The Star (Nairobi)

29 December 2012

Kenya: PEV and Serious Lapses in National Security

President Kibaki's lowest point will be the post-election violence where 1,133 people were killed and approximately 600,000 displaced after the bungled 2007 general election.

The violence started after the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya which was composed of his appointees declared him the winner over ODM's Raila Odinga.

In the run up to the 2007 elections, President Kibaki had ignored the 1997 Inter-Parliamentary Parties Group agreement which was a gentleman's agreement on appointing commissioners to then ECK.

He went ahead and appointed commissioners without consulting the opposition parties in the IPPG spirit. In 1997, Kibaki was then DP leader and a leading member of the opposition during President Moi's era.

But he eventually trashed the IPPG 10 years later and under his watch many Kenyans died in the 2007-08 PEV. UN former secretary general Kofi Annan mediated between PNU and ODM leading to the formation of the grand coalition government by President Kibaki and Raila and bringing to an end the ethnic killings.

Another outcome of the Annan-led mediation was the government established the Waki Commission to investigate the violence.

The commission recommended that the government establishes a special local tribunal to try perpetrators of the PEV or the International Criminal Court at the Hague assumes the prosecution of the key perpetrators.

Three times, Kibaki and Raila failed to marshal the MPs to support the creation of such a local tribunal. This paved the way for ICC former prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo to start investigations and eventually name six individuals, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Francis Muthaura, Henry Kosgey, Hussein Ali and Joshua Sang to stand trial at the ICC over the chaos.

Kosgey and Ali's charges were not confirmed while the other four trials will begin in April. It has not been smooth sailing though for the ICC with the government instituting a suit to challenge the jurisdiction of the court, the shuttle diplomacy by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and claims by Ocampo and his successor Fatou Bensouda of non-cooperation by the government.

The country has faced numerous grenade attacks by the Somali militant group al Shabaab during Kibaki's tenure. Presidet Kibaki as the Commander of the Kenya Defence Forces gave the military the orders to cross to Somalia in 2010 in pursuit of the al Shabaab.

Despite the success of the misssion with the eventual fall of the militant's bastion, Kismayo, Kenyans still live in fear of more attacks.

During the Kibaki era, it will also be remembered that Kenya's reputation got a further beating internationally over extra-judicial executions.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur Prof Philip Alston who investigated the extra-judicial killings told a UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 3, 2009 that police shootings "occur in large numbers on a regular basis and are not publicly recorded or accounted for.

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