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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid