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32 Years of Recycling: The Vital Moments of Uganda at 56 Celebration in the words of Bosco!

Well, there wasn’t much news or much breaking news in the midst of this Independence Day Speech. However, when it comes to Bosco or Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, he is the king of recycling. I will not even go into that. I don’t have the time or the bother to address it. We want to live and breathe too. Museveni is himself to a T, but that is not securing the state, but solidifying his position. He is really showing his revenge and his wish for all control in this speech. This wasn’t a speech of statesman or a father of a nation. Not that he is either of those, he is the guy that made a coup d’etat and wasted what he inherited by the ones he overcome.

So, with that in mind, Yoseri from Ankoli, what’s up?

A Snippet of the Independence Day Speech:

On the side of stability, I want to assure Ugandans of their security. The country is generally secure and peaceful, save for the persistent threats and incidents as well as violent criminality. Uganda had a lot of challenges even after the NRM took power. Eventually, by 2007, the UPDF totally defeated Kony, ADF, the other rebel groups and disarmed the Karimojong. Some of the terrorists of ADF as well as other criminal elements, seeing that they could not survive in the rural areas, infiltrated into the towns where we had not fully focused in terms of developing intelligence capacity. As a consequence, we had 7 Sheiks assassinated as well as Major Kiggundu, Joan Kagezi, AIGP Kaweesi Susan Magara, Abiliga and Kirumira of recent” (Museveni, 09.10.2018).

That he said he has defeated Kony and LRA is not true, they are just not in his territory. The LRA are still existing to a degree and causing havoc in the Central African Republic. Neither is the destruction of the ADF, which he always blames for crimes and terrorism in the Republic. They are even blamed for the death of Kirumira and who knows for Abiriga, when that comes up. ADF are still in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Therefore, these security measures are not fulfilled, secondly all these assassination and killings are not proving that the Republic is safer, but otherwise. Certainly, no one can say that Operation Thunder in the DRC in 2008 was a success, only if you rewriting history and forget losing a military helicopter over nothing.

An extract of what was said at the CCTV Launch:

These killers must be afraid that Uganda is rising, which is why they are murdering our people to scare us. However, we shall defeat them. People who trust God like me are never shaken by lice. When you want to wage war, you should come and declare. The Killers have touched the Leopard’s tail and the will see. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water. They came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”…But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” The killers in town do not have the capacity to fight, but to hide like mosquitoes. This forced us to install cameras, to be our nose, ears and eyes. I was even able to see those who eat sugar canes and litter the streets.” (Museveni, 09.10.2018).

Certainly, he pounds on security and today he unveiled the CCTV Cameras and the Surveillance Centre of the state, which was new on Independence Day. It is a nice effort after promising for dozens of elections and plenty of rallies over the years. That he finally could show it off. However, this is not the ones that solves all crimes. If so, in the city of most CCTV Cameras there wouldn’t be crimes committed or even unsolvable crimes, alas, there is and the Kampala Metropolitan Police should co-operate with London Metropolitan Police to learn from their years of experience and how to use the CCTV. Because they are the city with the most cameras.

Clearly, this has all hurt his pride, as he knows these killings are leaving a deadly stench on his hands. As the old sins are buried, but not forgotten, however, easier to get away with. Now, the fresh wounds are in the open and these mechanisms can make him look a bit good, however, that train is a bit late. The flight has already taken-off and his time is over. It is just like he doesn’t accept that, as the President thinks he can still micro-mange things. Nevertheless, he cannot, because he even back-talk what people are doing.

He even talked down people eating sugarcane and if your complaining about littering and garbage in the streets, why haven’t you made a substantial budget, put in the efforts to give money and polices to clean Kampala and secure that the waste is already gone? You haven’t even invested in bins or garbage trucks. So, let this people eat their sugarcane, not like you cared before you watched for a hot minute today on the screens.

Bosco, should get serious, but that opportunity has left us a long time ago. He is just winging it and hoping it doesn’t fail him. Spending on cronies and wasting government funds like there is no tomorrow. Peace.

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My letter to President Museveni: Uganda at 56, what is there to celebrate today?

Oslo, 9th October 2018

Dear honourable, His Excellency, the fountain of honour and anything else, high and mighty, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni!

I am writing this simple and short letter to you, as the Republic is celebrating that it went from being a protectorate of the British to become an own independent state. These 56 years has been rocky, and you have been the longest lasting leader and the only one being supreme for this long. You have had all control since 1986. That is 32 years of the 56 years. Which is a long time in power.

Today is a hard day to celebrate, as the problems of the independence are still there, the same issues. Maybe people have cell phones and internet, maybe some have businesses and there are more influence from abroad, but development as whole isn’t that bright. The weakest currency in the area, growing debts and lack of a positive future. As the black gold and the secrecy of deals, is the stuff that only you know off.

If they stand up to you, they get imprisoned, get detained and arrested, they get tortured and charged for crimes against the state, your security forces quell demonstrations and riots, your security forces kills civilians and you accept that. It is hard to see freedom in that, as well, as all agreements and transactions has to be accepted by the State House, meaning you.

Nothing is done without you, the orders from high above, the orders of destruction, the orders of loans and the orders of arrests. These are all done on favours for your and the company you keep.

The citizens aren’t free today, they are limited and the limitations you have given them. It is your boundaries and your micro managing that controls them. Mr. President, they are not liberated. They are liberated from the Crown of England, the Commonwealth of the United Kingdom, but they are not free from toils, sweat and tears. They are not free from tyranny and oppression. Instead of being an white man who is sanctioned from London to monitor the Protectorate, there is a guy in the State House doing the same. That is why Besigye was detained like a colonial criminal in Moroto, to get him away from the Baganda. That is the reality.

Instead of developing a better future for the generations to come, you will be remembered as the man who did the same as the ones before him. Just for his own personal greed of power and wealth, while keeping the public poor. Instead of remembering the achievements and programs like the Ten Point Program, you will be remembered for the tyranny and the oppression, the acts of contempt for rule of law and justice. The rigging and the lack of succession.

They will never really be free as long as everything is by decree from you becomes law, the other institutions and government organizations are your mere foot soldiers. That is maybe what you wished for, when you said your were the only man with a vision, now everyone is following your visions blindly.

Best regards

Writer of Minbane

The Gods Must Be Crazy: That Museveni deserved bigger responsibilities!

The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”C.S. Lewis

I don’t know about you, but me and Bosco’s God must be two different animals, different deities or even another spiritual power. Because the God he talks off, cannot be the same God I am worshiping and praying too. That the President has to power to know and explain of other people’s lies, but not his own. As the President should be blessed, because he took a chance and joined Nyerere’s war against Idi Amin. That is the story he is telling. The Pre-Bush-War of the 1980s, was a God-Given opportunity for him now. That is really something else. Not that we mere mortals are able to understand gods ways, but the way of war, the way of killings and civil war that went on for years. Doesn’t seem so holy, unless your in the same evil spirit as Joseph Kony and his Lord Resistance Army. Alas, he is praising God for giving him the power of taking parts of FRONASA and later making NRA to defeat Obote and UPC/DP with the guns.

Just look!

Museveni said it was because of this diligence, that God looked at him and thought he would be deserving of bigger responsibilities.” “Because I fulfilled that little trust of Mwalimu, taking a big risk, God said; ‘I think this man should get more trust.’” The President added, “When we talk of oversight don’t think of these MPs. Think of God because he is looking at you, whatever you do, whatever lies you tell.” (Wasawa, 2018).

That is why I have a big issue with this statement, because who is he to say, that God would give more trust in him, because he took a risk? Where in what scripture is this mentioned? In what sort of warfare passage and lack of love was this mentioned? Was it the Shiva who said this to him?

That he mismatches God with his ego, says how much he believes in himself. When he uses spirituality and faith to base his place. That is like saying it is Gods will for him to still reign, even if that is surpassing all his promises to step-down and his promises not to change the Constitution. This is from a man who lies constantly and not keeps his promises. A man who micro-managing and not trust an another living human being. That person is saying God said he should get into a position of bigger things.

And the method he has done that, has been by guerrilla warfare, been by manipulation and deceptions, been by corrupting and consolidating all powers within himself. That is what he has done. Therefore, instead of trusting in people, he know is saying his powers is in-directly God given. Even if he took it by the gun and living by the gun. That is the mere fact and he should accept that.

Bosco shouldn’t involve God in it, he knew what he did and what purpose for his actions. That isn’t Godly, but because of human attributes of greed and ego. Because he was the only man with a vision, the only man who could and since then. No one else have had the ability, because he has stifled them, arrested them, tortured them or sent them into exile. This is the man, that says God saw bigger things in him.

Bosco isn’t King David, neither is he King Solomon, no, he is just Yoseri or Yoweri who took it all and trying to make himself holy. It doesn’t work. We can all see and we all knew what went down. The bodies are buried and gone, but we have to remember them. Because they are the reason for why this man is in power. Peace.

Reference:

Wasawa, Sam – ‘God Made Me Leader Because I Was Trustworthy – Museveni’ 08.10.2018 link: https://chimpreports.com/god-made-me-leader-because-i-was-trustworthy-museveni/

Footage: Olara Otunnu speech on Ugandans forgetting history as it is “living in the moment” (25.02.2017)

Ruto asks Raila to come clean on graft (Youtube-Clip)

“But even as Odinga defended himself, deputy president William Ruto led Jubilee leaders in challenging the cord leader to be more open on whether he had personally benefited from corruption schemes in the country. The leaders especially want Odinga to explain whether or not, he abetted Mumias sugar company financial woes” (Kenya Citizen TV, 2016)

Kenya: Press Statement on the Status of the Recruitment of Chairperson, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (21.11.2016)

kenya-eacc-nov-2016

Advocacy Brief on Kenya: 15th Session of the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 16-24 November, 2016 (21.11.2016)

kptj

Background

At the height of the violence that gripped Kenya after the disputed 2007 elections, the Party of the National Unity and the Orange Democratic Movement, who were parties to the conflict, wrote to the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking its intervention to stop what they called genocide. A local investigatory commission with international participation found that some actions during the post-election violence likely met the threshold of crimes against humanity and recommended the establishment of a Special Tribunal for Kenya, or in the alternative, the handover of the sealed evidence to the Prosecutor at the ICC.

Efforts to establish the Tribunal were defeated by political forces aligned to suspected perpetrators, hence triggering the handover of evidence to the ICC and the subsequent investigation. Six Kenyans were named in connection with seven crimes against humanity charges; the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II confirmed charges against four suspects. Two suspects – Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto were subsequently elected President and Deputy President, respectively, before their trials could begin at the ICC. Thereafter, the Prosecutor withdrew charges against two suspects – Francis Muthaura and Kenyatta – citing witness bribery and intimidation, as well as failure by the Kenya government to cooperate with the court. The remaining case against Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang was terminated citing “intolerable levels of witness interference and political meddling”.

Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ) has followed closely the developments around accountability for the crimes committed during the 2007 post-election violence. Since the opening of the investigations in March 2010, we have observed certain shortcomings and challenges on the part of the Government of Kenya, the ICC, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) and the African Union (AU). This brief seeks to focus on key issues emerging from the situation that the ICC and international justice finds itself in today, while drawing linkages from how the Kenya cases and other ICC cases were managed. KPTJ also makes recommendations on actions that require to be undertaken by the ASP, the ICC and African governments in order to address the emergent challenges.

  1. Engage and Withdraw Simultaneously?

A Contradiction in the Mandate of the AU Open Ended Committee

  1. The 27th ordinary session of the African Union’s assembly in July 2016 issued a decision on the ICC[1] pursuant to a similar one from the previous session[2]. Besides praising the court’s termination of the case against Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto, the AU outlined a five-point agenda for the Open-Ended Committee of Foreign Ministers on the ICC, which included the following:
  • Engaging with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) before the January 2017 AU Summit and before the 15th Assembly of State Parties in November 2016.
  • Maintaining the earlier decision from January 2016, to develop a comprehensive strategy to inform the actions of AU member states that are party to the Rome Statute; a strategy that includes collective withdrawal from the ICC.
  • Concluding a review of the ICC’s interpretation of Article 93 of the Rome Statute regarding the compulsion of unwilling witnesses to testify, with a view to inform debate at the 15th
  • Conveying the message that AU member states object to the inclusion of language requiring the UNSC to mandate UN peace-keeping missions to enforce arrest warrants in Africa.
  • Utilising the AU Mission in Brussels, Belgium, as the secretariat to the Open-ended Ministerial Committee and provision of institutional support to the African Group in The Hague, Netherlands, to ensure effective coordination of its activities.
  1. The AU has since held a meeting with the UNSC in September 2016 to present pre-formulated terms developed by the Open-ended Ministerial Committee as conditions to keep African States as parties to the Rome Statute. These conditions were as follows[3]:
  • Immunity under the ICC’s Rome Statute for sitting heads of state and government as well as senior officials;
  • Intervention of the ICC in cases involving African states only after those cases have been submitted to the AU or AU judicial institutions; and
  • Reduction in the powers of the ICC Prosecutor.
  1. Recent developments have seen South Africa, Burundi and The Gambia commence processes to withdraw from the ICC; seemingly as part of actualising the intention cited in the agenda of the Open-ended Ministerial Committee. These actions expose the agenda by the AU to be disingenuous and presupposes that the deliberations within the ASP would be futile.. The wave of withdrawals occurs against a counter-wave of support for the Court by countries including Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana[4]; an indication that the strategy for mass withdrawal does not enjoy the consensus suggested by the AU decision of July 2016. These countries have suggested that concerns expressed by African states are not insurmountable and can be addressed within the framework of the ASP. Their support for the ICC underscores the fact that the obligations under the Rome Statute are State obligations and not AU obligations; as such, decisions on withdrawal will be based on national interest that cannot be assumed by the AU.
  1. Furthermore, the strategy for AU member states to withdraw undermines the other outlined agenda items of engagement with the ASP, such as the review of the interpretation of Article 93 of the Rome Statute and the enforcement of arrest warrants. Such contradictory actions raise the question of whether the AU is negotiating ICC reforms in good faith.
  1. In light of the foregoing, KPTJ recommends that:
  • African States abandon and disregard calls for mass withdrawal from the Court and instead consolidate the member bloc to advance their concerns within the bounds of the ASP in deliberations based on good faith.
  • African states should continue to publicly reaffirm their support for engaging with the ICC through the ASP and prevail on the AU to adjust its engagement strategy accordingly. We applaud the statements made by Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana.
  • An ICC Liaison Office should be established at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa to facilitate more productive and sustained communication between African States and the ICC as part of restoring a relationship that has become plagued by mistrust and misunderstandings.
  1. Absence of Accountability?

Peace, Security and Stability

  1. The characterisation of the ICC as undermining the peace and security of states or threatening their stability has become a recurring theme by those advocating disengagement or withdrawal from the ICC. In its notice of withdrawal, South Africa claims that its aspirations for the peaceful resolution of conflicts were being hindered by its obligations under the Rome Statute[5] to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir when he attended the June 2015 AU Summit in Johannesburg. Kenyan government officials have also previously described the cases against Kenyatta and Ruto as an existential threat to peace and stability.
  2. A closer scrutiny of this assertion in the face of ongoing conflict situations suggests the contrary. The absence of accountability processes does not necessarily facilitate peaceful resolution of conflicts; the South Sudan and Burundi conflicts instead point to protagonists willing to escalate violence, even in the context of peace negotiations. Burundi and The Gambia have commenced processes to withdraw from the ICC at a time when their respective governments stand accused of acts of repression and mass human rights violations. Rather than advance the cause for peace, the clamour for withdrawal from the ICC is playing into the hands of those wary of the prospects of accountability in the aftermath of conflict. Even more concerning is an apparent trend of rising post-election violence, such as that witnessed in Kenya previously and in Gabon currently, or violence stemming from efforts to instal third-term incumbencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi. Such trends are bound to persist in the absence of mechanisms for accountability, of which the ICC is a critical component.
  3. The assertion that the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (African Court) and its proposed expanded criminal jurisdiction through the Malabo Protocol would fill in any void created by a mass withdrawal from the ICC is erroneous. The African Court is a distant prospect for addressing the impunity gap: it is far from being operational. Since 2013, only five states namely Benin, Kenya, Congo, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania have signed but not ratified the Malabo Protocol, which requires the ratification of 15 states to begin operations. Kenya is the only state thus far that has made a financial pledge of USD 1 million to operationalise the court — a far cry from the resources required for a court of broad jurisdiction consisting of a mandate on human rights as well as international law and interstate disputes. It has previously been estimated that a singular international criminal trial costs USD 20 million to undertake. In addition, the protocol contains contentious provisions that undermine its viability as an alternative platform for international crimes, the most notable being the clause of immunity for sitting heads of state and senior government officials. As a testament to the inability of the African Court to be an immediate replacement of the ICC as desired by some, even South Africa through its Justice Minister has indicated that it will ask for a review of the Malabo Protocol to address contentious issues. Furthermore, limited progress has been made towards establishing national mechanisms that can sufficiently undertake the obligation of accountability for international crimes.
  4. KPTJ recognises the pursuit of justice in conflict and post-conflict settings as an essential pillar of rebuilding democracies and restoring rule of law. These are the pathways to lasting peace, security and stability. Rather than push to void international justice mechanisms after the conflict to facilitate mediation, we recommend that:
  • African states fully implement and consistently apply already established norms on democracy, peace and security as a preventative measure to conflict including: the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and; the African Governance Architecture.
  • African states must critically reflect on and address the issues of the African Court’s capacity, accessibility, legal standards outlined for crimes under international law and expunge provisions conferring immunity on sitting Heads of State and senior government officials. This process must not be rushed or predicated on a manufactured crisis precipitated by a strategy of mass withdrawal from the ICC.
  • African states should establish robust and credible national mechanisms to address the accountability question at first instance and in complementarity with regional and international mechanisms. They must also broaden their policy considerations to include comprehensive reparation programmes for victims of international crimes.
  • Disparity between State Obligations and Reality?

A look at State Cooperation

  1. The Kenya and Sudan cases have exposed the frailties within the Rome Statute framework in as far as state cooperation is concerned. These cases have laid waste to the presumption that States will willingly engage with the court in the face of cases seeking to prosecute sitting heads of state, their deputies or powerful elites in close proximity to power. State cooperation has only demonstrably worked in instances where the target for prosecution is a vanquished foe of conflict as seen in the cases of Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire, that are fast advancing a notion of “victor’s justice”. This challenge is further compounded by the fact that the final recourse for addressing the lack of state cooperation rests with the ASP. The ASP being a political organ of the Rome Statute is influenced by political rather than purely legal considerations in making its decisions, which makes the issue of resolving the non-cooperation of states problematic. A final challenge to state cooperation is the failure of the United States, China and Russia to ratify the Rome Statute while also being members of the UNSC with the power of referral of matters to the court. This has created the notion of double standards within the international justice system and emboldened other states to disregard cooperation with the court.
  2. KPTJ calls on the members of the UNSC who have not ratified the Rome Statute to display leadership on State cooperation with the court by first ratifying the Statute and utilising its discretion on referral and deferral in a manner that adheres to the objectives of the Statute. We further wish to reiterate that state cooperation must denote effective cooperation that facilitates the mandates of the respective organs of the court and not feigned cooperation which creates the perception of facilitating the court but in fact consists of using procedural and technical obstacles to undermine the court. We call on the ASP to adopt a consistent and objective legal standard in the assessment of state cooperation.
  3. Are there lessons to be learned?

Taking stock of the experience in the Kenya cases

  1. The Kenya cases and the manner of their termination carry critical lessons for consideration to inform future actions by the court and the content of reforms within the strategic plans of its respective organs. The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) as well as the bench on various occasions decried the instances of witness tampering and intimidation as well as non-cooperation by the state in responding to the OTP requests for information and a failure to execute ICC warrants of arrest with respect to three Kenyans suspected of witness tampering. This in fact has led to a finding of non-compliance against Kenya and led to its referral to the ASP under article 87(7) of the Rome Statute. In the midst of all this, was an unprecedented and disruptive diplomatic effort that deliberately exerted political pressure on the court with a view to influencing the outcome of the Kenya cases. It is arguable that these diplomacy efforts yielded the concession of excusing President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto from continuous presence at their trial and that the current wave of withdrawals from the ICC on the basis of an apparent bias by the court against Africans are a fallout from these diplomatic efforts. The capitulations of the cases have also pointed to significant flaws in the investigative and prosecutorial approaches that informed the development of the cases and must lead to some introspection from the relevant mechanisms. The fact that the Trust Fund for Victims is yet to commence operations in Kenya cannot go without mention.
  2. KPTJ urges all the organs of the court to reflect on these experiences and take due cognisance of the following lessons and recommendations:
  • The ICC, particularly the ASP, should do more to ensure that it does not allow political statements to interfere with the judicial independence of the Court.
  • The ICC should ensure that it takes steps to respond to messages of a political nature and correct inaccurate statements in a timely manner. In addition, it should ensure that such key messages reach the right audiences, including victims and affected communities.
  • The Court should continue to build its relationship with African States that openly support the mandate of the ICC; in addition, the ICC should do more to improve its relationship with, and image at, the AU.
  • The Trust Fund for Victims should commence operations in Kenya, as victims have received little to no assistance from the Kenyan government.
  • The Prosecutor should carefully consider when to request ‘summons to appear’ as opposed to ‘warrants of arrest’ and take into account the individual circumstances of each accused person in doing so, particularly their potential to intimidate witnesses and interfere with evidence.
  • Swift action should be taken by the Prosecutor and the Court in instances of non-cooperation by States Parties. Any instances of non-cooperation should be resolved as speedily as possible, in such a manner that the outcome of proceedings on non-cooperation can be applied to strengthen an ongoing case and not be delayed to the point that the outcome is only of academic significance.
  • The Prosecutor should continue to carry out a review of its investigative strategies and methods in order to improve its chances of success at trial.
  • The Prosecution should ensure that its staff are able to spend as much time as possible on better understanding the context and nuances of a given situation country.
  1. Pursuit of reform without prejudice?

UN Reform vs ICC Reform

  1. The unique role played by UNSC in referral and deferral of cases before the ICC means that the debates on reforming the court and reforming the UN and in particular the UNSC have inevitably intersected. We have witnessed both undertones and overt accusations of imperialism and undue influence directed at the court on account of cases on Africa referred to it by the UNSC (Libya and Sudan). Arguments made to amend the Rome Statute to confer immunity for sitting heads of state and senior government officials are laced with grievance against the UNSC permanent five members possessing a de facto immunity from prosecution under the ICC on account of their veto power. The end result is a misdirected effort to amend the Rome Statute or in the extreme withdraw from the ICC on the basis of perceived excesses that are better addressed by engaging the broader debate of UN reforms.
  1. While KPTJ acknowledges the slanted relationship of the UNSC with the court and supports a robust conversation on its reforms, we call on states not to misdirect the agenda of reforming the UNSC into discussions on improving the functions of the court and occasion amendments to the Rome statute that sacrifice the future of the court as part of a bargaining process on UNSC reforms. We call on African states in particular, to distinguish the broader question of UN reforms as enshrined in the “Ezulwini Consensus” from the question of reforming the Rome Statute and reflecting on the performance of the court. We call upon African member states to the Rome Statute not to sacrifice the promise of justice for victims of atrocity crimes at the altar of grievance against the unequal power relations represented by the UN Security Council.

end/kptj/16.06.2016

——–

About KPTJ:

This brief was prepared by Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ), a coalition of Kenyan citizens and over 30 organisations working in the human rights, governance and legal fields that came together during the crisis over the disputed results of the 2007 presidential election to seek truth and accountability for the elections and the widespread violence that followed; and who continue to work closely with the victims of that period. It is a brief update on the situation in Kenya as pertains to pursuing accountability for the crimes against humanity committed during the 2007-2008 Post-Election Violence as well as its adherence to its obligations under the Rome Statute.

[1] Assembly/AU/Dec.616 (XXVII)

[2] Assembly/AU/Dec.590(XXVI)

[3] Press Release: “UN/African Union: Reject ICC withdrawal”. Available here: http://www.khrc.or.ke/2015-03-04-10-37-01/press-releases/552-un-african-union-reject-icc-withdrawal.html

[4] Article: “Which African states slammed Burundi, South Africa and Gambia’s withdrawal from ICC?” Available here: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/which-african-states-slammed-burundi-south-africa-gambias-withdrawal-icc-1589711

[5] https://www.justsecurity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/South-Africa-Instrument-of-Withdrawal-International-Criminal-Court.jpg

UN Experts criticize Kenya Police for Excessive Use of Force against Peaceful Protesters (10.11.2016)

Nairobi 09.05.2016 Demonstration P8 Tear-gas

The demonstrators were protesting against alleged government corruption when police used teargas and batons to disperse them.

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 10, 2016 -A group of UN human rights experts* has condemned a violent clampdown on a peaceful protest in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, while urging the authorities to investigate claims of excessive use of force and arbitrary arrest – both against demonstrators and journalists – and to hold all perpetrators accountable.
The demonstrators were protesting against alleged government corruption when police used teargas and batons to disperse them. A number of people are reported to have been injured or detained during the incident on 3 November.

“Interference with the right to freedom of peaceful assembly is inexcusable at any time, but it is especially repugnant when demonstrators are calling for government accountability,” the experts said. “Protesters may sometimes raise uncomfortable truths, but holding people in power to account is a central function of peaceful assemblies in a democracy.”

The experts also expressed alarm at the timing of the crackdown, less than a year before Kenyans elect a new president in August 2017. They said creating an environment where opinions could be expressed peacefully was key to avoiding a repeat of the wave of violence which followed the disputed presidential poll in 2007.

“Beating protesters does not make their grudges go away. Rather, it intensifies them, because it sends the message that the government does not care,” they stressed. “This approach does not foster a culture of dialogue; it fosters a culture of violence, which is exactly the opposite of what Kenya needs right now.

The UN independent experts also expressed grave concern over reports that police had attacked journalists covering the protest, in some cases damaging their equipment.

“International law protects the right of everyone – including journalists and human rights defenders– to observe, monitor and report on such events,” the experts said. “It also imposes a duty on States to protect the rights of monitors to do their jobs, even if the gatherings turn violent. Attacking journalists who perform this important public duty is simply unfathomable.”

The UN Special Rapporteurs called on the Kenyan authorities to respect the demonstrators’ fundamental rights at future protests, and noted that they would be watching developments closely.

(*) The experts: Mr Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and Mr. Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

Kenya: To the Public Accounts Committee (Parliament), Media Houses and All Interested Parties (08.11.2016)

ashleys-kenya-kabura-statement

Kenya: Police tear gas Journalists covering anti corruption protests (Footage)

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