Kenya


    Kenya’s Supreme Court has given an impossible deadline for the repeat election
    06.09.17
    Dominic Burbidge

    The Kenyan Supreme Court has found that the August 8 presidential election result is invalid. It blames the electoral commission, not the declared winner, Uhuru Kenyatta. Kenya’s leading newspaper praises the decision as a step towards the rule of law, but I am less sure about what this means for the ability of the political establishment to stick to the terms of the country’s constitution. The Supreme Court has given the country 60 days to hold fresh elections. The time period is in accordance with section 140 (3) of the Constitution, but the court failed to tell the public exactly...

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    The Kenyan supreme court decision may polarize the population
    05.09.17
    AiIeen Kimutai

    It has been hailed as a benchmark the Kenyan Supreme Court ruling that nullified the August 8 presidential election results while ordering for a re-run within 60 days. The August 11 election declaration gave  the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta 54.27 per cent of the votes against the 44.74 per cent for his rival Raila Odinga of the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA). However NASA disputed the results, alleging "hacking"  of the electoral board database and  massive rigging in favour of the ruling Jubilee party. In the landmark ruling, four Supreme Court judges accepted that  the  Kenyan...

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    Week in Review: A victory for rule of law in Africa?
    03.09.17
    François Sergent, JusticeInfo.net

    The highlight of  the week was undoubtedly Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court of Kenya to invalidate the August 8 presidential election, a first in Africa. Kenya’s media hailed the decision which, as said by daily newspaper The Star, "will reverberate for years to come in Kenya and around the continent". This is all the more so since President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta has accepted the decision, even if he launched a sharp verbal attack on the Court.   Representatives of opposition parties in Africa have also hailed the decision, including in Zimbabwe, Guinea and Mali. “The decision of the...

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    Kenya: five things to know
    08.08.17
    AFP

    Kenya, which was holding elections on Tuesday a decade after deadly post-poll violence, is one of east Africa's leading economies with a crucial tourism sector based on safaris and tropical beaches. - Post-election violence - Kenya was a British colony until independence on December 12, 1963. Jomo Kenyatta, the country's first president, died in office in August 1978, to be succeeded by Daniel arap Moi. In late 1991 Moi abandoned the single party system under international pressure and won presidential elections in 1992 and 1997. Moi was replaced by Mwai Kibaki in late 2002 and the main opposition National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) won the legislative elections the same year. Kibaki...

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    Kenya : Wachira Waheire meets his torturer 20 years later
    13.06.17
    International Center for Transitional Justice

    Wachira Waheire strode into Nairobi’s Sankara Hotel, made his way to the café attached to its lobby and scanned the room carefully. He was meeting someone he had not seen in 20 years, but as he sifted through the faces in the café he was confident all he needed was a glimpse and he would recognize his guest. “You don’t forget your torturers,” he says. “These memories are so vivid it’s like they just happened.” Wachira is something of a professional interviewer of torturers: as a Human Rights Officer at Kenya’s Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) from 2010 to 2012, it...

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    High stakes in Kenya's presidential elections
    09.05.17
    Sekou Toure Otondi, University of Nairobi

    After the 2007 general election, Kenya experienced its worst politically triggered ethnic violence since independence. The violence was caused by a dispute between the two main presidential candidates – Raila Odinga and his opposition Orange Democratic Movement, and Mwai Kibaki, who was defending his seat on a Party of National Unity ticket. But this was not the first time Kenya experienced violence around a general election. Since the reintroduction of multiparty politics in 1992 ethnic violence has repeatedly reared its ugly head around election time. Even in elections that were considered peaceful, as was the case in 2002 and 2013, the threat of politically instigated ethnic...

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    Kenya: will technology deliver a free election ?
    21.03.17
    John Walubengo

    Elections present a milestone beyond which countries either strengthen their democratic credentials or become failed states. Often states fail when there are either perceived or blatant election malpractices. This in turn can lead to prolonged civil unrest.   Numerous cases exist across the continent. But I will use the Kenyan case to illustrate how election processes can be compromised, and then brought back from the brink with the use of technology.   Following the election in 2007 Kenya erupted into two months of unprecedented conflict. People were unhappy with the outcome which...

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    How Power-Sharing Impedes Transitional Justice: Comparing Kenya and Zimbabwe
    31.12.16
    Leona Hollasch

    In many African countries, as well as Latin American ones (e.g. Colombia) power-sharing is often seen as the peace negotiators’ instrument of choice for conflict resolution. This tendency, however, often places those responsible for past human rights violations in powerful government positions. Transitional justice measures are then introduced under these difficult circumstances. Kenya's and Zimbabwe's experiences demonstrate the devastating effects that power-sharing can have on processes of transitional justice.  Power-sharing can freeze the status-quo, leaving transitional justice...

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    Will Kenya withdraw from the ICC?
    13.12.16
    Dr Thomas Obel Hansen, Lecturer of Law, Transitional Justice Institute/ Ulster University Law School, Belfast, UK.

    Whereas a Kenyan withdrawal from the ICC is a real possibility, Nairobi may be tempted to instead use the threat of a withdrawal to push its agenda on the ICC.  Since Burundi announced in October that it had decided to withdraw from the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) founding treaty, the Rome Statute, commentators have been busy speculating whether – and, if so, which – other African State Parties would be next. Few had predicted that South Africa would be the first to go ahead, in fact beating Burundi to the finish line by providing the UN Secretary General with the formal...

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    ICC: Countries Should Press Kenya on Obstruction

    (Brussels, September 20, 2016) - International Criminal Court (ICC) member countries should address the court’s finding of obstruction by Kenya in the case against President Uhuru Kenyatta, Human Rights Watch said today. An ICC trial chamber on September 19, 2016 referred a finding of non-cooperation in the now-withdrawn case against Kenyatta to the court’s membership, known collectively as the Assembly of States Parties. “The ICC has squarely called out Kenya’s breach of its obligations to the ICC,” said Elizabeth Evenson, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch....

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    Islamic State makes inroads into Kenya
    30.06.16
    AFP

      Recent arrests show the Islamic State's growing presence in East Africa, where they are recruiting young Kenyans for jihad abroad and raising fears some of them will return to threaten the country. Kenyan intelligence agencies estimate that around 100 men and women may have gone to join the IS in Libya and Syria, triggering concern that some may come back to stage attacks on Kenyan and foreign targets in a country already victim to regular, deadly terrorism. "There is now a real threat that Kenya faces from IS and the danger will continue to increase," said Rashid Abdi, senior analyst at the International Crisis Group think tank in Nairobi. The problem of eager but often untrained...

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    Kenya Moves Against "Hate Speech"
    18.06.16
    Aileen Kimutai, Nairobi (Kenya)

    When Kenyan police moved early this week to arrest eight parliamentarians for hate speech, it was seen as a right step to stop people, especially politicians, from uttering words that could incite inter-ethnic hatred among Kenyans. The eight, who claim to be innocent, were released on bail on Friday evening after being charged with hate speech and incitement to violence. The cases will be heard between July 7 and 11. Wounds are still open after post-election violence in 2007-2008 which left 1,300 people dead and hundreds displaced. Many Kenyans are worried violence could reignite in the...

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    Kenyan lawmakers held for hate speech
    15.06.16
    AFP

    Eight Kenyan politicians are behind bars on suspicion of hate speech in the latest sign of rising political tensions a year ahead of elections. Three lawmakers from the ruling Jubilee party, and four plus a senator from the opposition CORD alliance, were ordered to be detained for four days by Kenya's High Court to allow investigations into alleged hate speech and incitement. The detained Jubilee MPs, Moses Kuria, Kimani Ngunjiri and Ferdinand Waititu, are loyalists of President Uhuru Kenyatta and members of his Kikuyu tribe. The CORD politicians are MPs Timothy Bosire, Aisha Jumwa, Junet Mohammed and Florence Mutua, and senator Johnson Muthama. They all spent Tuesday night in...

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    “Nobody Should Be Above the Law,” Says ICC Prosecutor
    07.06.16
    Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo editorial adviser

    On a recent visit to Geneva, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda granted this interview to JusticeInfo.Net. She strongly rejects accusations that the ICC is delivering one-sided justice and is concerned about the consequences for Africa if some States pull out of the ICC. Referring particularly to the Court’s fiasco over Kenya, Bensouda strongly condemns pressure and intimidation of her witnesses and a political climate that makes exercising justice difficult. But she asserts her determination to prosecute sitting Heads of State if necessary. In this interview, the...

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    Mass Atrocity Monday, 5/2/2016: The Wagalla Massacre

    Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people died on the Wagalla airstrip in early February, 1984. The victims were ethnic Somalis living in Kenya’s North Eastern province. Their killers were members of the Kenyan army, ostensibly investigating reports of a planned rebellion by members of the Degodia clan. Over the course of several days, troops burst into homes, raping women, destroying property, and seizing the men. The Degodia men, and anyone else unlucky enough to be caught up in the search, were taken to the airstrip. Once there, they were told take off their clothes and lie on the hot ground....

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    ICC's failure to try top Kenyan leaders spells 'doom': ex-PM
    14.04.16
    AFP

    The ICC's failure to try top Kenyan leaders for crimes against humanity in the country's worst violence since independence spells "doom" for global efforts to fight impunity, former Kenyan leader Raila Odinga told AFP. Despite this setback, African countries must not quit the International Criminal Court as the continent is "the biggest violator currently of human rights", the ex-prime minister said.War crimes judges dropped cases against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta -- the son of the country's independence leader Jomo Kenyatta -- at the end of 2014, and against deputy president William Ruto last week.More than 1,300 people died and some 600,000 others were left homeless after disputed...

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    The week in review: Kenya's victory?
    11.04.16
    François Sergent, Justiceinfo.net

    The International Criminal Court’s decision to drop its trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Arap Sang marked the week in transitional justice. According to Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, this “mistrial” is due to witness intimidation and political interference. Technically this “mistrial” means the two could still be prosecuted in future for “crimes against humanity” committed in post-election violence in 2007 and 2008, if the ICC can prove that they interfered with justice to get the trial dropped. Nevertheless, this decision can only be seen as a victory for the...

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    Kenya Parties as ICC Drops Ruto Case
    06.04.16
    JusticeInfo.Net

    The International Criminal Court’s decision to drop charges against Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, hailed by the President as the end of a “nightmare”, has been celebrated in Kenya as a national victory.  The ICC, accused by some African leaders of being an instrument of neo-colonialism, decided on Tuesday April 5 to drop its case against Ruto and his co-accused, former journalist Joshua Sang. The decision may be appealed and does not exclude the possibility of a new case before the ICC or a Kenyan court. However, it marks a victory for the relentless anti-ICC campaign of African...

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    A Defeat for the International Criminal Court
    06.04.16
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    Kenya has won its long battle against the International Criminal Court. ICC judges on Tuesday decided to drop the charges against Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua Sang. The two men had been accused of crimes against humanity committed in violence that swept Kenya after presidential elections in December 2007. Out of the six Kenyan suspects originally targeted by the ICC in March 2011, not a single one will have been convicted. Although now free of all the charges, Ruto and Sang have not been acquitted. The judges decided to drop the charges because the...

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    ICC drops charges in Kenya Ruto case
    05.04.16
    AFP

    War crimes judges on Tuesday threw out charges of crimes against humanity against Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto over his alleged role in post-election bloodshed in 2007-2008, but left the door open to a possible new trial.In a fresh blow to the prosecution, the judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled the charges against Ruto and his co-accused Joshua arap Sang "are vacated".Ruto, 49, and Sang, 40, had both denied three counts of crimes against humanity  -- namely murder, forcible deportation and persecution.The two men were however "discharged without prejudice to...

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