impunity."
While in Kenya, Commissioner Kang also visited Dadaab camp, where about 200,000 people, mostly Somalis refugees in exile, reside.
"Somalia is not a lost cause, ....It is a long-term cause, and one that will require stamina, creativity and a concerted effort by international community, civil society, and above all, Somali political leaders," she observed with great scrutiny.
She made reference to her conversation with a 17-year-old boy, whose entire life had been at the camp in north-eastern Kenya, who told her that only Somalis must solve conflict in their country, which had not had a functioning government since 1991.
"Any lasting peace in Somalia must be based on accountability and justice for the serious violations of human rights committed by all sides throughout the Somali conflict," she said.
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