Tight security in Eldoret ahead of Bensouda visit
By By Luke Anami and Faith Rono | October 24th 2012
By Luke Anami and Faith Rono
Security has been beefed up in North Rift ahead of the first visit by new International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
Police have intensified patrols in and around Eldoret town as families of those displaced and local leaders plan to seek audience with Ms Bensouda.
The ICC prosecutor is expected to make a tour of Kiambaa region in the outskirts of Eldoret Town on Thursday and then hold the first ever public forum by a high ranking ICC official in the region that bore the brunt of the 2007/2008 election-related violence at Eldoret Town Hall later on Friday.
“We have put in place security measures in preparation for Bensouda’s visit on Friday. We have intensified patrols by both regular and Administration Police within and outside the town,” said Eldoret West DC Christopher Wanjau.
He added: “Matatu terminals and commercial buildings are some of the places we will ensure that we intensify security on Friday.”
Expectations are high in the town that the people will be granted an opportunity to express their views directly to the ICC prosecutor.
The public forum scheduled for Friday has excited residents here but confusion reigns as to how it will be handled.
“There is no clear programme in place so far but we are working on one that will ensure that everything runs as scheduled,” said Wanjau.
It is not clear whether residents will be allowed to air their views as expressed by families that were affected by the violence.
“We want to meet and tell her our problems,” Ruth Nduta Gichua, chairlady of families at Kamwinge Ngwatanero IDP camp, told The Standard.
The DC could also not assure those affected by the violence that they will meet the prosecutor.
“I cannot assure the affected families that they will meet with Bensouda because we do not have a clear programme right now and we have not received communication from top officials concerning the same,” he said.
Eldoret Mayor William Rono is also keen to meet Bensouda. “Eldoret has been described as a hot spot. We, however, welcome her visit and hope that we will be able to address some of the issues affecting us,” Rono said during the official opening of the Civil Society Week at an Eldoret hotel.
Wanjau urged the public, especially the victims of the election violence, to remain calm even as preparations for Bensouda’s tour continue.
The DC assured the residents and the worried families that were affected by the violence that they will receive communication on a clear programme as soon as they come up with one.
“We are working on the programme and will release it as soon as possible,” he said.
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