Republic of Kenya
Jamhuri y Kenya
Joined United Nations: 16 December 1963
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 21 November 2012
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due
to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates,
lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and
sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2012 est.)
President since 30 December 2002
President elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for
a second term); in addition to receiving the largest number of votes
in absolute terms, the presidential candidate must also win 25% or
more of the vote in at least five of Kenya's seven provinces and
one area to avoid a runoff; Vice President appointed by the
President; election last held 27 December 2007.
Next scheduled election: 4 March 2013
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
Stephene Kalonzo Musyoka
since 10 January 2008
Kibaki's reelection in December 2007 brought charges of vote
rigging from ODM candidate Raila Odinga and unleashed two
months of violence in which as many as 1,500 people died. UN-
sponsored talks in late February produced a powersharing accord
bringing Odinga into the government in the restored position of
NOTE- Under the new constitution, which entered into force
in August 2010, the president is still elected for up to two
five-year terms. However, following the next elections, the
post of prime minister—created as part of the 2008
compromise—will be abolished, and a new position of
deputy president will be established.
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, non-African
(Asian, European, and Arab) 1%
Protestant 45%, Roman Catholic 33%, Muslim 10%, indigenous beliefs 10%, other 2%
note: a large majority of Kenyans are Christian, but estimates for the percentage of the population that adheres to Islam or
indigenous beliefs vary widely
Republic with 7 provinces and 1 area; Legal system is based on Kenyan statutory law, Kenyan and English common law, tribal
law, and Islamic law; judicial review in High Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations; constitutional
amendment of 1982 making Kenya a de jure one-party state repealed in 1991
Executive: President elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); in addition to receiving the largest
number of votes in absolute terms, the presidential candidate must also win 25% or more of the vote in at least five of Kenya's seven
provinces and one area to avoid a runoff; election last held election last held 27 December 2007 (next to be held in December 2012);
Vice President appointed by the President; Kibaki's reelection in December 2007 brought charges of vote rigging from ODM candidate
Raila Odinga and unleashed two months of violence in which as many as 1,500 people died. UN-sponsored talks in late February
produced a powersharing accord bringing Odinga into the government in the restored position of prime minister. election last held 27
December 2007. Next scheduled election: 4 March 2013
Legislative: Unicameral National Assembly or Bunge (224 seats; 210 members elected by popular vote to serve five-year
terms, 12 so-called "nominated" members who are appointed by the president but selected by the parties in proportion to their
parliamentary vote totals, 2 ex-officio members)
elections: last held 27 December 2007 (next to be held in 4 March 2013)
Judicial: Court of Appeal (chief justice is appointed by the president); High Court
English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages
Although the regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa, Kenya has been hampered by corruption and by reliance upon
several primary goods whose prices have remained low. Low infrastructure investment threatens Kenya's long-term position as
the largest East African economy. The IMF halted lending in 2001 when the government failed to institute several
anticorruption measures. In the key December 2002 elections, Daniel Arap MOI's 24-year-old reign ended, and a new
opposition government took on the formidable economic problems facing the nation. After some early progress in rooting out
corruption and encouraging donor support, the KIBAKI government was rocked by high-level graft scandals in 2005 and
2006. In 2006, the World Bank and IMF delayed loans pending action by the government on corruption. The international
financial institutions and donors have since resumed lending, despite little action on the government's part to deal with
corruption. Post-election violence in early 2008, coupled with the effects of the global financial crisis on remittance and
exports, reduced GDP growth to 1.7 in 2008, but the economy rebounded in 2009-10. GDP growth in 2011 was only 4.3%
due to inflationary pressures and sharp currency depreciation - as a result of high food and fuel import prices, a severe drought,
and reduced tourism. In accordance with IMF prescriptions, Kenya raised interest rates and increased the cash reserve in
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Kenya)
Internal wrangling within the governing coalition has also negatively affected other crucial areas of governance, notably the
planned large-scale privatization of government-owned enterprises.
The 2007 presidential elections were largely believed to have been flawed with international observers stating that they did not
meet regional or international standards. Most observers suggest that the tallying process for the presidential results were
rigged to the advantage of the incumbent president Mwai Kibaki, despite overwhelming indications that his rival and current
Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga, won the election. In July 2008, exit polls commissioned by the US government were
released, revealing that Odinga had won the election by a comfortable margin of 6%, well outside of the poll's 1.3% margin of
There was significant and widespread violence in the country - Clashes in Kenya (2007–present) - following the
unprecedented announcement of Kibaki as the winner of the 2007 presidential elections. The two rivals were later united in a
grand coalition government following international mediation, led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, under a power-
sharing National Accord on Reconciliation Act, entrenched in the constitution. Following the agreement, power was shared
between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister, Raila Odinga.
"Majimboism" was a philosophy that emerged in the 1950s, meaning federalism or regionalism in Swahili, and it was intended
to protect local rights, especially regarding land ownership. Today "majimboism" is code for certain areas of the country to be
reserved for specific ethnic groups, fueling the kind of ethnic cleansing that has swept the country since the election.
Majimboism has always had a strong following in the Rift Valley, the epicenter of the recent violence, where many locals have
long believed that their land was stolen by outsiders. The December 2007 election was in part a referendum on majimboism. It
pitted today’s majimboists, represented by Odinga, who campaigned for regionalism, against Kibaki, who stood for the status
quo of a highly centralized government that has delivered considerable economic growth but has repeatedly displayed the
problems of too much power concentrated in too few hands — corruption, aloofness, favoritism and its flip side,
A draft constitution was published and Kenyans adopted it in a vote on August 4, 2010.
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of Kenya
Kenya served as an important mediator in brokering Sudan's north-south separation in February 2005; Kenya provides shelter
to almost a quarter of a million refugees, including Ugandans who flee across the border periodically to seek protection from
Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels; Kenya works hard to prevent the clan and militia fighting in Somalia from spreading
across the border, which has long been open to nomadic pastoralists; the boundary that separates Kenya's and Sudan's
sovereignty is unclear in the "Ilemi Triangle," which Kenya has administered since colonial times
Refugees (country of origin): 522,000 (Somalia); 20,528 (Sudan); 34,000 (Ethiopia); 11,500 (Democratic Republic of Congo)
IDPs: 250,000-350,000 (2007 post-election violence; KANU attacks on opposition tribal groups in 1990s) (2012)
Widespread harvesting of small plots of marijuana; transit country for South Asian heroin destined for Europe and North
America; Indian methaqualone also transits on way to South Africa; significant potential for money-laundering activity given the
country's status as a regional financial center; massive corruption, and relatively high levels of narcotics-associated activities.
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
2011 Human Rights Report: Kenya
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 25, 2012
Kenya is a republic with an institutionally strong president and a prime minister with unclearly defined executive powers. There is a
unicameral national assembly. In 2007 the government held local, parliamentary, and presidential elections. Observers judged the
parliamentary and local elections to be generally free and fair. In the presidential election, incumbent Mwai Kibaki was proclaimed
the winner by a narrow margin under controversial circumstances. Serious irregularities undermined the integrity of the presidential
election results. Raila Odinga, the main opposition candidate, disputed the results, and violence erupted in sections of Nairobi and
opposition strongholds in Nyanza, Rift Valley, Western, and Coast provinces. Approximately 1,150 persons were killed and more
than 350,000 displaced between December 2007 and February 2008, when the two sides agreed to form a coalition government as
a result of international mediation. Under the terms of the agreement, President Kibaki retained his office, and Odinga was appointed
to a newly created position of prime minister. The parties also agreed to undertake a series of constitutional, electoral, institutional,
and land reforms to address underlying causes of the crisis. In August 2010 citizens approved a new constitution in a national
referendum, widely considered to be free and fair. The new constitution includes significant institutional and structural changes to
the government. There were instances in which elements of the security forces acted independently of civilian control.
The most serious human rights problems were abuses by the security forces, including unlawful killings, torture, rape, and use of
excessive force; mob violence; and the abridgement of the right of citizens to change their government in the 2007 election.
Other human rights problems included police corruption; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention;
prolonged pretrial detention; executive influence on the judiciary and judicial corruption; arbitrary interference with the home and
infringement on citizens’ privacy; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, and assembly; abuse and forced resettlement of
internally displaced persons (IDPs); abuse of refugees, including killing and rape; official corruption; violence and discrimination
against women; violence against children, including female genital mutilation (FGM); child prostitution; trafficking in persons;
discrimination against persons with disabilities; interethnic violence; discrimination based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, and
HIV/AIDS status; lack of enforcement of workers’ rights; forced and bonded labor, including of children; and child labor.
Widespread impunity at all levels of government continued to be a serious problem. The government took only limited action against
security forces suspected of unlawful killings, and impunity in cases of corruption was common. Although the government took
action in some cases to prosecute officials who committed abuses, impunity--particularly in connection with human rights abuses
connected to post-2007 election violence--was pervasive
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2 September 2011
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
8 August – 2 September 2011
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under
article 9 of the convention
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial
2. The Committee welcomes the submission, although with a delay, of the initial to fourth periodic reports which comply with the
reporting guidelines and provide a critical assessment of the situation in the State party.
3. The Committee also welcomes the presence of a large and high-level delegation, led by the Minister of Justice, National Cohesion
and Constitutional Affairs, notwithstanding the demands occasioned by the current parliamentary work on the adoption of laws
implementing the new Constitution.
B. Positive aspects
5. The Committee welcomes the adoption of the new Constitution in 2010 containing a broad catalogue of human rights which lays
the foundation for the promotion of an inclusive multi-ethnic Kenyan society, addressing inequalities and eliminating discrimination.
The Committee also notes with interest the constitutional provisions aimed at instituting good governance in the State party.
Furthermore, the Committee notes with interest the legislative process undertaken by the State party to implement the 2010
Constitution and to bring its legislation into conformity with international standards.
6. The Committee welcomes the institutional and other measures taken by the State party to promote national reconciliation and
unity subsequent to the violence following the 2007 elections, to establish historical record of what happened, to prosecute
perpetrators, and to provide redress to victims. The Committee notes in particular the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry
on Post-Election Violence and of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission.
C. Concerns and recommendations
9. While noting that racial discrimination is outlawed in the State party and that the Convention forms part of its law, the Committee
regrets the absence of information on sanctions for acts of racial discrimination. Moreover, the Committee notes that while the
legislation explicitly prohibits discrimination in areas such as employment, it does not do so for other fields of public life where
discrimination occurs frequently, such as in housing. (art. 2 and 5)
The Committee wishes to receive information on sanctions applied for acts of racial discrimination. Moreover, the Committee
recommends that, in addition to legislation outlawing racial discrimination in general, the State party also address racial
discrimination in policies on employment and housing, as well as other relevant areas.
10. The Committee welcomes the opportunity to improve access to justice provided by the new Constitution, whereby competence
for hearing racism cases is no longer limited to the High Court and victims of racism can now access lower courts. The Committee
is nonetheless concerned that the limited awareness of rights by the population, and particularly the right not to be discriminated
against, as well as the limited accessibility of judicial remedies, will continue to prevent victims from seeking justice and reparation
through courts. (art. 6)
Recalling its General Recommendation No. 31 on the Prevention of Racial Discrimination in the Administration and Functioning of
the Criminal Justice System (2005), the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) sensitize the population, through mass education, about the legal prohibition of racial discrimination and about their right to
equality and nondiscrimination, as provided by the Constitution and other pieces of legislation;
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FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2012 REPORT
Political Rights Score: 4
Civil Liberties Score: 3
Status: Partly Free
The Kenyan government and civil society groups worked throughout 2011 to implement wide-ranging reforms stipulated in a new
constitution approved in August 2010. In April 2011, six prominent Kenyans—including Deputy Prime Minster Uhuru Kenyatta—
appeared before the International Criminal Court in connection with its probe of Kenya’s postelection violence in late 2007 and early
2008. In October, Kenyan forces moved into Somalia in response to abductions by Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab in Kenyan
territory, and a week later retaliatory grenade attacks in Nairobi killed one person.
In 2009, the government and legislature made little progress in addressing the postelection violence, prompting former UN secretary
general Kofi Annan—who had overseen negotiations for the 2008 power-sharing deal—to provide the ICC with a list of alleged
perpetrators, though the names were not made public. In March 2010, the ICC, having determined that Kenya was unable to bring
the alleged perpetrators to justice, initiated an investigation into crimes against humanity. In December, ICC prosecutor Luis
Moreno-Ocampo named six high-profile Kenyans, including Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, as the chief organizers of the
violence. Summonses for all six were issued in March 2011, and they appeared at The Hague in April. The Kenyan government and
the African Union have been lobbying for the charges to be dropped.
In a peaceful and well-organized August 2010 referendum, Kenyan voters overwhelmingly approved a new constitution that
delineated and checked the roles and powers of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. The new
arrangement particularly limited previously expansive presidential and other executive powers, and shifted some authority from the
central government to local officials.
In 2011, numerous legislative bodies, government commissions, and civil society groups worked to implement the far-reaching
reforms called for in the new constitution. These included the creation of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission
(IBEC), which became fully functional in late 2011. The IBEC is tasked with organizing the first presidential and parliamentary
elections since the flawed 2007 polls; these elections are scheduled for late 2012 or early 2013.
Kenya is not an electoral democracy. While there were few claims of irregularities in the December 2007 parliamentary vote, the
flawed presidential poll featured apparent vote rigging and other administrative manipulations that favored the incumbent, Mwai
Kibaki. In September 2008, an international commission found that the legitimacy of the election results had been undermined by
several factors, including a defective voter registry and widespread fraud. The panel’s recommended electoral reforms have yet to
be fully implemented. However, the conduct of the constitutional referendum held in August 2010 was considered legitimate and
competitive, indicating an improvement in electoral transparency.
Under the new constitution, which entered into force in August 2010, the president is still elected for up to two five-year terms.
However, following the next elections, the post of prime minister—created as part of the 2008 compromise—will be abolished, and
a new position of deputy president will be established. The unicameral National Assembly, which consists of 210 members elected
for five-year terms, 12 members appointed by the president based on each party’s share of the popular vote, and 2 ex-officio
members, is set to be replaced by a bicameral legislature. The upper house, the Senate, will have at least 60 members, while the
lower house is expected to number about 290 members. Ministers may not serve in the parliament, which will have the authority to
approve or reject cabinet appointments. Local authorities are to be granted heightened powers. The country will be divided into 47
counties, each of which will have a directly elected governor and assembly.
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Kenya’s candidacy for election to the UN Human Rights Council: Open letter
2 November 2012
We write on the occasion of your country’s candidacy for membership of the UN Human Rights Council in the elections scheduled
for 12 November 2012. Amnesty International has received a copy of and welcomes your election pledges to promote and protect
human rights at the national and international levels. We encourage you to ensure that these pledges are promptly made available on
the UN Human Rights Council elections web site.
We recall that, according to General Assembly resolution 60/251, members of the Council shall uphold the highest standards in the
promotion and protection of human rights and fully cooperate with the Council.1 On the occasion of Kenya’s candidacy, we take
the opportunity to comment on your election pledges and to note additional opportunities for your government to promote and
protect human rights. In doing so, we refer to the guidance of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on
presenting voluntary human rights pledges and commitments, including that such pledges and commitments should be specific,
measurable and verifiable.2
Commitments at the international level
Ratification of international human rights instruments
We take this opportunity to encourage you to ratify the international human rights instruments that are still outstanding, in particular
the First and Second Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Optional Protocol to the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from
Cooperation with the Special Procedures
All Members of the Council are requested to fully cooperate with the Special Procedures. In this regard, we note with concern
Kenya’s rejection of the 2009 report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, as well as the lack
of cooperation with the Special Rapporteur during his follow-up visit in 2011. We also note that six Special Rapporteurs are
currently requesting permission to visit, and we urge your government to facilitate these visits without further delay. In particular,
we urge you to extend invitations, as a matter of priority, to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; the
Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers; and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment. We further encourage you to extend a standing invitation to all Special Procedures and to
ensure full cooperation with them.
Cooperation with the treaty monitoring bodies
We note your commitment to honour your reporting obligations to the Treaty Bodies. In this regard, we urge you to promptly
submit the periodic reports that are due to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, including with respect to the Optional Protocol
on the involvement of children in armed conflict, and to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.3
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Kenya: Investigate All Politicians in Tana River Violence
Police Failed to Prevent Clashes Despite Warnings
September 13, 2012
(Nairobi) – The Kenyan authorities should investigate and prosecute those responsible for violence in the Coast Region over the past
month. The investigations should extend to organizers and politicians linked to the Tana River clashes in which more than 110
people have been killed and 6,000 displaced. Human Rights Watch conducted research in Tana River in late August and early
September, 2012, interviewing 16 witnesses and victims of the violence.
On September 12, Dhadho Godhana, a Member of Parliament, was arrested in connection with the violence, but recent Human
Rights Watch research suggests that at least three other politicians may have been involved. The investigations should include the
role of these politicians as well as government officials and police who failed to act to prevent the violence despite warnings that it
was imminent. Where there is evidence that those investigated committed criminal acts, they should be prosecuted, Human Rights
“For decades the Kenya police have failed to investigate politicians who may be implicated in serious crimes,” said Leslie Lefkow,
deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “If they are ready to do so now the authorities must be even handed and investigate
The at least 110 deaths, including nine of policemen, in Tana River County began with an attack on August 22 on the village of
Riketa. That attack led to revenge attacks on September 7, 10, and 11.
The Human Rights Watch researchers found that several local politicians may have been involved in organizing the violence and that
the police and local administration in Tana River failed to respond to reports from residents over the past six months that violence
could be imminent. Police are failing to provide adequate security as revenge attacks continue and communities continue to arm
Godhana, a member of parliament for the Galole constituency in Tana River county, was arrested in Nairobi, charged in court with
inciting the public to violence, and released on bond.
The violence in August and September was the culmination of smaller-scale attacks, cattle raids and counterattacks since January
between the ethnic Pokomo and Orma communities. Both communities have lost lives and livestock, but police either failed to
respond to the attacks or arrested people and then released them without investigations.
On the morning of August 22, up to 100 armed young men from the Pokomo community attacked Riketa, an Orma village,
surrounding the settlement and killing 54 people, mostly women and children. The attack displaced more than 200 families.
The attack was apparently in response to an earlier attack by members of the Orma on the Pokomo community of Kau in which
four people were killed. Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that the Riketa attackers surrounded the village, set fire to homes, and
used machetes to kill the inhabitants they found there.
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STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY HON. MWAI KIBAKI, C.G.H., M.P., PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN-CHIEF
OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 67TH SESSION
OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Kenya is at a time in its history that is full of hope for a bright future. Over the past ten years, our country has enjoyed a sustained
blossoming of democracy. In 2010, Kenya adopted a new Constitution. With that Constitution, we further secured the human rights
and civil liberties of our citizens and entrenched constitutional governance and justice.
Equally important, over the past ten years, we have scored significant victories against diseases including HIV and AIDS, Malaria,
Tuberculosis and other childhood and adult maladies.
Hundreds of thousands more children have found their way into school and many more adults have found new life skills through
training and capacity-building.
We have also pulled hundreds of thousands of Kenyans out of poverty and put them on the pathway to economic independence and
In doing this, we have also expanded our economic base - opening up new and extensive infrastructure, energy and information
The achievements in our country have been attained through the respect for the rule of law, sound policies, improved governance,
as well as open and innovative democracy.
However, as all Kenyans recognize, we still have a lot more work to do. Poverty, disease and unemployment still remain a big
challenge for us. Nevertheless, I am confident that we will seize opportunities to innovate and invest, and thus keep our country on
the road to even greater prosperity.
Kenya’s own wellbeing and prosperity is hinged on sustained peace, security, stability and inclusive democracy in our region.
Finally, Mr. President, it is important that as the community of nations, we invest in the peaceful settlement of international
disputes. However, we must invest first in the prevention of disputes and second, in addressing the root causes of conflicts such as
poverty, inequity, disregard for international law, disrespect for each other’s socio-cultural and religious beliefs, among others.
Only by addressing the root causes of conflict and disputes can we hope to find lasting peace in a just and equitable world.
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29 Days of Terror in the Delta
01 October 2012
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights is an independent National Human Rights Institution entrenched at Article 59 (4)
of the Constitution and operationalized vide the KNCHR Act No. 14 of 2011 with the core mandate of protecting and promoting
human rights in the country.
On or about 22 August 2012, KNCHR became aware of media and other reports concerning the conflict in Tana Delta and
surrounding areas which had occasioned egregious human rights violations. KNCHR commenced an inquiry into the matter. This
inquiry was framed in the context of section 8 (e) of the KNCHR Act which mandates us to on its own initiative or on the basis of
complaints conduct investigations or research matters in respect of human rights.
The objectives of the inquiry were:
a) To determine the causes of the violence in the region
b) To determine the nature and extent of human rights violations and identify relevant perpetrators
c) To assess the humanitarian situation in order to inform appropriate interventions
d) To assess the adequacy of the interventions of the State to stop the violence
e) To make appropriate recommendations on accountability for the violations and redress for the victims
KNCHR deployed teams to the region twice to undertake fact finding and conduct further investigations into the violations. The
teams spoke to more than 60 witnesses out of whom 28 agreed to record statements, interviewed government officers and other
stakeholders and visited the sites of the violations.
The outputs of the investigation were
• A detailed report with recommendations on accountability measures to effectively redress the violations and to deter future
• Analysis of the factors of the conflict;
• Comprehensive documentation of the events that took place and mapping of the patterns of violence where they occurred;
• Policy, legal and other recommendations.
Summary of findings:
Structural factors of the conflict include: uncertainty associated with the land tenure systems, minimal presence of security,
divergent land use needs;
Proximate factors of the conflict include: negative ethnicity; armed communities, clash for water resources, unemployment,
proliferation of small arms and light weapons,
historical injustices, existence of organized gangs, the main trigger of the conflict was the migration of herders in search of water
Human rights violations: Massive and egregious human rights violations were committed primarily by citizens and the State in those
circumstances failed in its primary duty to protect citizens from attacks through acts of omission and commission. During the
security operation, the government violated human rights by using torture to force citizens to give information about firearms and
gang members. This was however on a limited scale compared with similar instances in the past.
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ESCALATING POLICE KILLINGS BY CIVILIANS MUST BE CURBED
13th November 2012
PRESS STATEMENT ON THE ESCALATING INSECURITY IN THE COUNTRY AND THE KILLINGS OF POLICE
OFFICERS BY CIVILIANS
We, the civil society organizations under the auspices of the Police Reforms Working Group (PRWG) wish to send our deepest and
sincerest condolences to the families, relatives, friends and colleagues of over the brutal murders of 37 police officers who were
killed on Saturday November 10th 2012 in Baragoi following a botched operation to recover livestock. It is indeed sad that the
officers who were responding to the call of national duty can lose their lives in this manner. In this regard we commit to provide
counselling support to families and relatives who will be reporting to police headquarters and Harambee house this week to receive
briefings about their fallen relatives.
As Civil society organizations, we further wish to draw the attention of the public and the Government of Kenya to the recent and
alarming rise in the number of killings targeting members of Kenya police as well as other security support teams such as the
KPR/home-guards. Indeed, in the last two months or so Kenya has lost over 50 police officers most of who are stationed in the
so-called in marginalized areas of Samburu, the Tana Delta and Garissa as well as in urban cities in Mombasa and Nairobi. All these
officers were killed while undertaking the difficult task of providing national security, particularly in the areas of dealing with terror
threats in the country, banditry attacks, robberies, and the perennial cattle rustling menace.
We take this opportunity to wish the police officers undergoing medical treatment in various health facilities in the country a quick
and full recovery so that they may continue serving this nation diligently.
Members of the police reforms working group wish to state the following:
The vulnerability that the Police suffer as evidenced in their recent maiming and killings is a matter of national concern and indeed
a threat to our national security. As members of the police reform working group, we wish to categorically state that this trend is
unacceptable and must be urgently addressed by the President Hon. Mwai Kibaki and The Prime Minister Hon Raila Odinga.
There is an urgent need critical for a critical review of the linkages and protocols between the National Police Service and the
National Intelligence Service as well as the linkages and protocols between the security agents within the community security teams
including the Provincial Administration and Police Reserves. Indeed, the way our officers have been killed and maimed, which has
largely involved gang-land style ambushes and attacks, indicates that there is a gap in terms of intelligence gathering on the situation
on the ground, which has in turn led to poor levels of preparedness in responding to security situations on the ground.
There is a need for a critical evaluation of the police training curriculum as regards skills, knowledge, tactics and techniques. In this
regard, what is germane is to question whether the training for example takes into cognizance the realities of marginalized areas as
well as considerations of the influx of small arms and lethal weapons through our porous boarders. Which then raises the question:
Are the personnel deployed in the marginalized and resource-poor settings areas such as Samburu well equipped to deal with the
unique challenges such as cattle rustling and difficult terrain in that area? What kind of logistical support is offered to the police
who work in these areas and is that support both sufficient and relevant?
There is a need for accountability on the part of government on the current status of the disarmament programmes in pastoralists
areas. The current modus operandi of disarming also needs further interrogation so that the following questions are answered. a)
What programmes are in place to deal with the infiltration of small arms and lethal weapons in the country? (b) What is the arms
supply chain? (c) What hinders the government from actually arresting the issue of infiltration of these arms?
As members of the police reforms working group we demand the following:
The National Police Service commission develops a framework for implementation of police welfare issues as identified by both
the Kriegler Commission and the Philip Ransley Task Force. At the minimum, police officers should be well facilitated and insured
as part of the welfare package.
That the National Police Service responds decisively and effectively to curb this emerging threat to national security; where
civilians attack and kill police officers on duty. This way, the police service will restore confidence among the citizenry that it is in
control and can assure security especially as we approach the next general elections. However such decisive action aimed at
bringing perpetrators to book and normalizing the situation must be carried out within the confines of the human rights framework.
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Recent finds near Lake Turkana indicate that hominids like Australopithecus anamensis lived in the area which is now Kenya
from around 4.1 million years ago. More recently, discoveries in the Tugen Hills dated to approximately 6 million years ago
precipitated the naming of a new species, Orrorin tugenensis. Cushitic-speaking people from northern Africa moved into the
area that is now Kenya beginning around 2000 BC. Arab traders began frequenting the Kenya coast around the 1st century
AD. Kenya's proximity to the Arabian Peninsula invited colonization, and Arab and Persian settlements sprouted along the
coast by the 8th century. During the first millennium AD, Nilotic and Bantu peoples moved into the region, and the latter now
comprise three-quarters of Kenya's population. Swahili, a Bantu language with many Arabic loan words, developed as a lingua
franca for trade between the different peoples. Arab dominance on the coast was eclipsed in the 16th century by the arrival of
the Portuguese, whose domination gave way in turn to that of Oman in 1698. The United Kingdom established its influence in
the 19th century. A mean of establishing this influence was through the missionaries: the first Christian mission was founded on
August 25, 1846, by Dr. Ludwig Krapf, a German and missionary of the Church Missionary Society of England, who
established himself among the Mijikenda on the coast. He later translated the Bible to Swahili. The colonial history of Kenya
dates from the establishment of Imperial Germany's protectorate over the Sultan of Zanzibar's coastal possessions in 1885,
followed by the arrival of Sir William Mackinnon's British East Africa Company (BEAC) in 1888, after the company had
received a royal charter and concessionary rights to the Kenya coast from the Sultan of Zanzibar for a 50-year period.
Incipient imperial rivalry was forestalled when Germany handed its coastal holdings to the British Empire in 1890, in exchange
for German control over the coast of Tanganyika. The colonial takeover met occasionally with some strong local resistance:
Waiyaki Wa Hinga, a Kikuyu chief who ruled Dagoretti who had signed a treaty with Frederick Lugard of the BEAC, having
been subject to considerable harassment, burnt down Lugard's fort in 1890. Waiyaki was abducted two years later by the
British and killed. Following severe financial difficulties of the British East Africa Company, the British government in July 1,
1895 established direct rule through the East African Protectorate, subsequently opening (1902) the fertile highlands to white
settlers. A key to the conquest of Kenya's interior was the construction, started in 1895, of a railroad from Mombasa to
Kisumu, on Lake Victoria, completed in 1906. This was to be the first piece of the Uganda Railway. In building the railway the
British had to confront strong local opposition, especially from Koitalel Arap Samoei, a diviner and Nandi leader who
prophesied that a black snake would tear through Nandi land spitting fire, which was seen later as the railway line. For ten
years he fought against the builders of the railway line and train. Later, determined to continue the railway line, the British
assassinated Samoei. The settlers were partly allowed in 1907 a voice in government through the Legislative Council, a
European organism to which some were appointed and others elected. But since most of the powers remained in the hands of
the Governor, the settlers started lobbying to transform Kenya in a Crown Colony, which meant more powers for the settlers.
As a reaction of their exclusion from political representation, the Kikuyu people, the most subject to pressure by the settlers,
founded in 1921 Kenya's first African political protest movement, the Young Kikuyu Association, led by Harry Thuku. From
October 1952 to December 1959, Kenya was under a state of emergency arising from the Mau Mau rebellion against British
colonial rule. Despite British hopes of handing power to more "moderate" African rivals, it was the Kenya African National
Union (KANU) of Jomo Kenyatta, a member of the large Kĩkũyũ tribe and former prisoner under the emergency, which
formed a government shortly before Kenya became independent on December 12, 1963. A year later, Kenyatta became
Kenya's first president on the establishment of a republic. After local and foreign pressure, in December 1991, parliament
repealed the one-party section of the constitution. Multiparty elections in December 1992, gave the President's KANU Party a
majority of seats, and Moi was re-elected for another five-year term, although opposition parties won about 45% of the
parliamentary seats. Kenyan democracy movement did scatter before the elections, which helped KANU to retain power
unilaterally. Further liberalisation in November 1997 allowed the expansion of political parties from 11 to 26. President Moi
won re-election as President in the December 1997 elections, and his KANU Party narrowly retained its parliamentary
majority. Constitutionally barred from running in the December 2002 presidential elections, Moi unsuccessfully promoted
Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's first President, as his successor. A rainbow coalition of opposition parties routed the ruling
KANU party, and its leader, Moi's former vice-president Mwai Kibaki, was elected President by a large majority. Kibaki's
NARC coalition splintered in 2005 over the constitutional review process. Government defectors joined with KANU to form a
new opposition coalition, the Orange Democratic Movement, which defeated the government's draft constitution in a popular
referendum in November 2005. Kibaki's reelection in December 2007 brought charges of vote rigging from ODM candidate
Raila Odinga and unleashed two months of violence in which as many as 1,500 people died. UN-sponsored talks in late
February produced a powersharing accord bringing Odinga into the government in the restored position of prime minister.
Elections for president and the legislature are scheduled for 4 March 2013.
Source: Wikipedia: History of Kenya
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Raila Amolo Odinga
since 17 April 2008