The civil society and Amnesty International yesterday called on the government to address enforced disappearances in the country. They said the International Criminal Court (ICC) cases seem to have catalysed the disappearances.
Speaking during the International Day of the victims of Enforced Disappearances, Amnesty International executive director George Kegoro said more than 500 people from Northern Kenya have gone missing without trace since the fight against radicalisation and al Shabaab began.
The figure has, however, gone up in some parts of the country since the start of ICC cases. “The government must ensure they bring the matter to a stop especially at a time when we are witnessing new cases,” he said.
Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua, who accused the government of being responsible for extra-judicial killings, said the government needs to follow due process in its fight against crime and radicalisation.
“We cannot fight crime with crime (sic), they must take any suspected criminal to court. I believe the State is responsible and if they are not, then they should be worried about the chaos and disorder that is taking place,” she said.
Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi y in a series of tweets said some Muslim leaders and the civil society have threatened to sue the State if they do not receive word from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko.
“On behalf of Muslim leaders and civil society, I have instructions to serve 21 days notice to the DPP to prosecute 12 top government officials for crimes against humanity under the International Crimes Act. If the DPP refuses to act, my clients will petition the prosecutor of the ICC,” Ahmednasir tweeted.
This comes a day after the Interior Cabinet secretary Joseph Nkaissery extended amnesty to radical youth who joined Somalia-based militant group al-Shabaab and ordered the investigation over alleged forceful disappearance of Kenyan youth.
“We want to get to the bottom of these allegations and I have directed the security agents to investigate the allegations and tell Kenyans the truth,” said Nkaissery.
By a resolution adopted in December 2010, the UN General Assembly declared August 30 the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances which was marked by a demonstration.
The Convention entered into force in 2010 and has been signed by 93 States and ratified by 50. It provides a sound foundation for fighting impunity, protecting disappeared persons and their families.