News / Africa

Kenya Truth Commission Report Links Leaders to Abuses

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects the honor guard before the opening of the 11th Parliament at the National Assembly Chamber in the capital Nairobi, Apr. 16, 2013.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects the honor guard before the opening of the 11th Parliament at the National Assembly Chamber in the capital Nairobi, Apr. 16, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
A long-awaited report from Kenya’s Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) has linked several of Kenya’s leaders, including current President Uhuru Kenyatta, to abuses committed throughout the country’s history.  The commission has called for further investigation of those responsible for these crimes in an effort to bring closure.
 
After five years of research based on over 40,000 statements and 600 hearings across the country, the TJRC late Tuesday handed over its final report to President Kenyatta.
 
Formed in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 post-election violence, the TJRC was tasked with investigating human rights abuses committed by the state since Kenya’s independence in 1963.
 
Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, are both mentioned in the report, accused of inciting and financing the violence five years ago.  But the TJRC recommends no further action against the two, as they are already facing trial at the International Criminal Court on the same charges.
 
TJRC chairman Bethuel Kiplagat says the report aims to help the country move beyond the mistakes of the past.
 
“The whole purpose of the Truth, Justice, Reconciliation Commission is to find closure.  A closure to issues related to violations, gross violations of human rights, murders, rape, abduction, marginalization, whatever," he said.
 
Numerous public figures named

The report names hundreds of public figures accused of involvement in abuses ranging from economic crimes to political assassinations.
 
Chairman Kiplagat himself is named in the report for his alleged role in the 1984 “Wagalla Massacre” in which hundreds or possibly thousands of ethnic Somalis were killed by government forces at an airstrip in the northeast of the country.
 
Kiplagat, who at the time served in the government of President Daniel arap Moi, says he is willing to cooperate with any possible investigation.
 
“These are allegations, as far as I’m concerned, and though I am named, it says that it requires some investigation and this is very good, this is part of our laws, so I would be more than ready and willing for anyone to carry out investigation on those issues that have been raised," he said. 
 
The report notes that Kenya has made progress on many of the issues examined by the commission since it began its work, including the enactment of a new constitution that strives for more equal distribution of resources, and the formation of an anti-corruption commission.
 
Kiplagat says these institutions will help to implement the commission’s recommendations.
 
"If you want further investigation, you don’t do it, you ask the public prosecution to carry on with the investigation.  If there is an issue on land that needs to be further dealt with, you take it to the commissioner of land.  Let them do it, and hopefully, closure," he said. 
 
The TJRC calls for further action including an apology from the current government for the abuses committed in the past, and the establishment of a nearly $6 million (500 million Shilling) fund for reparations.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid