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TJRC ‘won’t recommend amnesty’ for major poll crimes

By | May 25th 2009 | 2 min read
By | May 25th 2009

By Peter Opiyo and Titus Too

The Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) will not recommend amnesty to perpetrators of post-election violence.

In a Bill introduced in Parliament last week by Attorney General Amos Wako, the instigators as well as those who committed atrocities after independence would have nowhere to hide.

US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger (right) with former Kenya National Commission for Human Rights Chairman Maina Kiai during a meeting at the Limuru Jumuia Centre on Saturday. [PHOTO: KIBERA MBUGUA/ STANDARD]

The move means the TJRC would operate in line with international law on amnesty, ruling out pardon for those who commit international crimes.

And the International Commission of Jurists-Kenya, Chapter applauded the move, saying it meets international standards.

"The processes we have must be in tandem with the international law," ICJ-K Chairman Alfred Nderitu told The Standard.

He, however, called for harmonisation of the TJRC Act with the proposed special tribunal law to avoid conflict.


new bill

Passed last year, the TJRC Act stipulates that no amnesty would be granted for crimes against humanity, but the new Bill, Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2009, seeks to amend this to include international crime.

If passed by Parliament, those who committed genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity between December 12, 1963 and February 28, last year would not be let off the hook.

The Rome Statute cites war crimes to include wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by necessity and carried out unlawfully.

It also defines crime against humanity to include murder, rape, sexual slavery, extermination, and enforced disappearance of persons.

Meanwhile, North Rift leaders have taken issue with US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger for allegedly sidelining them in peace initiatives.

The leaders said the envoy had ignored the role of local leaders and "was only working with members of community organisations".


political leaders

Eldoret Mayor Samuel Ruto claimed Mr Ranneberger had toured regions affected by post-election violence without involving political leaders.

"Leaders from the region love peace and Mr Ranneberger should involve us in reconciliation meetings in areas affected by post-election violence," said Mayor Ruto.

Speaking in Kapsabet on Sunday, the councillor called for co-existence among communities.

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