African Human Rights Bureau calls for UN intervention in Kenya

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (C) arrives for a visit to Kuwait's national assembly in Kuwait City on August 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO /
The UN Security Council has been urged to intervene and save Kenya from sliding into anarchy.

The African Human Rights Bureau has noted that the unfolding political activities are similar to those that preceded the post-election violence in the country in 2007/2008.

“If no serious political intervention is made now by the UN, then Kenya could slide into a grave political instability with attendant chaos, violence, mayhem, and massive displacements and killings, thereby causing a humanitarian crisis,” said Dr Dan Alila, the bureau’s special counsel.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York yesterday, Dr Alila said such a scenario could give rise to unknown tragic complications.

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“It is necessary for the UN to urgently consider the Kenya situation and consequently draw up a contingency rescue plan. An intervention by UN should logically lead to the setting up of a negotiated caretaker government to exercise executive powers during the repeat presidential poll,” Alila said.

He noted an ad hoc UN committee or a reformed Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should supervise the poll in which Jubilee and National Super Alliance (NASA) are represented.

The counsel indicated that a caretaker government can be borne out of political necessity and will address the issue of threats, intimidation, undue influence, and conflict of interest.

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“The establishment of an ad hoc UN committee to supervise the poll would eliminate cases of commission of deliberate irregularities based on planned fraudulent dealings and mischief,” Alila said.

He further noted that despite the problem posed by the Constitution at the expiry of 60-day period, coupled with political grandstanding, a negotiated amendment of the enabling laws under UN supervision would be acceptable to the two parties for preserving State continuity.

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“A similar approach was adopted in Kenya in 2008 and it stabilised the political situation at the time. UN needs to be proactive by acting expeditiously in order to forestall looming political tragedy,” Alila said.

The letter was also copied to the European Union, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, African Union, East African Community secretariat, and Human Rights Watch based in New York.

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