V. CASE STUDY: ARMED POLITICAL VIOLENCE ON THE COAST
Violence erupted on Kenya's coast on August 13, 1997, launching weeks of terror in what had been a quiet resort area. Using the cover of automatic guns wielded by outsiders, local raiders carrying traditional weapons attacked a police station and a police post at the ferry in Likoni, which connects Likoni to Mombasa island. The raiders killed six officers and stole more than forty guns, then proceeded to carry out a violent rampage in the area, burning market kiosks, office buildings, and killing and maiming people after identifying them as non-locals or people from "up-country." Many of their targets belonged to the Luo, Luhya, or Kikuyu communities, as well as the Kamba. Some two hundred raiders participated in the attack, by the raiders' own count. When security forces finally appeared the following morning, the raiders retreated to hiding places in the forests. From these bases, they launched more attacks in subsequent days and engaged in sporadic firefights with security forces. The violence continued for several weeks, with particularly bold attacks taking place again in September, before they subsided. Intermittent raids continued well into November 1997 and some raiders were active through December of the following year.
Echoes of Rwanda
The impact of the violence was devastating. Statistics compiled by the police, which provide a conservative estimate, indicate that a total of 104 people were killed in the violence, at least 133 more were injured, hundreds of structures were damaged, and other property was damaged or stolen leading to large losses.83 Human rights groups estimate that, in addition to more than a hundred people killed, some 100,000 people were displaced. Furthermore, the Coast region's lucrative tourism trade came to a virtual stand-still overnight, and the country as a whole experienced a sharp downturn in tourism following the violence.
The methods employed in Rwanda's genocide were replicated on a much smaller but still deadly scale in Kenya. In Rwanda, politicians exploited ethnic divisions to preserve and expand their own power. They accused a group of "foreigners" of supporting the political opposition on the basis merely of similar ethnic identification. They mobilized supporters to carry out acts of targeted violence for which they granted them complete impunity. They used a party-basedyouth group, the Interahamwe militia, to carry out the first attacks and later created a paramilitary system of "civilian self-defense" where ordinary citizens were guided by political leaders and trained and armed by soldiers, former soldiers, and police.84
Origins of the 1997 Violence: The Manipulation of Volatile Local Conditions
Although the central importance of firearms is often overlooked, the state-organized violence against Tutsi in Rwanda shows the deadly effect of joining firearms to political violence. Both before and during the genocide, killers were able to kill faster and more easily because they were armed with guns and grenades. After the genocide, bullet shells were found littering the ground at massacre sites. Soldiers, militia, or ordinary citizens who had gotten their firearms from the authorities launched the major massacres, each of which killed thousands of people. In the space of one hundred days, assailants slaughtered at least half a million persons. Assailants with firearms enjoyed an enormous advantage over their unarmed victims, in psychological as well as in real terms. So great was the terror created by firearms that those targeted were often paralyzed into inaction, leaving them easy prey for later waves of assailants who were armed only with machetes, clubs, or other home-made weapons. Used in this manner as an instrument of terror, guns contributed to deaths on an astounding scale in Rwanda.85 In the hands of the raiders in Kenya's Coast Province, they would contribute to shocking chaos and bloodshed.
Conditions in Coast Province in 1997 provided fertile ground for fomenting politically motivated ethnic violence. Life had long been harsh for the ethnic groups that were traditional inhabitants of the area. The indigenous Mijikenda people of the Coast (comprising the Digo, Giriama, and other ethnic groups) lived in poverty, surrounded by resort hotels catering to foreign and Kenyan tourists. The Digos, mostly concentrated south of Mombasa (in the area known as the South Coast), had disproportionately high rates of joblessness, landlessness, and illiteracy in comparison with members of non-local ethnic groups living in the same area, which included so-called up-country people (members of ethnic groups from Kenya's interior, generally viewed as opposition supporters) and residents of Araband Asian descent, many of whom had long family histories in the Coast region. Beach-front properties and other valuable land, including Mijikenda ancestral land, were in the hands of wealthy foreigners and politically connected Kenyans, some of whom allegedly obtained the deeds irregularly in a practice known as land-grabbing. Added to their anger over these inequities, many locals were upset over abuse suffered at the hands of police officers, whom they said arrested young men without cause, beat them, and demanded large, unaffordable bribes in order to release them.86
KANU politicians astutely turned local bitterness into political support for their party. As in other parts of Kenya, such as the Rift Valley, they rallied the local population around calls for majimbo, the federal system promising the return of land to the control of its pre-colonial inhabitants and that regions would gain greater autonomy vis-à-vis the central government (see above). The majimboist argument resonated well with the local population. As one indicator, Coast Province voted overwhelmingly for KANU in the 1992 elections.87 By emphasizing that the purging of non-local people would permit the indigenous Digos and other Mijikendas to attain all that was left behind, pro-majimbo KANU politicians helped make the up-country people residing among them, rather than their own leaders and the government, the focus of local anger.
Some members of the Digo community were keenly aware that one way to achieve majimbo was to use intimidation and violence to expel non-indigenous residents. This had been the lesson of the violence in parts of western Kenya that began in 1991, when majimbo was a lightning rod for politically instigated "ethnic" clashes in Rift Valley and neighboring provinces. This lesson had already been applied in the Coast region prior to 1997. In fact, in the early 1990s, as the Rift Valley violence was underway, a group of Digos attempted to use the same tactics on a smaller scale in the Likoni area.88
Speaking to Human Rights Watch, a Digo man who participated in the earlier Likoni violence said the attacks were part of a pro-majimbo strategy. He asserted that local Digo leaders organized area youth to take an oath to attack up-country residents and thus bring about majimbo, but that the recruits went wild after theoathing ceremony instead of waiting as instructed.89 Another raider referred to the earlier attacks, stating, "1997 wasn't the first time. In 1992 we were told the same thing-to chase the Luos away."90
In testimony to the Akiwumi Commission, a witness named Joseph Ochwangi Onyiego, a resident of the Matuga area of Kwale district, stated that at a November 1991 public meeting his local councillor, of the ruling KANU party, advocated majimbo and incited violence against up-country residents by warning that up-country people who supported the opposition in the upcoming election would be attacked as in Molo, Rift Valley Province, with "arrows in their backs."91
Local conditions in the Coast region had long been poor, but in 1997 the national political backdrop again helped set the stage for violence. Non-locals were expected to vote against KANU in elections in December of that year, when the party hoped to win back parliamentary seats it had lost to the opposition in the first multiparty election, held in 1992, as well as prevent further electoral losses and undermine support for opposition parties. Up-country voters were concentrated in areas KANU had lost in the 1992 election and that it wished to regain. KANU also needed to win at least 25 percent of the Coast Province vote as a whole to ensure the reelection of President Moi. In addition, at the national level political tensions were rising as opposition parties and civic groups criticized KANU over its intransigence on constitutional reform and organized large pro-reform rallies. Fourteen people were reported killed in violence at pro-reform rallies in July 1997, and further deaths followed in the first half of August.92 In Coast Province, a KANU politician allegedly threatened violence against pro-reform demonstrators.93
At the Akiwumi hearings, Onyiego stated that KANU laid the political groundwork for the 1997 violence. He said that KANU leaders strongly promoted majimbo in the Coast region and that this had the effect of stoking local anger and inciting violence against the up-country people, including in meetings held just priorto the Likoni attack. The witness said that on August 10, 1997, three days before the attack, he attended a public meeting held by KANU MP Boy Juma Boy (see below), who said he was campaigning for votes. Onyiego alleged that the Coast MP told those gathered that up-country residents were taking all the money from local jobs and tourism while local people were unemployed.94 Onyiego also testified that Boy explicitly called for majimbo, saying it was what the people from the Coast region wanted, as did other leaders at the meetings.95 Two local-level officials testified about public meetings Boy held in Onyiego's area in July 1997 (Onyiego had spoken of August) and both denied that there was incitement at them.96 Boy, who also testified as to the allegations, strongly rejected Onyiego's testimony.97
When the Likoni violence broke out, it emerged that "[i]n recent months several ruling party politicians have exhorted Mombasans to force outside groups back up country."98 At the Akiwumi hearings, a police officer said he received complaints prior to August 1997 that Boy had incited local residents against their up-country neighbors.99 A second policeman testified that an informer who attended oathing ceremonies in April 1997 said he had seen Boy, together with KANU MP colleague Kassim Mwamzandi, at the oathing site in the area north of Mombasa known as the North Coast.100 According to the police officer, the local organizer of the oathing ceremonies admitted his role and explained to police thatthe oath was to motivate local men to fight for land.101 Boy, for his part, vehemently denied that he had been present at the oathing site in 1997.102
Allegations of the use of inflammatory rhetoric went back even further. In a November 1994 incident described in the press, Mwamzandi reportedly threatened that he would "order my people to demolish [the market kiosks of up-country people] immediately" and fellow MP Boy reportedly warned non-indigenous residents of the Coast that "danger is looming."103 A police officer who testified before the Akiwumi Commission indicated that in her opinion the statements constituted "a summons of war," yet no action was taken against the two politicians or the then-provincial commissioner (holder of the top Coast Province administration position), who presided over the meeting.104 Boy denied that he had ever incited indigenous groups against up-country residents.105
The young Digo men who were recruited to join the Coast raiders in 1997 told Human Rights Watch that their primary motivation was obtaining access to their ancestral lands, property, and jobs. They agreed to use violence to expel up-country residents because-having been inculcated with the politically charged rhetoric of majimbo-they strongly believed such acts were justified and necessary for the advancement of themselves and their community. Even though they were aware that KANU politicians in the Coast region promoted majimbo, the raiders made clear that they did not pursue a strategy of violent expulsion in order to improve the party's electoral prospects. Afterwards, however, when they were discarded and abandoned by KANU, the realization sank in that they and their cause had been manipulated to serve the interests of KANU in the run-up to the elections without any real concern for the welfare of the Digo people.
The first-hand testimonies of the raiders provide important insights into state involvement in the Coast violence. Together with sworn testimony given before the Akiwumi Commission, the testimonies of the raiders make clear that-at a minimum-KANU politicians and government officials took a number of steps to facilitate the raiders' activities and to protect them from being held accountable for their actions. In addition, the raiders' testimonies suggest that the involvement ofpoliticians may have been much deeper. Several raiders asserted that people identified as KANU MPs, candidates, and activists visited the raiders and met with their commanders and a spiritual leader who served as a key advisor. The raiders alleged that some of these politicians delivered food, money-even guns, according to one raider-and otherwise supported their cause. Looking back at the events in 1997, the raiders have since come to believe that top Coast Province political leaders, working with local interlocutors, orchestrated the events from behind the scenes to benefit the government of President Moi. This interpretation also accords with other testimonies suggesting that prominent KANU politicians were involved in the plot to spark violence in Coast Province. The implicated politicians, for their part, uniformly deny sponsoring the raiders. In most cases, they reject claims that they visited the raiders, and others provide alternative explanations for the assistance they provided, often indirectly, to raiders.
The names of several politicians feature repeatedly in the testimonies given at the Akiwumi Commission on the Coast Province violence. They are, in alphabetical order:
Boy Juma Boy: The MP for Matuga (KANU) at the time of the raids and also Chief Whip for the party in parliament. Later in 1997 Boy lost the KANU nomination to another candidate, Suleiman Kamole.
Suleiman Kamole (or Kamolleh): A candidate for parliament on the KANU ticket in 1997. In December that year he was elected MP for Matuga, the seat previously held by Boy.
Emmanuel Karisa Maitha: A KANU politician at the time of the violence. He defected to the opposition Democratic Party after losing the KANU primary in November 1997 and won the race for MP for Kisauni the following month. He ran as the KANU candidate for the Kisauni MP seat in the previous general election, in 1992.
Mwalimu Masoud Mwahima: A KANU councillor and also KANU chairman for Likoni in 1997. Mwahima later became Mombasa's deputy mayor and then mayor, a position he holds as of early 2002.
Kassim Mwamzandi: MP for Msambweni (KANU) and an assistant minister at the time of the Likoni raid in mid-1997. He hoped to be reelected, but was defeated for the KANU nomination in late 1997.
Rashid Sajjad: The KANU campaign coordinator for Coast Province forthe 1997 elections. He also served as a nominated (appointed, rather than elected) MP for KANU and an assistant minister in the Moi government. As of this writing he remains an MP and government assistant minister.
Suleiman Rashid Shakombo: A KANU candidate for the MP seat for Likoni. After losing the KANU nomination for the seat to another candidate, he defected to the newly formed Shirikisho Party of Kenya (SPK) in November 1997. Shakombo ran for parliament on the SPK ticket and won in the general election, becoming MP.
Orchestration of the Violence
KANU Allies Recruit Raiders "for a Political Mission"
In the first quarter of 1997, organizers of the violence began a clandestine recruiting campaign among the area's indigenous population. Young men in their twenties and thirties were approached by local leaders, invited to take part in violent attacks, and promised rewards for their participation. South of Mombasa, for example, an influential local businessman rounded up young men, told them they would receive training to enable them to drive out the up-country people, and promised them he would help them get the houses and jobs left behind. He also gave each of the recruits, a group of some twenty-five young men, some money (Ksh.500 or $8.50) and transported them to the training camp.106
This businessman allegedly coordinated recruitment in the Likoni area with a councillor who also served as the KANU chairman in that area, Mwalimu Masoud Mwahima, whom raiders who defected said recruited them and who was otherwise alleged to have supported the raiders' activities. Mwahima, who later became Mombasa's deputy mayor and eventually mayor, strenuously denied the charges, saying he had no prior knowledge of the planned raids and was not involved in the violence.107
Other local-level politicians participated in the recruitment effort. Near the border with Tanzania, for example, an area councillor called groups of young men together and encouraged them to join efforts to chase away the up-country people,in return for which they would each be given a house.108 A councillor in a different area was also alleged to have actively recruited young men to join the raiders and otherwise to have participated in the organization of the violence.109
One raider, a veteran of the 1992 Likoni violence, joined of his own initiative after becoming frustrated that KANU was not able to do more to address landlessness in the area. In 1997, he traveled as far as the North Coast town of Malindi to attract recruits and prepare the ground for a new round of violence. He sought in particular to recruit men who had previously served in the military or police, and also reached out to active-duty Digo servicemen based in the area. He said: "We wanted just a hundred key people, strong ones. [...] When we were planning, we sent message to Digos and other Mijikenda-our brothers-in the barracks who were still serving with the government. We called those serving near home and they got oathed."110
This raider claimed to have high-level KANU contacts, saying he had at least two powerful friends among KANU politicians in Coast Province. He said an MP had earlier arranged for him to be released on bond (and paid the bond) after the young man was arrested and charged with trespassing for illegally occupying land owned by an up-country farmer. The same KANU leader encouraged the young man to go back and continue to illegally farm on that land. In addition, the raider said he had helped another important KANU friend get elected to a parliamentary seat. He stated, "I have opened doors for these politicians to get where they are, and now they forget me."111
Beyond his own ties to the ruling party, the veteran raider mentioned other ways in which the raiders' recruitment drive was associated with KANU. He said that he approached young men whom he knew had taken part in the United Muslims of Africa (UMA), a group closely linked to KANU that was known for violence in the Coast region (see above), and successfully recruited them to join the raiders' effort. He added that Juma Bempa, a lead organizer who was to become the raiders' military leader, had political ties to KANU: "Bempa privately met with politicians before the attack," but "[i]t was a secret. [...] After the 1992 clashes, Bempa tried to be a councillor for Likoni on the KANU ticket, and in 1997 it [the violence] was his plan. He told us he was addressing people in a secret way."112
Much of the recruitment happened by word of mouth, drawing on the anger of local young men over their poverty, unemployment, landlessness, and poor educational opportunities, and the prevalent sentiment that up-country people were to blame. Rumors quickly circulated among the Digo community of the South Coast that something was afoot, and that men were receiving basic military training. Hearing that a local traditional healer named Swaleh Salim bin Alfan was holding oathing ceremonies and encouraging willing recruits to attend, many went to his house to volunteer.113 As one recruit stated, "Recruitment was easy because people were talking anyway. The time was ripe for people to stand up. Word spread by word of mouth that to be involved you should go to Swaleh's house."114 At least one young man from the area near Alfan's home said he was recruited directly by the spiritual leader.115
It is clear from testimonies that there was a strong political dimension to the recruitment campaign. The new recruits, regardless of who first approached them, said that they were told the purpose of the raids was to bring majimbo to the Coast region. One individual who was recruited to join the raiders, but did not take part in the violence, stated: "The people were told that this effort was for majimbo. The song was always majimbo and majimbo only."116 A raider said that the area councillor who recruited him told him that "people wanted to start majimbo...[O]nce we chased away the up-country people we would have the area, we would take control."117 The veteran raider said the effort to organize violence in 1997 was a continuation of the attacks in 1992, when he had first been approached "for a political mission" to bring majimbo to the Coast.118
There was never any doubt that the recruits were being asked to use violent means and intimidation to achieve their goals. As one of them put it, "It was already known from the Rift Valley how to chase people out-by clashes-so it was copied. The idea was to organize the youth to evict up-country people."119 The same person explained, "If you say `majimbo,' you mean driving non-indigenouspeople out."
One raider said that, after he was recruited, he was told by the raiders' leaders that they would time their attacks to coincide with the dissolution of parliament, which marks the beginning of the presidential campaign. He added, "We were to attack in areas where up-country people are concentrated."120 No other raiders who spoke to Human Rights Watch said they were aware at the time that the planned violence was linked to the election campaign; however, two defected raiders who spoke to the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) indicated they knew there was a connection between their actions and the elections, saying they were given this information by their leaders.121
The raiders who spoke to Human Rights Watch were in their mid-twenties to late thirties. While they often referred to their fellow recruits as "the boys," they clarified that only adults were permitted to join them. They acknowledged, however, that many in the Digo community, including children, sympathized with their cause and sought to show support. In some cases, "small boys" (youths seventeen years old and younger) helped deliver food to the raiders, and local women and children at the sites where the raiders struck sometimes rallied behind the raiders during attacks. Contrary to the raiders' accounts, however, at least one police official declared that children as young as fourteen took part in attacks.122
Oathing: Using Tradition to Organize Political Violence
After being recruited to perpetrate violent attacks, the young men were taken to local spiritual leaders to undergo so-called ritual oathing in connection with the planned raids. The oathings greatly facilitated the military-style organization of the violence, in particular by bringing together the young men who had agreed to participate in the raids, motivating them to perform their task, binding them to a culturally important vow of secrecy and allegiance, and providing an opportunity for their leaders to organize them into units and convey orders.123 The oath committed the young men who took it to carry out the mission for which they had been recruited, and to keep this mission a secret, in exchange for which they werepromised supernatural protection from harm.124
One recruit who took the oath explained:
The oath is to make you strong and unafraid; it's for taking action. There were instructions about what not to do that day (sleep on a bed, for example). The oath protects you from being caught. Your enemy can't see you. It also protects you from getting hurt. It lasts until you do things that aren't allowed. You're only safe to do the action you're told to do. For this oath, the task was to evict the up-country people.125
Oathing ceremonies took place at various locations in the province for months leading up to the August 13th attack at Likoni and continued afterwards as new recruits joined. Almost all of the raiders who spoke to Human Rights Watch indicated that Alfan administered the oaths to them, and that he did so at his residence on the South Coast near the edge of the Kaya Bombo forest.126 In Digo belief, forests or "kayas" are home to spirits and therefore considered holy places.
The oath administered to the recruits was called a "kinu oath." From what the raiders described, the ceremony involves an overturned clay pot or "kinu." Those taking the oath form a line and are given small cuts in various places with razors, leaving scars that were still clearly visible two years later. Medicinal herbs are rubbed into the fresh cuts made on the skin. The oathing ceremony generally takes place under a baobab tree, which has special religious significance.127
Several raiders spoke of the oathing ceremony, and the powerful effect it had on them. In one raider's words:
At Mzee Swaleh's house there were about 170 men. We were put into groups according to where we were from [...]. Then we were all administered with an oath. Cuts were made on our tongue, our temple, the left hand at the edge of the little finger. Medicine was applied to our skin. We were given nothing to eat. There was a line of people and there were two people (Swaleh's assistants) administering the oaths one by one. Mzee Swaleh was watching seated. We were told that the up-country people had taken everything and that it was time to rise up against this unfairness. After taking the oath we felt agitated and strong. We wanted to take action immediately, but we were told to wait.128
On another occasion a raider described the night of his oathing:
In March 1997 I was approached by [Swaleh bin] Alfan who told me that we needed to get together to protect our rights. Around that time, I went to Swaleh's house and under the baobab tree at night I took an oath. There were about 200 people who were oathed one by one. We would be called under the tree to oath and then would leave and sit outside in the compound. The oathing went from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. It took about ten minutes a person. After the oath I felt strong. We were told to wait by Swaleh. "We will call you in August," he said, "and explain further." We were told to demand for our rights. We were told to get the up-country people out. We were told to wait because we don't have the weapons yet. We were divided into groups and told to wait until August.129
Swaleh bin Alfan denied that he had administered any oaths to raiders, telling Human Rights Watch, "What was said about me oathing raiders was a lie." He also rejected press accounts characterizing him as a "witchdoctor" and "medicineman." While stating that he had "special powers," he clarified, "I don't use them against people unless someone comes around to cause problems. I use my power to help people and not to inflict any injury."130
As the raiders explained, after the oathing ceremonies their leaders divided them into groups or units to receive further instruction. While hundreds of young men took the oath, not all joined their ranks. A large number were simply sympathizers who supported the raiders' cause but did not want to fight and therefore did not join the groups that were formed. Of those who were prepared tofight, some were told simply to wait, while the leaders ordered others to gather for informal military training. As one of the raiders stated, they were told only a hundred good fighters were required to be effective.131
Command Structure, Discipline, and Order
Following the successful recruitment and oathing campaigns, the raiders' leaders further extended the military model of organization to determine the overall structure of the newly-created force. A chain of command existed whereby a handful of ethnic Digo men conveyed orders to the raiders. The local leaders, sometimes called "group leaders," had taken a lead in the recruiting drive. Most of them had once served as members of the Kenyan armed forces or police. The small committee of leaders was headed by a dynamic ex-military man named Juma Bempa. They were joined by a group of highly trained and well-armed men described as "soldiers," whom the raiders also referred to as "outsiders" (see below). Together, the local leaders and these soldiers exercised military command over the raiders, with Bempa usually taking the lead and generally considered the overall military commander. The other local leaders and soldiers were responsible for training.132
As noted, those with prior military experience were especially sought-after recruits. Some recruits were active-duty members of the armed services. However, not all of those with Kenyan armed services experience were given a leadership role. Some were rank-and-file raiders.
The raiders interviewed agreed that Swaleh bin Alfan exercised significant responsibilities beyond his role as their spiritual leader. He carried out most of the oathing ceremonies on the South Coast, where the raiders were based, and maintained very close contact with the raiders' military leaders. In addition, Alfan offered instruction, advice, and material support (including food and money). Several raiders also indicated that Alfan was the interlocutor between the raiders' commanders and important KANU politicians whom they witnessed visiting him at his home and who they said provided food and other assistance, often via Alfan (see below).
One young man who said he did not take part in any attacks but who was recruited to join the raiders and had access to information because he lived near Alfan explained the hierarchy of power: "Bempa was the commander. He'd take instructions from the elders and then manage his boys. Actually, Swaleh was the senior elder, and was the master, so Bempa took instructions from him. Bempawould come to Swaleh's house every day during the daytime."133 He, like several other raiders, emphasized that Bempa's qualities made him well-suited to be the raider's military leader, adding that the decision was made by Alfan: "Bempa was selected as the leader because he was an ex-serviceman who was brave. He was hardcore. People liked him and the old man [Alfan] picked him as the commander."134 A raider who was an early recruit also asserted that Alfan had selected Bempa to be the raiders' military leader.135
In keeping with their military structure, the raiders took steps to ensure discipline and organization. For the sake of secrecy, they were not supposed to refer to their leaders or each other by name. The group leaders and Bempa, however, seemed less concerned about concealing their identity than the soldiers, and the recruits came to learn their names. Early recruits also explained that the leaders recorded the names of the raiders in a register and kept military and other records. Each of them was assigned a code name or number to conceal his identity. Their real names and the code given to them were copied into the register, described by one as "a black book with a hard cover and a red spine," that began to be used before the raids started.136 A different raider gave a more complete explanation. He said: "There was a book with our records. It was captured by the police [...] near Kaya Bombo. It had names, budgets, letters [...]. All our arrangements-how to budget for food and record of arms and [also listed] the numbers and names of all of us. [...] We also had papers with the names of people assigned for different operations."137
The police later recovered materials fitting that description. A police officer who viewed the materials said there were actually two books and that the first included entries from August 19 to September 11 and documented military information. It showed that there were 278 raiders at that time and provided a "force number" for each of them next to their names. It also indicated that Juma Bempa was the commanding officer and that the raiders were divided into different "companies" of fixed composition, and listed the dates of the training given to each group. The officer said the second book contained information of a more logistical nature and was recovered at the same time. She described it as including an attendance register, records of personnel matters (promotions and demotions, disciplinary actions), and a firearms register that detailed the number of guns, their serial numbers, and a log of who used them. According to her, the number of gunslisted matched the number stolen from the police. Finally, she said, the second book detailed the raiders' expenses on food and hospital treatment and included an unsent letter. She did not mention whether it contained information on the financing of the group, as would later be speculated.138
The then-head of criminal investigations for Coast Province (PCIO) was involved in the arrest of Swaleh bin Alfan and several others in an operation on August 15. He stated that at that time officers recovered a notebook and photographic negatives from one of the people arrested with Alfan. The notebook, according to his testimony, gave the names of 487 raiders and also listed their military targets and the number of raiders assigned to each operation. Photos printed from the negatives were thought to show raiders.139
The Participation of "Outsiders"
There has been much speculation as to the origin of the well-armed, highly trained soldiers who were described as outsiders. Several reports have suggested they might have been mercenaries from Rwanda or Uganda.140 Human Rights Watch was not able to establish the background of these men. The raiders' group clearly included Kenyans with prior military experience on whom they relied greatly, as well as some active duty members of the armed forces. The raiders, however, described one group of experienced fighters in different terms, as outsiders. In one case, a raider said that Bempa had told him the majority of the soldiers were foreigners, which he also believed to be true because of what he observed:
There were soldiers who would come for a few days at a time (about four days) to give training, then they'd shift to somewhere else. There were about fifty of them, some from Kenya, but most were from [abroad...]. Bempa would communicate with these people and he'd arrange for them to come to do the training. These soldiers would do more rigorous training, including exercising a lot (running and jumping) and using guns. They had their own guns, but I don't know where they got them. Bempa said that when the raid happens we should follow the instructionsof these soldiers, and the commanders, and that once we'd raided we too would get guns and also grenades. [...] I don't know how many of the soldiers were foreign. I just followed orders and didn't count the number to know for sure. I never spoke to them directly. I just took instructions from them. Some of the soldiers, the ones from Kenya, spoke in Swahili and the others I couldn't understand. The Kenyan soldiers would translate. Of the whole group, only a few soldiers could speak Swahili.141
The testimony of a second raider also supports the contention that this group was formed largely of non-locals, possibly not of Kenyan origin. Speaking separately, he described non-Swahili-speaking soldiers who would communicate orders via the local leaders; the latter could understand the soldiers, perhaps because they were more educated and spoke English.142 The outsiders, as both raiders explained, only took part in early operations and soon withdrew.
A third raider said that he had heard rumors about soldiers. He said, "We tried to ask Swaleh [bin Alfan] about the soldiers because he'd said he had some. He told us, `You're not alone.' But it was a deep secret between him and the top people."143 He added that he had heard that "the foreigners" were at another training site. Two raiders indicated they had never seen any outsiders and, while they were aware of such claims, were convinced all the raiders on the South Coast were Digos.144 This view accorded with that of the authorities, who rejected claims that external actors participated in the fighting.145
The Raider's Arsenal
The raiders' leaders placed great importance on the acquisition of firearms. From the beginning, they had some guns at hand.146 The top military leader, Bempa, always carried two pistols on his belt and the outsiders had more sophisticated weapons. According to one raider, "[e]ach of the soldiers had his gun. They were AK-47s and some had machine guns. One kind was shorter (about thesize of my forearm) and had a curved magazine and the other one was longer and fired rat-tat-tat."147 Another raider said he only saw about ten guns before the attack, saying they were carried only by the outsiders and that "[t]he guns had a small wooden part and a banana-shaped magazine."148 His description is consistent with that of several models of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, including the original AK-47 design and various modifications to it.
But the raiders wanted more guns to enable them to carry out coordinated attacks on up-country people, and devised ways to obtain them. One raider said:
We needed money and arms to train people. We had to grab the arms from police in the Likoni area. We killed about three police officers [on patrol in the area] and took their guns. We got three G3s, a pistol revolver, and an AK [Kalashnikov assault rifle]. We got the AK from another person as a contribution. He wanted to join and support the group, but he didn't. He was an ex-Air Force soldier. He didn't want to be known. [...] When we were training, someone came and dropped a box of 10,000 bullets for G3 guns. They just dropped off the box and left some G3s.149
Police officers confirmed that police were attacked and their weapons taken, and one said he learned that a few stolen weapons (both rifles and pistols) were in the hands of the raiders before they attacked the Likoni police station.150
One raider asserted that politicians supplied a few additional guns before the Likoni attack.151 Another raider said that when they attacked Likoni, "we had been waiting for arms to come from Nairobi, but they hadn't."152 The raiders also attempted at the time to buy guns from Somalia, one said, but were not successful.153
The importance of guns should not be underestimated. In the attack at Likoni,raiders armed with guns stood back and provided cover as others raided the police station and ferry police post. The same approach was used elsewhere, using the additional weapons stolen from the Likoni police station. This tactic allowed a relatively small number of raiders to wreak havoc in populated areas. The raiders' victims had little protection against such well-armed attackers. Similarly, the raiders' impressive fire power intimidated Kenyan security forces who were reluctant to pursue them. According to one of the raiders, their spiritual leader understood the difference even a few guns would make: "[Alfan] said what matters most is to acquire arms and go to the areas dominated by up-country people."154
The Raiders Strike
In preparation for the well-coordinated operations they would later conduct, the raiders underwent training at several sites around Coast Province. In some cases, farms that received government assistance to employ youth, called youth development projects, were used as a cover for the raiders' activities, and the raiders described using two such sites for training sessions that lasted two weeks.155 In both locations, raiders were taught "how to shoot, how to dismantle a gun, how to clean it, how to load it" and undertook rudimentary exercises with sticks and batons.156 The raiders said these locations were only used for training and they returned home to sleep. One of the raiders said he received rudimentary training from the local leaders, but that the outsiders provided "more rigorous training," especially in the use of guns.157
In addition to these training sites, one raider described a mobile camp that was used before the raids began. It was located in the Kiteje area in Kwale district. There, the raiders were issued blankets and slept in canvas tents, and the outsiders would lead them in training exercises. The raider who said he was based at this camp explained that, although he did not visit any other training sites, the group leaders made a point to say that young men elsewhere were also preparing for the raids.158
The Likoni Attack
The organizers of the raids had been carefully preparing for months to carry out violent attacks and, when the raids began on August 13, many assumed that date had been selected in advance by the group leaders. The group leaders, according to the raiders, kept secret the date of the planned attack, but the violence was sparked earlier than intended after they grew worried that some of their associates had been arrested and ordered the raiders to act.159 One raider said Alfan gave the order to start the raids.160
Raiders who participated in the Likoni attack described an operation executed with military precision.161 On the evening of August 13, the group leaders sent word to their recruits to prepare for an attack at 8:30 that night. The order went out by 4 p.m., and by 7 p.m. the raiders left their home areas for Likoni. According to one raider who was there that night, a politician sent a lorry that was used to transport the group leaders and outsiders, together with some of the raiders, to the outskirts of Likoni. From there they continued on foot. Another raider said he arrived on foot with others.
Once in Likoni, the raiders were divided into two groups, with one group instructed to go to the police station and the other sent to the ferry police post. These were the bases for local security personnel who could have interfered with the raiders' attacks on up-country residents. Moreover, the police station housed a store of needed firearms, and the ferry was of strategic importance as the transportation link to Mombasa island, where further security personnel were based. The raiders clearly felt animosity toward the police, whom they viewed as up-country-dominated and highly abusive of their community, and this presumably also contributed to the selection of their initial target.
Following orders, the raiders waited until 8:30 p.m. to launch a simultaneous attack. In both locations, the raiders carrying guns stayed at a distance while the others, armed with hidden knives and other traditional weapons, approached the police. As one raider explained, "When we raided Likoni, those with the guns (the soldiers) weren't in the front lines. We pretended like we were bringing someone [a thief] in to be arrested and then we attacked and got the guns."162 Police officialshave confirmed that the raiders stole forty-three G3 rifles that night, along with a handful of other firearms and approximately 1,500 rounds of ammunition.163
At the police station in particular, the raid was executed with planning and coordination. A raider who was there said twenty-seven men took part in the operation.164 He explained that the attackers were divided into smaller groups, with ten raiders sent to the area chief's nearby office, ten deployed to surround the fence outside, and seven sent inside the police station. Those who entered the station attacked the police with machetes and bows and arrows. Using these traditional weapons, they killed three police officers. They also released all the prisoners in jail, stole a police radio (in addition to robbing the armory), and proceeded to set fire to the police station, adjacent administration offices, and nearby homes. When some police officers tried to shoot at them, the raiders with guns returned fire. At the ferry police post, the raiders used a similar approach. They surrounded and killed two policemen while others stood back holding guns and also killed another police officer as they left the area. A police officer who survived the attack stated, "The raiders wanted to acquire firearms and to disable us in order to carry out their mission."165 Police witnesses said they only saw their attackers wield bows and arrows and other traditional weapons.166
Next, the raiders went on an all-night rampage around Likoni. A raider said, "After we got the guns, we went and attacked the non-local people-killing, burning, chasing people."167 He indicated that they targeted people from up-country, going house by house. They checked to see if someone was Digo by calling out a greeting and waiting to see if they answered in the Digo language. They brutally attacked and maimed their victims using machetes and other crude instruments. One raider defected later that night because he was disturbed by the violence, saying: "People did things at Likoni that I did not agree with. They entered people's houses and killed people in cold blood."168
Throughout the night the raiders carried out attacks, including burning local administration buildings and market kiosks largely operated by up-country vendors, without interference from security forces. As one raider put it, "We dominated thearea for eight hours until the morning."169 The response by the government's security forces was slow and ineffectual. On the night of the Likoni raid, police and paramilitary units of the General Service Unit (GSU) were very slow to appear at the scene. When security forces finally began to appear on the morning of August 14, the raiders withdrew into hiding places on the South Coast, particularly the Kaya Bombo forest and the Similani caves. (For this reason, they became known as the Kaya Bombo raiders.) In addition to the six slain police officers, the raiders killed at least six other people that evening and various others were maimed or otherwise injured. In a brutal pattern that was repeated for weeks, most of the casualties were victims of multiple wounds caused by machetes or knives.
The Raiders Regroup
Other than sporadic firefights with government security forces, who mostly avoided encounters with the well-armed raiders, little stood in the way of the raiders. To the contrary, the virtual security vacuum in the wake of the Likoni attack, described in full below, permitted them to regroup in order to carry out further well-organized attacks. Of the estimated two hundred people who had participated in the August 13 attack at Likoni, only seventy-three remained, according to one raider, and their composition changed significantly. The soldiers whom some raiders had described as outsiders withdrew and were not involved in subsequent attacks. Apparently they had fulfilled their purpose. As one raider explained, "We now had weapons so we didn't need the soldiers, and we'd be sent out on raids without them."170
The raiders added and trained new recruits. As one put it, "We were fighting with the GSU and training our men at the same time."171 The new recruits were mostly sympathizers and hangers-on, however, rather than experienced fighters. One raider decided to join the day following the Likoni raid when a group of some forty armed raiders passed through his area on its way to the Kaya Bombo forest. He explained that young boys aged twelve to seventeen years old attempted to join as well but were sent home.172 Another raider pointed out that some active-duty military men from navy and army barracks joined them. He said, "When the government called in the army, some Mijikenda helped us and gave arms or ranaway [deserted or took unauthorized leave] from the army."173
The raiders conceived a uniform and had twenty-four of them made to be worn during the attacks. As described by several raiders and witnesses, the uniform consisted of a black cape or robe with two bands of fabric, one red and one white, crossing the chest in an "X" pattern and also featured a star and crescent moon at the front and, at least in some cases, the Islamic saying "There is No God but Allah" (symbolizing the mix of Muslim and animist faith among the Digo raiders). These uniforms were generally worn by the more prominent raiders, particularly those Digos who had significant military experience. As explained by one raider, they were believed to afford special protection: "When you are led by people wearing these robes, you cannot be seen by your enemy and you are protected by the spirits."174 While witnesses also reported that the raiders wore shorts and red headbands and, some said, camouflage, the raiders themselves only spoke of wearing the black robe or street clothes with a hood to hide their faces and did not clarify whether the servicemen among their ranks might have worn camouflage. They also told of painting slogans and distributing leaflets threatening up-country residents. One widely-circulated leaflet read, "The time has come for us original inhabitants of the coast to claim what is rightly ours. We must remove these invaders from our land."175
The Raids Continue
The raiders launched further raids from the hideouts that served as their new base of operations. These included attacks in several area towns and villages in mid-August that added to the mounting death toll. The attackers in front invariably carried firearms, making the slaughter possible. The raiders who spoke to Human Rights Watch participated in these raids, as well as attacks into September in which they killed and maimed further victims. Several attacks took place in or near Ukunda, most notably two attacks in resort areas: a September 5 attack at Shelly Beach and a September 11 raid on Ukunda that ended with a firefight at Diani Beach.
A witness described the September 11 raid at Ukunda, which had begun with an attack on the police station, in which the raiders quickly overpowered police:
I saw a large crowd of people coming from the direction of the police station toward the post office; some of them were running,and I heard gunshots from the direction of the police station, as if there was an exchange of fire. Then everyone was running, including old men, women, and children. These were the first gunshots I have heard in the entire period that I have lived in this area. [My friend] said: "These are the raiders from the Kaya Bombo. Let's run!" At first I didn't believe him. [...] We heard people shouting: "They're coming on the old road!" so I went to check it out.176
There were some fifty raiders, he said, some of them wearing the robe uniform, and the way they walked made clear they had had military training:
They were taking proper cover. Some in the front were carrying guns, about eleven guys. They were covering each other, holding their guns up and firing in the air. They were AKs. I know these guns. I used to handle them when I was in the military. (The police have G3s.) There was a commander among them who was carrying a radio in one hand and a stick in the other (the stick is about one meter long and is used by police and army officers); I did not see if he had a gun.177
As the raiders came closer, he saw that the men behind the first group of raiders were carrying machetes and bows and arrows, waving to onlookers and looting the kiosks along the road. These men were followed by some local women and children, who danced in apparent celebration. The commander called out in Swahili to local Digo residents, telling them they were not in danger and should feel free to take part in the looting of the kiosks. Once the raiders reached the center of town, the raid turned violent. The commander, pointing at certain businesses with his stick, began instructing his men to burn them down, which they did. At about the same time, the raiders opened fire on the post office, where some residents were hiding. As the crowd ran from the raiders, the witness's friend was shot and fell dead. From a distance, the witness saw the raiders proceed south down the main road, moving slowly and burning kiosks along the way. He said he later learned that the security forces arrived about an hour after the raiders first appeared inUkunda, and fifteen minutes after they had left the area.178
Response of the Security Forces: Complicity or Incompetence?
The vast majority of attacks, particularly well-organized ones, were concentrated in the Likoni-Kwale area. These were also the most brutal attacks, often resulting in deaths or seriously injured by gruesome means. Many victims, once identified as up-country residents from their identity cards or because they did not speak the Digo language, were repeatedly stabbed with knives, slashed with machetes, or otherwise maimed. Residents of the area expressed shock at the brutality of the attacks, given that the area had previously been peaceful and that the different ethnic communities had lived together in relative harmony for generations.179
The raiders also said they killed several police officers during operations and took their guns. While some raiders remained active with the force for weeks, those interviewed disavowed attacks that primarily involved looting as well as the burning of market kiosks in an August 19 incident in Malindi, on the North Coast. They attributed such attacks instead to disaffected local people who took advantage of the confusion, lax security, and heightened ethnic tensions to settle scores or rob their neighbors. They did not touch on the subject of sexual violence, in particular allegations of rape of up-country women by raiders, which surfaced mostly in the later phases of the violence.180
The raiders, from the time they began organizing for violence until long after they attacked the Likoni police station, were able to operate in a virtual security vacuum. No efforts were made to stop the raiders before the raids were launched, despite numerous advance warnings. Once the violence began, government security forces-inclusive of the police, paramilitary GSU, and army and navy troops-did not mount serious security operations directed against the raiders and instead took a number of steps that undermined their effective pursuit. In addition, they failed to provide adequate protection to the victims of the targeted raids and were responsible for a number of serious human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests and torture. The response of the government's security forces to the violence was so lax as to raise widespread suspicions of government complicity in the attacks.
Turning a Blind Eye
As the raiders on the South Coast were preparing for their first attack, numerous Kenyan authorities at different levels were informed of serious security problems and failed to take action. As concluded in a mid-September 1997 police report on the violence, prepared by the deputy director of the Criminal Investigations Department following a visit to Coast Province: "It is apparent that the initial launching of the clashes and period it started was known to the security agencies within the area."181 Authorities in Nairobi were also warned of security threats in the area.
The fact that government officials had been forewarned and failed to act on the information became public knowledge largely because of the efforts of a private citizen, Roshanali Karmali Pradhan (known as "Jimmy"). Prior to the August raid Pradhan repeatedly informed authorities at the local, district, and provincial level in writing about suspicious activities conducted by groups of young men on his farm near the Likoni-Kwale border. After a May 15, 1997, letter to the local chief, copied to a number of area security officials, went unanswered, Prahdan wrote to the Likoni police chief on August 4 stating that, "a gang of 15-20 men have made a base at one boundary of my farm lying on the Mombasa Kwale boundary. These men are armed with guns and other weapons. [...] They gather there every Friday and terrorsies [sic] the area over the weekend." Again, the letter was copied to other security and administration officials. Those to whom at least one of Pradhan's letters were addressed or copied included the provincial commissioner (PC), the provincial police officer (PPO), the provincial criminal investigations officer (PCIO), the district commissioner (DC) of Kwale, the district officer (DO) of Matuga, the heads of the three police stations (Likoni, Kwale, and Diani), and the chief of his area.182
The information supplied by Pradhan was later supplemented by the testimony to the Akiwumi Commission of several police officials, ranging from local to provincial level and particularly intelligence officials, who made clear that they were aware of oathing and training activities in the Likoni-Kwale area months before the August 13 raid. For example, the most senior intelligence official at theprovincial level (the provincial security intelligence officer or PSIO) testified that as early as May 1997 he received reports that a large group of young men had stolen several guns from police and were planning to disrupt the elections in order to bring majimbo to the Coast region. One report predicted an attack by hundreds of Digo youths on the Likoni police station and the homes of up-country residents. The specific date given for that attack (May 18, 1997) ultimately proved incorrect, but later intelligence reports included a new warning in July 1997, less than a month before the August 1997 attack, that the Likoni police station would be burned down, as well as information that the group of youths included many active-duty and former servicemen. Despite having all this information at hand, the PSIO's provincial security counterparts said he never shared it with them, contradicting his testimony. Instead, over the months prior to the attack the PSIO's only confirmed action was to notify his superiors in Nairobi and order further investigations from his subordinates, and he said he also instructed police stations to be on alert. He claimed there was nothing else he could do since "it was not known when the attack would take place."183
One case from Kwale helps illustrate the complacency exhibited. The district criminal investigations officer (DCIO), already aware of reports that Muslim youths and ex-servicemen intended to take part in forthcoming attacks on police targets to steal weapons and ammunition, investigated claims that a local acrobatic troupe had undergone military training in Uganda. His mid-July report to the PCIO read in part: "The troupe would evidently be part of the trained Mercenaries earmarked for [that] job."184 Despite earlier reports to him by a different officer about plans to use violence to drive away up-country people, the PCIO opted to leave the matter of the training in the hands of junior intelligence personnel, who were to conduct further inquiries.185
The director of Kenya's National Security Intelligence Service (previously known as the Security Intelligence Department) at the time testified before the Akiwumi Commission that from about May 1997 he was informed of securitythreats in Coast Province, which were conveyed to him by his juniors via standard reporting channels. He noted that he informed the Police Commissioner, as well as the top government official responsible for internal security, by phone, of the reports from Coast Province, but that the matter was still under investigation when the raiders struck on August 13, 1997.186
Thus the widely diffused warnings about upcoming attacks in Coast Province did not lead to effective action to prevent the raids. The Likoni police station chief, who allegedly had been informed of the threat against his station, took no extra precautions and no additional personnel were deployed. He also left early the day of the attack, raising further suspicions. In one of only a handful of disciplinary actions following the Likoni raid, the station chief was transferred and later dismissed from the police force for negligence and disobeying orders.187
Various officials testified that their colleagues who had been forewarned did not inform them of reports of impending violence, and suspicions that some officials may have sought to conceal what they knew came to the fore during police investigations launched after the raid. In several cases, police witnesses charged that others had engaged in a cover-up. The police officer sent from Nairobi to investigate the clashes gave an example of the deception, saying top Coast Province security officials acted to keep from him information about advance warnings, such as the letters from Jimmy Pradhan which they had disregarded. This officer was reassigned and taken off the case, and his team, under the direction of a new provincial criminal investigations chief, took over the investigation.188
The September 1997 police report concluded: "[T]he Provincial Administration, the Police, as well as the Security Intelligence had this vital information well in advance but failed to co-ordinate and act upon it in good time as was expected."189 The raiders said police inaction made it possible for them to conduct their planning in peace. One said: "We had to keep our activities secret. Messages were sent to senior police [by others], but they took no action. [...] Noone came and disturbed us at all."190
Inaction Against Perpetrators
From the time the Likoni raid was launched on August 13, and for weeks thereafter, the government's poor security response made the deadly chaos possible. On the night of the first raid at the Likoni police station, personnel at a Kenyan Navy base located two kilometers from the scene of the raiders' attack did not respond, although the shots would have been audible. GSU units and police reinforcements arrived at Likoni by ferry from Mombasa several hours after the raiders attacked the police station and police post. They said they were unable to cross for hours because raiders shot at the ferry.191
The Kenyan military was briefly called to assist in the security operation, but army and navy personnel were both withdrawn within a matter of a few days. Officials stated that they involved the military in the operation at first because they believed the violence was perpetrated by an external force from another country but called them off when they decided that it was an internal matter.192
Accounts of skirmishes between security forces and the raiders indicate that they were well-matched or that the raiders may have had a military advantage. This demonstrates both the preparation and coordination of the raiders, but also the dismal failings of the state security operation. In one early case, a group of ten policemen was making its way to join up with other security forces in the Kaya Bombo forest area when a group of raiders appeared and the police commander, at the sight of them, ran away leaving his men behind, later claiming that his forces were outnumbered and outgunned. In another instance, officials testified that security forces totaling fifty men, including a platoon of thirty-five army soldiers and operating under army command, engaged the raiders in a heavy exchange of gunfire, but were overpowered and were forced to withdraw. Apparently describing the same incident, officials testified that reinforcements were not deployed because it was late afternoon and the army did not want to risk fighting at night. Similarly, a raider told how raiders and GSU personnel engaged in an armed skirmish outsideKaya Bombo forest until "the GSU finally got scared and left."193
The ineptitude of the security response immediately following the Likoni raid might be attributed to the confusion of the early days, but this pattern persisted even when the security operation was in full swing, leading to suspicions that the failings of the security forces were deliberate. When security forces came across the raiders, they often failed to engage them, chose not to pursue them as the raiders escaped, and even fled themselves to avoid an armed confrontation. For example, Jimmy Pradhan was at his farm with a government security escort when they saw a group of armed raiders at one end of his farm. Together with security forces who were patrolling the area, there were more than thirty fully armed security men, he said, but the GSU commander rejected requests to order an immediate attack and instead called for a helicopter, which took an hour to arrive, to follow the raiders. "[N]o attempt was made to apprehend or engage them," Pradhan stated.194
The raiders themselves indicated that they could easily hide from the security forces and, when they were discovered, scare them off by firing at them, and some became suspicious of the government's security operation. One stated:
If the government would have wanted to destroy us they could have done it because they have so much power. We wondered how the government was performing their [sic] duty because we'd see the people come and then they'd go away. We don't know who was ordering this. If they'd been told we'd taken this route, they'd take another. At first, they brought the Kenyan Army and everybody to fight us but later they learned the situation and just let us be. [...] We don't know why they didn't come after us. But later I came to realize that we were used for political reasons. I realized this was being planned during [voter] registration.195
In addition, a number of top Coast Province security personnel were suddenlyreplaced in September, in the middle of the security operation, and these sudden changes further impeded efforts to halt the raiders. The raiders also noticed the difference:
[T]he head [security] people were transferred immediately after the attack and that really helped us. The new people didn't know their way around. They sent new people from remote places. We took advantage of this. [...] After the Intelligence body was transferred, everything changed. Even us, we wondered why these people instead of coming to us went to attack innocent people, not coming to where we were.196
The raider speculated that the raiders' political contacts had arranged this change on their behalf.
Several police officials indicated that transportation and communication difficulties in the early days, as well as a lack of reinforcements and lack of cooperation from local administration officials, presented difficulties. Others, however, pointed to more serious problems, saying their operations were poorly managed and suffered from "a disjointed command and lack of proper coordination," as well as in-fighting among members of the provincial security committee (PSC), and that security forces failed to act on timely tips about where the raiders and the stolen guns could be found.197
Then-provincial police chief Francis Gichuki was singled out for blame by several of his former colleagues, who accused him of acting to undermine the government security operations. Officials testified, for example, that he blocked joint operations, redirected police forces to less important areas, transferred personnel, and refused to cooperate with other top security officials. When Gichuki was suddenly transferred in September 1997 without public explanation, as were other members of his team, some observers stated it was because he had been slow to act, while Gichuki's defenders argued that he was replaced as PPO in retaliation for the arrest of prominent ruling party politicians.198
Gichuki was keenly aware of a political dimension to the violence. Oneofficial testified that the PPO told him, "The whole issue regarding the raiders is political and I do not want to be involved."199 Gichuki himself testified that he came to strongly believe that the violence was politically motivated. He complained in particular of extensive political interference in security operations, described below. He stated that he had a great deal of information on the violence, but would only provide it if a closed session were to be arranged:
[There] are some names I cannot give in public. Whatever you say here appears in the newspapers the following morning. The people in Nairobi know me and they will say that I told you everything. I am an ex-Government servant and I cannot say everything here. I have been in the system. This is a political government and I cannot come saying everything here. Some of the things are confidential.200
Lack of Protection for the Victims
The government's failure to mount an adequate security response meant the up-country people forced to flee by the violence were unable to return. Human rights groups estimated that the violence, in which at least one hundred people were killed, also resulted in the displacement of over 100,000 people. Up to four thousand sought refuge in the Likoni Catholic Church, but police protection there was inadequate, despite requests for greater security, and armed raiders attacked the church compound on August 22, killing two people. Moreover, schools had to be closed due to persistent insecurity and lack of police protection.201
Furthermore, security forces failed to deploy to areas where the raiders had struck and some areas, including Likoni itself, were subsequently the subject of repeated attacks and looting. For example, raiders armed with at least one gun attacked the farm owned by Jimmy Pradhan on August 14, killing an up-country employee, causing extensive property damage, and stealing some farm animals. Pradhan made repeated requests for police action over the course of several months,which were not met. He later filed a lawsuit against the Kenyan government for damages resulting from this raid and continued looting that police forces failed to prevent-even, as noted above, when they witnessed the raiders on his property.202
After almost a month of confusion and inaction following the Likoni raid, the government announced that it had prepared a security plan to halt the violence and protect civilians. Operation orders issued in mid-September show that security forces at that point totaled 1,080 people, including police personnel from throughout the area, paramilitary forces, members of specialized security units, and others.203 (The government never lived up to an early promise to deploy 20,000 security personnel to quell the violence.)
It was not until several weeks later, however, that the government began to flush out the raiders from their hideouts. In a security operation in early November, the police ousted raiders from a den in the Similani caves, reported to have housed as many as thirty-but made no arrests. According to police announcements, the government recovered a few rifles and a submachine-gun, ammunition, a large tent, some of the raiders' uniforms, and their logbook, among other items. The new PPO, in place since September, distinguished this operation from previous ones, stating: "[This operation] will continue until we flush out all the raiders. This time we will not stop until we end this menace."204
The long delay in organizing and mounting a serious security operation is striking, and even the November 1997 operation-billed as the government's most effective action and attributed to the arrival of needed reinforcements-did not result in the capture of the raiders or an end to their activities. To the contrary, sporadic raids continued well into November-although they increasingly took the form of banditry. A small band of raiders defied police for more than a year after that, continuing to conduct armed robberies in the area and even promoting their activities with a broadcast on BBC radio in Kenya, until a December 1998 police ambush in which Bempa and several of the raiders' remaining military leaders were killed.
Torture and Ill-Treatment
The Kenyan security forces were responsible for an indiscriminate crackdown on the Digo population of the South Coast after the initial raids, even while largely avoiding confrontation with the raiders themselves. Human Rights Watch heard numerous first-hand testimonies of widespread and serious human rights abuses. Patterns of excessive use of force by security forces, police brutality, and torture in Kenya have been well documented and are not specific to the Coast region. In this case, the interviewees described being beaten, tortured, and severely mistreated during detention. The violations took place following the killing of several police officers in the Likoni attack, when the detainees were picked up in security sweeps of mostly Digo youths.
Security forces, while avoiding confrontations with the armed raiders at their hideouts, undertook security operations that targeted residents of coastal villages and towns. As one raider put it, "They chased the Digos for revenge. Instead of looking for us, they killed innocent people."205 Human rights groups documented that the officially sanctioned sweeps, involving combined units of GSU, police, and other security personnel, resulted in indiscriminate arrests of hundreds of mostly Digo men, widespread incidents of rape, and systematic looting.206
Those detained by the police were severely mistreated. A Digo man who claimed he had not been involved in the raids said he suffered repeated abuse after he was picked up by police. He was transported, handcuffed and lying face down, in the back of a pickup truck. The metal burned him, he said, but when he attempted to move, "the police would hit my buttocks and legs and head with their gun butts." He was taken to a police station, where the beatings continued. He explained:
Over there they started beating me while asking "How many people did you kill?" "Where are your people?" "We know you trained them." I was ordered to stand with my hands on the floor and my feet against the wall upside down and told to count to 1,000. When I fell over after a while, seven police beat me with hose pipes on the back of my neck.207
A raider who was captured with a friend after defecting from the group had a similar experience. He said: "We were beaten very badly by the police in Dianipolice station for two days. We were just being beaten and told that we had participated in the raid on the Likoni police station. We were not asked any questions."208 Swaleh bin Alfan likewise complained of mistreatment by the police, whom he said beat him and stole cash and valuables when they came to his house to arrest him for illegal oathing and other crimes associated with the violence.209
Digos were the primary civilian victims of government forces charged with pursuing the raiders, but they were not alone. Individuals near the scene of the Likoni police station raid were also targeted without regard to their presumed guilt or innocence. An up-country man who happened to be driving in the Likoni ferry area on the night of the raid described how he and others were brutalized by security forces who apparently were seeking revenge-and included innocent people among the targets:
The police were saying, "Let's kill these men, they killed the askaris [police]." One jumped on me with his boots on and broke my rib. [...] The GSU guy was hitting me with the muzzle of the gun to hurt my kidney. [...] They were whooping war cries and beating us at the same time. People came out [from hiding] to get protection from the police. [...] The police lined them up on the ground and started beating them, men and women both. They said horrible things in Swahili to one girl. The GSUs called them guerrillas. They said I was transporting guerrillas. [...] The police forced us to crawl on our hands and knees toward the ferry and were beating us, kicking us with boots. [...] It was fun for them to walk on us.210
The group crossed the ferry, still on its knees, and was loaded into a lorry that was taken to the central police station:
I was so glad when I saw where I was because I realized they planned to arrest us, not kill us. [...] The cells have lots of bugs and no room. To harass us, the police would tell all of us to get in the cells. [...] They know you can't fit. They just want to be cruel and exercise authority. They'd come and kick me even though I was hurt.211
Other detainees agreed that the overcrowding and poor prison conditions were a serious problem. One raider described the situation:
The conditions at Central Police Station were awful. People had no food. Some even drank their own urine. The lucky ones have cells on the sides, but most of us were crowded into the central courtyard with no food and water and a bad stench.212
Another raider stated:
One colleague was cut with a panga [machete] on the head and got infected with insects. He didn't get any medical attention and he died. [...] The following morning, after my colleague's death, I was taken back [to the police station]. We were forced to squat naked for twelve hours, lined up in about three rows. One officer recorded our names and then they'd call us [to be released].213
Moreover, a number of detainees held in connection with the raids reported torture by the police. Sixteen suspects filed a lawsuit against the government alleging serious injuries as the result of the application of a corrosive substance to their genitals, which they claimed had been ordered by prison authorities. An independent medical assessment concluded that the substance, which was purported to be an antiseptic or antifungal agent, could have made them impotent or infertile.214
Former detainees interviewed independently gave Human Rights Watch testimonies that were consistent. They described being taken to a large interrogation chamber that was outfitted with two tables. There, they were told to remove their clothes and wait on their knees as others were tortured, until it was their turn. One detainee, a Digo man who had already suffered extensive police beatings, described the torture method:
[They] made me crouch down, put a wooden stick behind my bent knees, wrapped my arms under the stick, and then tied my hands together at my knees so I couldn't move. Then they picked me up and balanced the stick between both tables. Because of my weight, I immediately was upside down, tied onto this stick. Then they proceeded to beat me. Sometimes one of them, sometimes more. They had flat wooden planks. They were saying, "You don't want to tell us what happened?" [...] They beat the soles of my feet until they blistered and also my legs and buttocks. After that they released me and made me jump like a frog on my blistered feet hundreds of times. The room was full of about thirty other people [detainees] at different stages of this torture. They were also tying a string around people's testicles, pulling it tight and then leading them around the room like that. They were going through all of us one by one.215
Another person, a captured raider, described being subjected to the same torture:
At the police headquarters, I was tied at the elbows and knees around a stick and then suspended upside down between two tables and hit on the feet, knees, and arms. Five policemen hit me one after another until they were all tired. After being beaten, a nylon string was tied twice around my testicles and then I was pulled around the room twice. The room was a big hall with two other rooms attached. I could not see others but I could hear them screaming. The room is on the ground floor overlooking the sea, but there is no window. I was asked where the guns were and who was behind these attacks. I said I didn't know. They beat me five times, each time for about one hour.216
A third victim told the same story:
A police officer with a gap in his teeth took me to a room with a table on each side. I was tortured there. I was tied with my hands and my feet tied together and hung upside down between the two tables and a baton was place on the back of my knees. I was beaten on the soles of the feet. The police office asked what I knew about killing police, burning houses, and stealing guns. They said they'd kill me and I refused to give any names. After beating my feet, they'd tell me to jog. My feet still hurt. I haveaches in the morning and at night. They also tied my genitals with a rope and pulled. This treatment lasted about one week.217
This individual, who was also a captured raider, still had heavily scarred feet two years later.
One of the raiders noted that since the torture:
I have problems with my groin and the joints in my arms. I cannot sleep with my wife any more. I can't work as a driver any more because I cannot grip the steering wheel. I saw a doctor but he wanted me to get an X-ray and I could not afford it, so I have not gotten any medical treatment.218
Some of those who gave testimony of torture were raiders who had been picked up in the indiscriminate sweeps conducted by the Kenyan security forces. The raiders with whom Human Rights Watch spoke were not convicted for their involvement in the raids. Three of them were detained but, as noted below, only one of those was prosecuted, in a criminal trial of 240 accused raiders that ultimately resulted in acquittal. Few politicians who were implicated in the violence were charged and in only a few instances did the cases go to trial (see below).
KANU's Political Maneuvers Aid the Raiders
The evidence strongly suggests that government officials and KANU politicians contributed to the organization of the violence, both before and after the violence began, and-ultimately-to impunity for those behind it. Prior to the Likoni attack, raiders testified, men whom they were told were KANU members of parliament (MPs) and key party activists visited their training camps and met with their leaders (and, according to one raider, provided material support). After the raids broke out in Likoni, several top KANU politicians took a number of steps designed to protect the party's interests-even when those interests appeared to conflict with the overriding public interest in ending the raids immediately and bringing those responsible to justice.
Politicians who were not part of government security structures nevertheless closely involved themselves in government security matters by urging a halt to the security operations, according to police testimony, and by pressing for a gun amnesty for raiders. The gun amnesty, as will be discussed, was part of negotiationsbetween the government and the raiders conducted via Shakombo, and provided that the raiders would be pardoned if they handed in the stolen weapons. Politicians also repeatedly interfered in police investigations, undermining accountability for prominent Coast Province politicians who had been implicated in the violence, as well as securing the release of the raiders' spiritual leader (see below). According to testimony from police and judicial authorities, these releases were secured under irregular circumstances and contrary to procedure. In general, security officials said they felt under immense political pressure to comply with the demands of KANU politicians with respect to limiting the security operations and police investigations. Moreover, top politicians associated publicly with the raiders, most notably by asking their spiritual leader to conduct campaign activities on behalf of the ruling party and by providing them material assistance, which they said they did as part of government negotiations to end the raids and recover the stolen guns.
Indications of Early KANU Support
A number of testimonies, most of them from people who claim to have first-hand knowledge of the events, suggest that powerful KANU politicians at the provincial and even national level were deeply involved in the organization of the violence in the Coast region, and some may have been in direct contact with the raiders during the planning phase. The claims are contested or unconfirmed, but taken together raise the possibility that-from the beginning-the Likoni raid and subsequent attacks reflected a violent strategy designed by individuals high up in the ruling party.
In testimony to Human Rights Watch, a former KANU politician in Coast Province described being summoned in 1993 by a senior government official from the Office of the President who expressed concern about KANU's electoral losses in the 1992 election and suggested that the politician mobilize a group to drive out the up-country voters and thereby ensure a KANU win in 1997. (The politician said he did not take up the suggestion.) According to his testimony:
[The official from the Office of the President] told me that KANU has been threatened by what happened in this  election and that they don't want something like this to happen again because the president might lose. If that trend goes on of up-country people supporting the opposition, it will be dangerous for KANU. He asked me, "How should I take care of them?" He told me that I should form a group like Masumbuko-the official government thug. [...] He said, "Do like Masumbuko and plan something that would make the up-country people leave the area." [...] He meant to do clashes. I know because Masumbukodid that to counter the IPK [Islamic Party of Kenya] by attacking sympathizers [...] I asked him about security and he said, "There's no problem." [...] To make sure if this was official or unofficial, I asked him if the president knows and is aware of it. [The high-level official] said, "We've got the blessings of Mzee [President Moi]." He used those words, in Swahili and English.219
A second, consistent account was offered by another former KANU politician, Emmanuel Maitha, who left KANU in late 1997 to run for parliament on the Democratic Party ticket. In December 1997, Maitha gave a newspaper interview in which he was quoted as stating: "The recent `tribal' clashes at the Coast are part of a larger KANU scheme to rig the December elections."220 In an interview with the Kenya Human Rights Commission a few days later, he was more specific, alleging that the Coast violence had been organized by senior KANU politicians. In that interview, Maitha maintained that he was not involved in the raids and claimed that the violence was orchestrated and financed by Rashid Sajjad, an MP and top Coast KANU politician who headed KANU's Coast Province campaign effort, together with a longtime cabinet minister and "associates of theirs at State House [the Office of the President]."221
Maitha asserted that the KANU plotters timed the violence to disrupt voting by up-country residents and thereby improve KANU's electoral prospects in the area. According to him, Sajjad took the lead to execute the plan on the ground and the Likoni violence was to be the first stage in a broader KANU strategy to instigate violence for political ends in different parts of Kenya. While Maitha declined to reveal how he learned this, he said he feared for his life because of the sensitive information he had, including first-hand information about prior efforts to disrupt opposition activities (see above).222 Maitha later maintained that he never spoke tothe Kenya Human Rights Commission.223 Rashid Sajjad categorically rejected the allegations laid to Maitha and asserted the innocence of the other implicated KANU officials.224 Both Sajjad and the cabinet member implicated in the Maitha interview strongly denied accusations made in parliament and elsewhere that they orchestrated and financed the Likoni raiders' activities.225
A statement by Masumbuko was described in police testimony several times at the Akiwumi hearings. For example, the former Coast Province provincial criminal investigations officer, referring both to Masumbuko's statement and one attributed to Maitha (see above), said: "[...T]he statements, in fact, indicated the participation of the two in the previous activities of countering those who were seen to be having [forming] some other parties like IPK. They also implicated some personalities with whom they were consulting."226
Speaking about his experience organizing state-sanctioned violence, while maintaining his innocence with respect to the Likoni violence, Masumbuko's statement reads:
The issue of burning Likoni Police Station and stealing of guns cannot be done by someone without the assistance of the people in authority. Secondly, this must have taken a long time to plan and also money must have been used. When I used to fight with IPK, the Special Branch [Kenyan police intelligence] was aware of our activity. We used to draw plans together and then I would mobilise the youth to fight. Even this attack on Likoni Police Station must have been the same although it might have gonefurther to an extent of killing police officers.227
Testimony from a raider provides a different perspective, but one that also supports the charge that the raiders received support from important KANU leaders and allies as they were preparing for their planned attacks. According to an early recruit, politicians visited the camps and invoked the name of "Mzee" (President Moi) to suggest, rightly or wrongly, political support at the highest level.228
He stated further that he did not know these visitors, but that his commanders identified them as KANU members of parliament (MPs) and key party activists from Coast Province. Some of the visitors, he added, provided direct support to the raiders in advance of the raids. He said that one person was a particularly frequent political visitor, whom he personally witnessed at the camp four times before the Likoni raid. This person met with the raiders' local leaders and also exchanged greetings with the outsiders. After the visitor left, the raiders would receive food delivered by pickup truck. The raider also stated that the visitor provided the raiders with a lorry the night of the Likoni raid to transport them to the site of the attack. The raider also explained that after several of these visits, the leaders would indicate that they had been given money or even a few guns (which he said were wrapped in a package so they were not visible). He added that all of the visits, even when not accompanied by direct support, served to encourage the raiders because they demonstrated that the raiders had the backing of important people.229
In addition, Swaleh bin Alfan testified before the Akiwumi Commission that Shakombo and Sajjad visited his home together a few days prior to the Likoni raid. He said the two men told him they had some people in the forest who were organizing for violence and that he should keep this information secret. During the visit, Alfan added, three other visitors arrived and were introduced as leaders of the raiders, including Bempa. Alfan further stated that he witnessed Shakombo andSajjad give money to these three men, Ksh.3,000 (U.S.$50), to buy food. Alfan retracted these statements in subsequent testimony before the Akiwumi Commission. When speaking to Human Rights Watch in 1999 he maintained that his initial testimony, which both Sajjad and Shakombo strongly rejected, had been correct.230
A number of allegations surfaced that Shakombo was intimately involved in the raiders' planning activities. For example, a KANU politician, Suleiman Kamole, testified to the Akiwumi Commission that he attended a security meeting after the Likoni raid in which Alfan declared that Shakombo had been the one who took prospective raiders to him to be oathed.231 Shakombo was also named as a supplier of weapons to the raiders in advance of the Likoni attack.232 Moreover, Shakombo was alleged before the Akiwumi Commission to have financed the raiders during the planning phase, based on information provided to police by a captured raider who stated that the politician gave raiders Ksh.27,000 [$490] in two payments in February 1997.233 In addition, police said several suspects told them that Shakombo incited them to attack the Likoni police station and expel up-country residents from the area.234 Shakombo, who testified that he had family ties to the raiders, acknowledged that he was aware of the raiders' oathing and training activities, as well as their plans to attack police stations in order to acquire weapons, which he reported to a local intelligence officer in May 1997, but by his account hehad absolutely no part in them.235
KANU Politicians Seek Halt to Security Operations
In mid-August, 1997, only a few days after the Likoni police station attack, members of the provincial security committee (PSC) held a meeting, jointly with other officials, to discuss ongoing security operations. Three officials who participated told the Akiwumi Commission that Sajjad and Maitha appeared at the office of the provincial police officer (PPO) as their meeting was in progress. They said the politicians made clear that they wanted operations against the raiders to cease and cited political reasons. Maitha agreed only that he had told the PSC members that abuses by government forces against the Digo and the wider Mijikenda population risked undermining support for KANU in the election later that year. His testimony to the commission differed slightly in other respects. He stated that his objection to the security operation was the involvement of the military and the manner in which police were conducting searches, but said he did not call for an end to all operations. He also said that he was speaking only for himself, on behalf of the Mijikenda community. The security officials further stated that Sajjad implicitly endorsed the call to end the operations, which Sajjad denied through his lawyer. Regardless, Sajjad's presence at the meeting likely made a difference, as at the time he was considered a very powerful figure in Coast Province. Perceptions of his level of influence were such that Sajjad was twice alleged before the Akiwumi Commission to have directed government affairs in Coast Province (a claim rejected by the officials on the stand).236
This was not the only such incident on which security officials testified. For example, one senior official said that KANU MPs Boy and Mwamzandi also pressed for an end to the security operation, again citing abuses against their constituents. Both denied that they wanted the operations halted and said that theyinstead complained about how the operations were conducted.237
Shakombo, at that time still with KANU, testified that he met with President Moi in Mombasa approximately one week after the outbreak of violence in Coast Province to protest the conduct of security officials. He said he recommended at that meeting that the government offer a pardon to encourage raiders to hand in the stolen weapons. The government soon thereafter announced a gun amnesty, with President Moi announcing a week-long amnesty on August 22 and later extending it by ten days until September 9. In December 1997, with only twenty-four of the stolen guns recovered, President Moi said he would consider granting amnesty to the more than 200 suspects charged in connection with the violence if the remainder of the guns were handed in. The balance of the weapons were not surrendered and the amnesty was not granted.238
The effect of the August-September amnesty was to contribute to further chaos and displacement. Police officials indicated that the amnesty effectively suspended security operations against the raiders-who were operating from camps in the Kaya Bombo forest and Similani caves-for nearly one month.239 But many residents of the Coast region continued to fear security forces who, during the amnesty period in particular, conducted sweeps in residential areas and targeted Digo residents for unlawful arrest and mistreatment, and therefore joined up-country residents in fleeing their homes. As one raider put it, "KANU gave people ten days to return the guns or threaten an ambush, so the civilians had to leave."240
Political Interference in Police Investigations
Amid accusations from many quarters that the bloodshed was politically motivated, intended to influence the election results and disrupt the political momentum of the constitutional reform movement, government and ruling party officials repeatedly sought to deflect attention from allegations concerning KANU politicians by pointing the finger at their political rivals. The August 15 arrest of a human rights investigator, an opposition party activist, and a politician from a Coast-based unregistered party, on charges of unlawful assembly, fit into thisstrategy.241
KANU politicians, for their part, accused the opposition of sparking the violence to damage KANU's reputation. The leader of KANU explained the party's position: "The clashes must have been started by somebody who knew they would make KANU unpopular and who believed they could get away with simply blaming them on KANU. Nobody should go for votes by killing people and then blaming his political opponent. That is immoral."242 President Moi stated: "KANU is a party which advocates peace and unity and at no time can it perpetrate violence."243 He and the KANU leader both strongly condemned the violence and firmly asserted that any politician found to have been involved would be arrested, with Moi stating: "Even if you are an MP you won't escape if you incite people."244 In practice, however, political considerations very much inhibited police investigations, and ultimately these promises were at best empty words.
Police officials testified that they became suspicious about the role of KANU members in the violence. In some cases, they said suspects implicated KANU politicians as organizers of the violence. In other cases, police suspected ruling party politicians because they sought to interfere in the police investigation, including by calling for an end to the security operation. They also indicated that they developed doubts about politicians who gained access to the raiders to help arrange the return of guns. In still other cases politicians were named as police suspects on the basis of allegations linking them to the raiders. Among those named as suspects by police for one or more of these reasons were Boy, Maitha, Masumbuko, Mwahima, Mwamzandi, Hisham Mwidau (see list, above), andShakombo.245 The provincial criminal investigations officer at the time of the Likoni raid, during cross-examination by a lawyer representing the Law Society of Kenya, agreed with the lawyer that there was no reason why Shakombo had not been arrested and charged.246 He also agreed that there should have been an investigation of higher-ranking KANU members who were implicated, including Sajjad, in particular to gather statements from them concerning the allegations.247 This, however, was not done.
Francis Gichuki, who headed up the Coast Province police team as the PPO at the time, commented at the Akiwumi hearings that in some cases arrests were not made because the suspects were politically well-connected and some served in the government. As he put it, "I did not want to burn my fingers."248
In the case of Masumbuko, Gichuki testified that police suspected Masumbuko because he was the first to arrive at the scene of raids, as if he knew in advance where they would take place. Other sources have alleged that Masumbuko was responsible for recruiting the highly trained outsiders who helped the raiders. He was suspected in part because of his role in organizing and training local youths under UMA (as noted, one raider said former UMA members joined their ranks). In a rare instance of police action against a politically connected suspect, the KANU activist was arrested on August 20, 1997, charged in connection with the violence, and prosecuted.249
As police themselves testified, a high level of political interference in judicial matters concerning the Coast violence undermined accountability, and prominent suspects were unlikely to face arrest, much less prosecution. Indeed, several politicians who were arrested in connection with the violence were released from custody after top officials intervened on their behalf, and in some of those cases KANU political interests were explicitly cited as a reason for their release. Thecircumstances and conditions of these releases were not always made clear, but in most cases the evidence suggests the politicians were released without charge or that charges were later dropped.
In a notable example, a police officer reportedly motivated by political considerations arranged for Maitha to be released on bond two weeks after his arrest. The provincial criminal investigations officer (PCIO) acknowledged that he instructed prosecuting and judicial officers to charge Maitha with a bailable offense, as opposed to a more serious charge he might otherwise have faced. According to the magistrate and the police prosecutor, the PCIO told them that top officials had determined that this move was necessary to protect the interests of the ruling party. Both recalled that the PCIO explained that the continued detention of Maitha, who was still with KANU at the time, could cause the party to lose votes among Mijikenda supporters. They also both said that the PCIO told them that the decision to release Maitha on bond had been reached at a provincial security meeting with the president, but the PCIO strongly denied that he had invoked President Moi's name or attributed the decision to the provincial security committee; instead, he testified that he was acting on an order from the Kenyan commissioner of police in Nairobi. The police commissioner denied that that was the case, and PSC members also disassociated themselves completely from the PCIO's action.250
Political interference also influenced the case of Mwalimu Masoud Mwahima, who was a KANU councillor and later would become Mombasa's mayor, as well as that of Hisham Mwidau, the KANU MP candidate for Likoni. Both men were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the Likoni violence. In the case of Mwidau, police arrested him on evidence that his vehicle had been used to transport raiders. Mwahima, according to police testimony, was similarly suspected of allowing his vehicle to be used by raiders and, moreover, was the subject of unconfirmed allegations that raiders fired shots from a house belonging to him. The investigating officer from Nairobi, who had ordered the arrests, testified that the PCIO arrangedto release both suspects without his consent. According to testimony at the Akiwumi hearings, the politicians were released without charge. Political pressure had been brought to bear in this case; the former PPO testified that Mwidau's release was the result of "negotiations," and that cabinet minister and Coast Province MP Shariff Nassir pressed for Mwahima to be released from custody. The minister confirmed this in his testimony before the Akiwumi Commission.251
One case of political interference stands out because police strongly believed the prisoner, Swaleh bin Alfan, was a prime suspect; yet he was released from custody after he had been charged with non-bailable offenses. Several top security officials testified that from the time of Alfan's arrest on August 15, they were under great pressure from various politicians-including former assistant minister Mwamzandi, former KANU MP Boy, and then-KANU aspirant to a parliamentary seat Shakombo-to release him from custody, ostensibly so he could use his influence to promote the surrender of weapons stolen by the raiders.252
Shakombo openly acknowledged playing a key role in arranging Alfan's release. Shakombo testified that, acting through a cousin who was associated with the raiders, he urged the raiders to hand in the stolen weapons under the gun amnesty, and they in turn demanded that Alfan be released. He said he personally visited the raiders' hideout in the Similani caves to deliver the message that the authorities had agreed to the raiders' conditions. There was a delay, however, and Alfan was first taken to remand prison at Shimo la Tewa, north of Mombasa. This seeming betrayal of the promise made to the raiders put the strategy at risk, headded, and resulted in the killing of his cousin by the angry raiders. Out of concern for his own safety, he said, he cut off contact with the raiders.253
Alfan's release, however, would soon be secured. During a visit to the province in the third week of August, President Moi announced that the government would arrange for the oath administrator (not named) to withdraw the oath under official supervision. The following month a PSC meeting was held on September 22 with Coast political leaders. Those present, which included a number of prominent KANU MPs, aspiring MPs, and civic leaders-some of whom had themselves been implicated in the violence-pressed for Alfan's release, arguing that he be set free to de-oath the raiders. According to officials, the provincial security team had earlier rejected the same appeal from various politicians, but under continued pressure the PSC reversed its initial decision. One factor was that some of the PSC members who had voted against the measure before had by then been transferred and replaced. When asked why Alfan, charged with the crime of oathing, was set free to carry out an act, de-oathing, that is also illegal under Kenyan law, one of the new PSC members stated that it this was the "unanimous agreement" of the PSC and the political leaders.254
Three days later, on September 25, Alfan was ordered released on bail on the recommendation of the prosecution. The then-director of the Criminal Investigations Department in Nairobi testified that he was consulted in advance and did not object to the PSC's decision. To make his release possible, the new Coast Province PCIO (in place since the mid-September transfer of his predecessor) instructed that capital charges against Alfan be dropped. Alfan's bond of Ksh.200,000 ($3,360) was put up by no less a figure than MP Boy, who confirmedthis, and Alfan claimed Sajjad and Shakombo had arranged this assistance.255
Senior police officials appeared eager to keep Alfan out of jail. When Alfan was arrested on fresh evidence in November, the new PPO ordered Alfan be freed immediately, saying he wanted Alfan out of jail so the police could monitor his activities. The arresting officer, however, said he worried that the arrest had antagonized powerful individuals and requested a transfer because he feared for his life as a result.0
KANU Campaigns with the Raiders' Spiritual Leader
After politicians arranged for Alfan's release and until he was rearrested and jailed on similar charges following the December 1997 elections, Alfan was recruited to help KANU politicians campaign and was given money for this purpose. His help was enlisted by Suleiman Kamole and the provincial commissioner (PC). The latter said an official in the Office of the President instructed him to work with Alfan to arrange de-oathing of the raiders.1
Notably, no such de-oathing ever took place after Alfan's release. Alfan testified that he did not carry out any such ceremony, and security officials said they believed that, to the contrary, Alfan administered more oaths once he was released.2 According to Shakombo, Alfan told him that he would not stop oathingthe raiders until majimbo was introduced.3 The then-PPO stated that when Alfan was rearrested and charged in early 1998, following the elections, it was because they had discovered that he was not carrying out de-oathing ceremonies, as agreed.4 Both Shakombo and Boy, however, testified that this was known already in November, when Alfan was briefly arrested and immediately released (on the orders of the same PPO), and said that they had by then personally conveyed news of fresh oathing by Alfan to security officials.5
It was established at the Akiwumi Commission that Sajjad and Kamole gave Alfan a large sum of money, Ksh.700,000 ($11,800), in two installments paid in Sajjad's office, as well as use of a vehicle, to campaign for KANU.6 Kamole, asked at the Akiwumi hearings if it was not wrong to have "used a murder to achieve your cause," replied: "If this was looked [seen] in a negative way it is bad. For us we did our best to ensure KANU won the election."7 He and Sajjad (who, strikingly, claimed he was unaware of accusations against Alfan at the time) both felt that Alfan's influence in Kwale could help KANU win votes and said their intention in giving him funds was that they should be used to "buy votes" and for other campaign expenses.8 For his part, Alfan agreed that the money was ostensibly meant to have been used for campaign activities, but testified that he passed the first payment of Ksh.400,000 ($6,730) to the raiders for them to spenddirectly.9 (The raiders themselves were aware that politicians funneled them money via Alfan, as described below.)
Alfan said that, in exchange for promises of additional money, he spoke at numerous KANU rallies and mobilized the Digo vote for the ruling party in the general election. He testified that he campaigned for KANU candidates even though he believed the politicians were linked to the violence under Sajjad's leadership.10 Alfan also testified that Sajjad promised him monetary rewards for his electoral help.11
Politicians Assist the Raiders During the Ongoing Clashes
Beyond what raiders described about visits from politicians as they prepared for violence, Human Rights Watch obtained important new information about the involvement of politicians after the violence was unleashed. In first-hand testimonies, raiders told Human Rights Watch that prominent politicians visited them during this period. According to the raiders, these politicians provided food and money during ongoing clashes. Based on these visits, the aid these politicians provided, and statements by the raiders' leaders to the effect that they had powerful political backers, some of the raiders believed they benefited from political sponsorship for their continued activities-and ultimately, rewards for phasing them out. After raids in August 1997 led to the large-scale displacement of the up-country population in affected areas, politicians encouraged the raiders to halt the raids in exchange for jobs or assistance to leave the country. In some cases the raiders interpreted this offer of continued assistance as a reward for their work so far and a sign that the violence had gone on too long and had become a liability, not as an indicator that the politicians objected to their actions. To the contrary, raiders attributed comments to politicians endorsing the goal of majimbo even in the midst of the violence. Allegations also surfaced during the Akiwumi Commission hearings that prominent politicians provided material and financial support, as well as political backing, to the raiders in their hideouts even during the period of active violence. As noted, the implicated politicians, for their part, have publicly denied they supported the raiders' agenda and offered their own accounts of their interactions with them.
During the ongoing clashes, the raiders said, they received direct gifts of food from several politicians, as well as money, most of which they used to buy food. In some cases, the raiders claim that politicians personally delivered such support to the raiders at the hideouts. One raider who helped guard the raiders' camp in the Similani caves stated that he saw Boy and Shakombo visit the hideout together twice. On a third occasion, he stated, Shakombo arrived with another man he did not recognize. The raider was not able to see clearly whether money changed hands during these meetings, but after the visitors left the camp, each time his commanders would announce that they had received money for food.12
Another raider, interviewed separately, also stated that he repeatedly saw Boy and Shakombo at the raiders' hideout and added that they brought food for the raiders. He did not indicate that he saw them give money, but he testified that during their visits, "they would say, `When we get majimbo you will get money from the boss,'" leading to the conclusion that they supported the raiders' cause and backed their actions.13
The raiders also described receiving food deliveries arranged by politicians, especially Shakombo. For example, one raider stated that Shakombo arranged for his cousin, who had facilitated the surrender of some weapons, to deliver food to the hideouts.14 Often, the raiders added, their food supplies were paid for with money Swaleh bin Alfan said had been furnished by politicians.15 For example, a raider stated: "We would get our food by sending boys [youths] to Swaleh's house." He also stated that Swaleh told him, "Tomorrow I will go and get money from Shakombo and Juma Boy."16
Alfan was among those who, speaking before the Akiwumi Commission, similarly alleged that politicians aided the raiders in the period after the attack on the Likoni police station. He testified, for example, that Shakombo sent food to the raiders, and alleged that Boy was among the politicians who provided financial support to the raiders after August 13, 1997.17 As noted above, police testified that several suspects named Shakombo as a financier and vocal supporter of their cause from an early stage.
Both Shakombo and Boy denied the accusations. In his account, Boy said thathe was in contact with raiders only indirectly, through two campaign managers. He stated that security officials approached him asking for help contacting the raiders to arrange the surrender of the guns stolen by the raiders. Boy denied that he had known of the raiders' activities before the Likoni attack or that he at any point financed the raiders or visited them. He also rejected claims that he supported the raiders' political agenda, the ousting of up-country residents and institution of a majimbo system of governance.18
Shakombo, for his part, confirmed to the Akiwumi Commission that he had direct and close contact with the raiders, but testified that he was working on behalf of security officials-to arrange the surrender of guns. In that capacity, he said, he visited the raiders in their hideout on one occasion, spoke to their commander (Bempa, his cousin) and greeted the raiders, whom he estimated numbered as many as 300. In a published interview he gave to the Kenya Human Rights Commission in December 1997, Shakombo added further detail. In that interview he said that, acting as negotiator on behalf of the government, he was granted police permission to provide the raiders with food and medicine and that he had arranged to purchase supplies and have them delivered to the raiders in his car. He stated further that the police gave him some funds for this purpose, doled out in relatively small amounts of Ksh.5,000-10,000 ($85-$170). Shakombo later denied having given the KHRC interview even after being told by the Akiwumi Commission that KHRC had audio-recorded it and that, in any case, his testimony at the hearings was highly consistent with what he told the KHRC.19
Some of the raiders felt that, especially as the attacks wore on, politicians provided support in order to coopt the raiders and encourage them to halt their attacks, sometimes linking the desire to see the violence end to the upcoming elections. For example, a raider told Human Rights Watch that he met with Boy at Alfan's house, and, according to his testimony, "He said to cool down so the elections could take place." He added, "Shakombo's group was at first the same as Boy's," meaning that at the time "Shakombo was [with] KANU."20 According tothis raider, "Shakombo came to the bush and said, `What you've done is enough.'"21 However, the same raider stated that the raiders refused to be coopted and used the money indirectly supplied by politicians for their own purposes. He said, "Some of the senior people came to cool us down after the operation [the Likoni attack], to give us food," but "we used it for other reasons [purposes]."22 The raider also said he did not take seriously the government's offer of a gun amnesty and believed it was another ploy by politicians to coopt the raiders for their own purposes. He said Shakombo and others offered the raiders incentives such as jobs to cooperate, and that a former provincial official promised them that they would be designated "homeguards" (referring to members of the Kenya Police Reserve program) and given new guns if they handed in their weapons.
The Electoral Pay-off for KANU
From the perspective of the election results, the incitement of violence against up-country residents, the majority of whom were known to support the opposition, was a complete success. The KHRC, which carried out an analysis of the December 29, 1997, election results, showed that the areas where up-country people were targeted for attack corresponded to the areas where the concentration of registered up-country voters was highest. By KHRC estimates, at least 75 percent of up-country voters in these areas were displaced by the violence and many of them lost needed identity documents, making it impossible for them to vote even if they returned to the Coast Province constituency where they were registered. Of the displaced people who had returned to the Coast region, they found many remained too scared to vote, in part because of continued threats from indigenous residents.23
There were seven parliamentary seats up for election in the two districts most affected by the Coast violence, four in Mombasa district and three in Kwale district. With the 1997 vote, KANU picked up one additional seat in Mombasa and retained two others, while retaining all three seats in Kwale. In the presidential vote, President Moi swept the province. The president's electoral support improved markedly as compared to 1992, KHRC found, even in areas considered opposition strongholds. In Likoni, Moi brought in 41.5 percent of the vote, more than a ten-point rise from his 1992 tally. In Mombasa district as a whole, votes for Moi rose eight percentage points over 1992 levels.24
KANU leaders said the results validated their claim that KANU was not responsible for the violence and, in doing so, ignored the effect on the vote of thedisplacement of up-country voters. One typical statement emphasized the ruling party's concern that widespread police abuses in residential areas might have caused the party to lose support among the Digo community, but noted that KANU performed very well regardless. In it, then-KANU councillor Mwahima, who had been implicated in the violence, as noted, stated:
KANU did not harm anybody. But, it was the opposition; the security people who were brought here wanted to sully the image of KANU. And we were very worried because...that...we would lose the seats in the area. But, fortunately, the people understood. There were four civic seats [in the Likoni constituency], we got three, and lost one. We lost the parliamentary seat, and that was out of sheer bad luck. We did not lose it because KANU had been rejected...And the president won many votes in our area demonstrating once again that the people were aware that KANU was not responsible for what happened.25
The Likoni parliamentary seat went to Shakombo, who was defeated for the KANU nomination and won under the Shirikisho Party of Kenya, a Coast-based pro-majimbo party. The party was initially denied registration, but in the wake of the Likoni violence and amid concerns that KANU might lose the vote in Likoni district in the upcoming election, it was allowed to register on November 18, 1997.26 The timing of the party's registration suggested that KANU permitted it to field candidates in order to ensure that if KANU was to lose the vote in Likoni district due to a voter backlash against the government that they had been unable to forestall, it at least was won by a KANU ally.27 Since winning office, Shakombohas indeed aligned himself with KANU and cooperated with the ruling party.28
The Aftermath at the Coast: Failed Justice, Enduring Resentment
The deeply flawed Kenyan justice system provided near total impunity for the 1997 Coast Province violence, as in other incidents of politically motivated ethnic attacks in Kenya before and since. Police investigations were seriously inadequate, and courts eventually acquitted all but a tiny handful of the accused raiders. The Akiwumi Commission, particularly in the first months of its existence, uncovered further evidence that had never been used in the criminal trials. Press accounts of testimony before the Akiwumi Commission generated hopes that the commission's work might serve as a springboard for addressing the long-standing impunity enjoyed by instigators of ethnic violence. To date, however, the government has refused to make public the commission's report and offers no indication that it intends to take seriously recommendations the commission was mandated to offer, nor has it used the information collected by the commission as the basis for criminal prosecutions.29 To deflect criticism for its inaction, the government announced in October 2000 that it had opened new investigations, but in light of past failings there was little hope these would lead to concrete results.
The raiders' accounts shed light on the matter of impunity. Of the five raiders interviewed by Human Rights Watch, two were never apprehended during the wave of arrests, one was quickly released together with a friend following the intervention of the prominent local businessman who had recruited him, one was released shortly after being jailed, and one was detained for a long period before being acquitted for lack of evidence. The raiders stated that all of their leaders, to their knowledge, escaped arrest. (As noted, several of them were killed in a police ambush a year and a half after the Likoni raid.)
The Police Investigation
The lack of seriousness in the government's investigative effort is most clearly demonstrated by the official police report on the Coast violence. The investigating officer who began to uncover important evidence was soon transferred, as noted above, and more junior personnel took over the investigation under the supervision of a PCIO and PPO who, having just arrived to replace transferred personnel, were new to the investigation. Although fifty-nine pages long, the police report contained only a very brief (ten pages) and superficial analysis, and offered no evidence to support its conclusions. The report largely blamed the violence on the National African Development Union (NADU), an unregistered Coast-based party, and its leader Ali Chizondo, whom it accused of organizing the raids. Two reasons were given: an official said he had been told that Chizondo recruited youth to fight the government because the party had been denied registration, and NADU's strong and public pro-majimbo stance (a stance which, the report did not mention, was shared by many KANU politicians). The police report also stated that local Muslim leaders incited the attacks, reportedly over a heated dispute about a local mosque, and accused several such leaders of supporting, and even participating, in the violence, but did not provide evidence for these claims. It named Alfan as the principal oath administrator for the raiders, again without specifying on what basis it reached this conclusion, even though police later testified they had an abundance of evidence. Strikingly, the report noted that, besides NADU, no opposition parties had been implicated, while omitting any reference to the widely reported role of KANU officials other than noting that suspects named Shakombo, who was seeking the KANU nomination, as a key supporter and financier.30
The bulk of the police report consisted of more than forty pages of appendices. Among these were various lists that specified names of: those charged before the court (at that time, 169 of 545 men arrested); "recruited thugs" (381 people, divided into sub-groups or "squads"); "prime suspects," including Alfan, Chizondo, Maitha, and Masumbuko (only Chizondo was named in the main portion of the report); "thugs" killed in the security operation (twelve people); and suspects at large (twenty-two people). Again, however, the police did not indicate how they came to identify suspects, so this information was of little value, particularly for the purposes of criminal prosecution. For example, the report did not specify whether the list of suspected raiders was culled from the raiders' register or from other sources.
Judges who oversaw the criminal cases of those charged in connection with the Likoni violence harshly criticized the police for making numerous, serious mistakes-a significant statement given the importance of the case. Among other criticisms, they said that police prosecutors failed to produce even circumstantial evidence linking the suspects to their alleged crimes, to explain the grounds for arrests, or to provide other required documentation. Instead, according to one judge, police offered only "gossip and rumor."31
Given the shoddy police investigation, the judges in the criminal cases said, they had no choice but to acquit the accused, some 240 people, all of whom had pleaded not guilty to charges of oath-taking, arson, theft, possession of offensive weapons, and robbery with violence. By the time these decisions were issued, from mid-1998 to early 1999, most of the accused had been in remand prison for more than a year, during which time several suspects had died. The long delay can partly be explained by the fact that prosecutors combined the cases against the 240 suspects, each charged with multiple crimes (many faced eighteen counts), and only separated the cases into smaller groupings and issued new charges (limited to six per person) on the orders of the High Court.32
While the suspected raiders were charged together (and later acquitted together), a few cases that went to trial separately resulted in convictions. In one, four suspects were sentenced to death for a September 1997 armed robbery reportedly carried out with a gun stolen from the Likoni police station. In another, a man who led police to a stolen gun was sentenced to four years in jail for weapons possession. In a third case, two juveniles and an adult were convicted on robbery charges and sentenced to death. These apparently were the only convictions for crimes that, according to prosecutors, were associated with the Likoni violence.33
The Akiwumi Commission: Dashed Hopes
The Akiwumi Commission was established in July 1998. Under its terms of reference, the duties of the Akiwumi Commission centered upon the investigation of the so-called "tribal clashes" (inter-ethnic violence) that occurred in Kenya between 1991 and 1998, in particular the causes of the violence, the actions of police and other law enforcement agencies in addressing these incidents, and the level of preparedness and efficacy of law enforcement agencies to prevent and control such violence. The commission was to recommend further investigation or prosecution of perpetrators of the incidents, as required, as well as ways to better prevent and control future inter-ethnic attacks.34
The commission, which sat for eleven months and overlapped with criminal proceedings related to the Likoni violence, heard a great deal of evidence linking ruling party politicians to the violence. Particularly during the time it sat in Mombasa, the commission very actively explored all evidence and subpoenaed politicians whose testimony it wished to hear. After the lead assisting counsel, who called witnesses and led much of the questioning, was replaced by the director of public prosecutions, Bernard Chunga (later named Chief Justice of Kenya), the commission focused less intently on the role of politicians. For example, they refused to hear testimony implicating politicians in the organization of the Rift Valley violence of the early 1990s, although lawyers representing the Law Society of Kenya played a key role, to the extent possible, in bringing forth evidence and focusing the commission's attention on indicators of state sponsorship of ethnic violence. Moreover, the presidentially appointed commission interpreted its regulations to the effect that any testimony that implicated President Moi himself would be admissible only on the basis of prior notification and approval by the commissioners; such testimony given without their permission would be expunged from the record.35 This occurred on at least one occasion.36 One witness refused to testify, declaring that the president, who himself had been implicated, had no "moral authority" to establish the commission or receive its report.37 In addition, a problem arose in terms of the security of witnesses to the Akiwumi Commission, several of whom received threats.
In addition, the Akiwumi hearings uncovered extensive evidence of government laxity in its security response, as well as in the criminal trials of accused raiders. For example, police testimony to the commission revealed that key evidence was ignored in the criminal trials. The then-criminal investigations officer for Coast Province, who testified about key evidence recovered at the time of Swaleh bin Alfan's arrest, said that photographs and a notebook containing some of the raiders' records were shown to various other top officials, including the director of the Criminal Investigations Department in Nairobi and the Kenyan Police Commissioner. He said he was unaware why these were never presented as evidence in court.38
The Akiwumi Commission also brought to light the existence of the books recovered from the raiders' hideout, which contained names and other incriminating information. Police had not introduced this evidence in criminal court, and this omission is all the more striking given statements by police that they used the information in the books to help them identify suspects who were subsequently arrested.39 There also was much speculation at the Akiwumi hearings that pages identifying the raiders' financiers had been removed.40 Such suspicions were aggravated by other indications of irregular record keeping and mishandling of the evidence.41
Evidence introduced at the Akiwumi hearings also pointed to an apparent police cover-up. It was revealed that the officer from Nairobi who was coordinating the Likoni investigations suggested that sworn statements attributed to Maitha and Masumbuko, which implicated the government in the organized political violence in Coast Province, be kept from the public. In an August 24, 1997, report to the Kenyan police commissioner, the investigating officer described police evidence linking Maitha and Masumbuko to the 1997 violence. He also included a comment, later read aloud before the Akiwumi Commission, drawing attention to:
[Maitha and Masumbuko's] very complicated statements in which they revealed their previous activities in helping the Government in fighting political enemies [...]. [I]f their previous activities is [sic] anything to go by, then they are suspects prosecutable of [sic] conducting these activities. We find it quite implicating to use those statements in the open court because they are in bad taste and may not be good enough for the good name of our Government.42
The police commissioner testified that it was improper for the officer to have tried to hide these statements, as "there was nothing to hide," and said he had never seen the statements until they were made public at the Akiwumi Commission.43 Masumbuko's statement, it was confirmed, was never introduced in his criminal trial, and use of the statement attributed to Maitha was blocked by judicial order.44
The difference in approach between the deeply flawed criminal trials and the Akiwumi Commission, which led to far more useful revelations about the Likoni violence, raised hopes that the commission's final report to the president would include important recommendations for the prosecution of the main figures behind that violence and in that way finally break the long cycle of impunity over politically motivated ethnic violence in Kenya. The acquittal of the 240 suspects who were tried in connection with the Likoni violence cast serious doubt on the ability of the proceedings of the Akiwumi Commission to be of assistance in obtaining any redress for the victims.45
The Akiwumi Commission submitted its much anticipated final report to the president in August 1999. In December of that year, responding to repeated queries from members of parliament, a minister in the Office of the President said that the government was still reviewing the report.46 He added that recommendations made by the commission relating to prosecution of those implicated required furtherinvestigation and stated that some of the other recommendations would be implemented before the report was made public. In October 2000, again in response to a public query, Kenya's attorney-general announced that, in keeping with a recommendation of the commission, police had just begun new investigations into the Likoni violence, were taking statements from suspects and witnesses, and would initiate prosecutions against the perpetrators once sufficient evidence had been gathered.47
The government, however, has not taken seriously its responsibility to promptly, thoroughly, and impartially investigate ethnic violence and to bring those responsible to justice. The announcement of new police investigations came nearly a year after the government first had said such investigations would be launched. Well over a year after that, there was still no news of progress in the police investigations and it was not clear that such an investigation was underway. Moreover-despite a public clamor for the report and lawsuits filed to compel its release-more than two and one-half years after its submission, the government had yet to make public the commission's report.48 Nor had it made arrests or initiated prosecutions of those believed to be responsible for instigating ethnic violence elsewhere in the country. Frustrated at the persistent impunity, in mid-2001 victims of the Likoni violence indicated that they planned to sue the government for damages, as did victims of ethnic violence elsewhere in the country.49
The raiders interviewed by Human Rights Watch felt they had been used by politicians for their own ends. They had agreed to use violent means to oust up-country residents and obtain land, they said, to secure majimbo. It was clear they did not act because they had an interest in ensuring a KANU victory at the polls.
One raider was particularly outspoken about this, indicating that he felt KANU forced them to stop short of their goal in order to win the election: "[After the elections,] the politicians disassociated themselves from us [...] because they hadtheir votes."50 He explained:
We were planning to do this thing ourselves and Swaleh had an idea with the politicians and they took advantage. The president for the election used us to disrupt and disperse people. [...Then, ] once we'd flushed out the up-country people, they came to cool us down and fulfill the promises to take us abroad [for protection from arrest] or give us jobs. We saw Swaleh campaign for KANU. At first, when we were organizing for the raids, he mentioned nothing about elections. [...] Later I learned that senior people wanted to chase up-country people so they couldn't vote. I don't know if Swaleh had all the information or if he was being used. We believe he's a big magician so we have to be in good relations with him. Most of us are angry with him. We never got what was promised.51
One raider stated: "We were promised we'd be given houses belonging to up-country people and employment. We never got what was promised."52 Moreover, the raiders were distressed and extremely angry over the harsh and indiscriminant reprisals by government forces against their community. They also expressed rage and fear over the torture some of them had endured and made clear that their anger against the authorities had deepened.
In general, the raiders were sorely disappointed that they did not succeed in achieving majimbo. The poor conditions faced by the Digo community on the South Coast remain unchanged. Shakombo testified that in his long experience as a local leader he was convinced that the Digos, particularly those who had fought in 1997, would not give up their dreams of majimbo. His February 1998 police statement read: "Their believe [sic] is that, only [the] majimbo system can solve their problem. I have heard through rumour that, oathing within [the] coast has never stopped even after the clashes as the locals [sic] desire for majimboism have [sic] not been attained. Nevertheless, I have no proof that the oathing is actually taking place."53
83 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, July 21, 1998, p.23. According to these figures, ten police officers and thirty-seven raiders were among those killed, and nineteen police officers and at least eight raiders were injured.
84 Human Rights Watch and Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH), Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1999), especially pp. 3-5, 223-237; Human Rights Watch, Playing the "Communal Card": Communal Violence and Human Rights (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1995), pp. viii-xi.
85 Human Rights Watch and FIDH, Leave None to Tell the Story, especially pp. 4-6, 8-9, 336, 649-653.
86 Human Rights Watch interviews, Coast Province, April and May 1999; KHRC, Kayas of Deprivation, Kayas of Blood: Violence, Ethnicity and the State in Coastal Kenya (Nairobi: Kenya Human Rights Commission, 1997).
87 To give local expression to their majimboist sentiments, some Digo leaders formed new political movements in Coast Province, as noted below.
88 While some published sources agree that pro-majimbo attacks took place in 1992, as described to Human Rights Watch by raiders, others refer to violence in 1993.
89 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Ukunda (Coast Province), May 8, 1999. All interviews with raiders were conducted individually and in private. Two raiders were interviewed twice on different dates.
90 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider F, Mombasa (Coast Province), May 24, 1999.
91 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, August 28, 1998, p. 2; Amadi Mugasia, "Raiders' military training alleged," East African Standard, August 29, 1998; Michael Mumo and Patrick Mayoyo, "Security `notified of raids," Daily Nation, August 29, 1998. In press accounts, the witness's name was spelled Onyigo.
92 Louise Tunbridge, "Gang kills five in Mombasa slum," Daily Telegraph (London), August 18, 1997.
93 Human Rights Watch interviews with two eyewitnesses, Mombasa, May 1999.
94 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, August 27, 1998, pp. 56-58.
95 Ibid; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, August 28, 1998, p. 3-4. Accounts of the meeting, as described by the witness, were also reported in the press. See Patrick Mayoyo and Michael Mumo, "Inquiry told of night meeting," Daily Nation, August 28, 1998; Mugasia, "Raiders' military...," East African Standard; Mumo and Mayoyo, "Security `notified of raids," Daily Nation. Boy Juma Boy's name is variously abbreviated in official documents and press reports as Boy or Juma Boy. We adopt the former usage, in part to avoid confusion over Boy Juma Boy's father, a politician whose name was Juma Boy.
96 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, August 28, 1998, p. 23; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, August 31, 1998, p. 55-62.
97 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 23, 1998, pp. 17-20.
98 Stephen Buckley, "Explosion of violence in Kenya stirs fears of electoral mayhem," International Herald Tribune, August 21, 1997.
99 "Muslim youth invaded Diani police station, witness says," East African Standard, September 15, 1998; Patrick Mayoyo and Michael Mumo, "Witchcraft cited at hearing," Daily Nation, September 15, 1998.
100 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 9, 1998, pp. 3-5; Patrick Mayoyo and Robert Nyaga, "Ex-MPs attended oathing, clashes inquiry told," Daily Nation, October 10, 1998.
101 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 9, 1998, pp. 3-5; Patrick Mayoyo and Robert Nyaga, "Ex-MPs attended oathing, clashes inquiry told," Daily Nation, October 10, 1998.
102 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 23, 1998, pp. 70-71.
103 Patrick Mayoyo, "Leaders warn `foreigners,'" Daily Nation, November 4, 1994. See also Michael Mumo and Ngumbao Kithi, "Inquiry told of altered journals," Daily Nation, September 25, 1998.
104 Amadi Mugasia, "Raid suspect held," East African Standard, September 2, 1998.
105 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 23, 1998, pp. 71, 130.
106 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider A, Ukunda, April 22, 1999.
107 KHRC, Kayas of Deprivation, pp. 22-23; KHRC, Kayas Revisited: A Post-Election Balance Sheet (Nairobi: Kenya Human Rights Commission, 1998), pp. 11-16. The official's name also has appeared as Masoud Mwahima and Mwalimu Masoud Mwaluma. "Mwalimu" is an honorific in Swahili meaning "teacher." Mwahima was later arrested in connection with the Likoni violence and released under unclear circumstances. See below.
108 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider F, Mombasa, May 24, 1999.
109 KHRC, Kayas Revisited, p. 2, 17; Law Society of Kenya, "A Report of the Massacre/Violence in Coast Province," October 1997, p. 10.
110 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Ukunda, May 8, 1999.
112 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Mombasa, May 26, 1999. Bempa's name has appeared as "Bemba" in some press reports.
113 Human Rights Watch interviews with Raider C, Raider D, and Raider E, Mombasa, May 1999. Alfan's name sometimes appears in other publications as Swalehe Halfani.
114 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider E, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
115 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider C, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
116 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider E, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
117 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider F, Mombasa, May 24, 1999.
118 The raider said he joined the raiders even though by 1997 he no longer felt majimbo was enough to preserve the interest of indigenous residents of the Coast and wanted to fight for the region's independence. The raiders' leaders, he said, explicitly rejected his broader agenda. Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Ukunda, May 8, 1999.
119 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider E, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
120 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider A, Mombasa, May 21, 1999.
121 In one case the raider received this information from a military leader, in another from a person who recruited for the raiders. KHRC, Kayas of Deprivation, pp. 22-24.
122 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, July 21, 1998, p. 17; Gichuru Njihia and Maguta Kimemia, "Raiders `took oath' against non-coastals," Daily Nation, July 22, 1998.
123 Human Rights Watch interviews with Raider A, Raider B, Raider C, Raider D, Raider E, and Raider F, Coast Province, April and May 1999.
124 The raiders believed the oath protected them from bullets and might make them invisible to their opponents. Human Rights Watch interviews with Raider B and Raider E, Coast Province, April and May 1999.
125 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider E, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
126 Human Rights Watch interviews with Raider A, Raider B, Raider C, Raider D, and Raider E, Coast Province, April and May 1999.
127 One raider said the pot has a dead chicken inside it, along with pieces of cloth in red, black, and white.
128 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider D, Mombasa, May 9, 1999. "Mzee" is used as a term of respect.
129 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider C, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
130 Human Rights Watch interview with Swaleh bin Alfan, Denyenye (Coast Province), May 25, 1999.
131 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Ukunda, May 8, 1999.
132 Human Rights Watch interviews with Raider A, Raider B, Raider C, Raider D, and Raider F, Coast Province, April and May 1999.
133 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider E, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
135 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Mombasa, May 26, 1999.
136 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider A, Ukunda, April and May, 1999.
137 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Mombasa, May 26, 1999.
138 Michael Mumo and Ngumbao Kithi, "LSK takes up role in inquiry" Daily Nation, September 24, 1998. See also Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 12, p. 47.
139 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 6, 1998, pp. 44-53, 93-94, 99-101. Witnesses later identified one person shown in the photos as the raiders' commander, Bempa.
140 See, for example, KHRC, Kayas of Deprivation, p. 22.
141 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider F, Mombasa, May 24, 1999.
142 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider A, Ukunda, April 22, 1999.
143 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Mombasa, May 26, 1999.
144 Human Rights Watch interviews with Raider B and Raider C, Coast Province, May, 1999.
145 See, for example, Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 6, 1998, p. 7.
146 That this was the case is also clear from reports circulated to security officials, described below.
147 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider F, Mombasa, May 24, 1999.
148 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider A, Ukunda, April 22, 1999.
149 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Ukunda, May 8, 1999.
150 See, for example, Michael Mumo, "Security alert `was ignored,'" Daily Nation, September 3, 1998.
151 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider A, Ukunda, April 22, 1999. KHRC, on the evidence of a raider and a police intelligence officer, reported that some guns were supplied to the raiders by people described as Somalis. In one case, a politician was said to have made the necessary introductions. KHRC, Kayas of Deprivation, p. 24.
152 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider C, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
153 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Mombasa, May 26, 1999.
155 Human Rights Watch interviews with Raider A and Raider B, Coast Province, April and May 1999.
156 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Ukunda, May 8, 1999; Human Rights Watch interview with Raider F, Mombasa, May 24, 1999.
157 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider F, Mombasa, May 24, 1999.
158 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider A, Ukunda, April 22, 1999, and Mombasa, May 21, 1999.
159 Human Rights Watch interviews with Raider A and Raider B, Coast Province, April and May 1999.
160 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Ukunda, May 8, 1999.
161 Human Rights Watch interviews with Raider A, Ukunda, April 22, 1999; Raider B, Ukunda, May 8, 1999; and Raider F, Mombasa, May 24, 1999.
162 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider F, Mombasa, May 24, 1999.
163 Njihia and Kimemia, "Raiders `took...,'" Daily Nation.
164 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Ukunda, May 8, 1999.
165 Michael Mumo, "Ex-Army men `led Likoni attack,'" Daily Nation, September 4, 1998.
166 Unofficial transcript of police testimony presented in the criminal case against suspected raiders, provided by a lawyer for the defense, copy on file with Human Rights Watch.
167 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider C, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
168 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider A, Mombasa, May 21, 1999.
169 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Ukunda, May 8, 1999.
170 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider F, Mombasa, May 24, 1999. As the raids progressed, they became increasingly disorganized. KHRC, Kayas of Deprivation, pp. 35-36.
171 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider C, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
172 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider D, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
173 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Ukunda, May 8, 1999.
174 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider C, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
175 Human Rights Watch, Human Right Watch World Report 1998 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1997), p. 42.
176 Human Rights Watch interview with an eyewitness, Ukunda, April 21, 1999.
178 Ibid. Government security forces were reported to have engaged in an extended firefight with the raiders at Diani after reinforcements arrived. "New Attacks in Mombasa," Daily Nation, September 12, 1997.
179 KHRC, Kayas of Deprivation, p. 31.
180 KHRC, Kayas of Deprivation, pp. 34-35; KHRC, Abandoned to Terror.
181 "A Report on Ethnic Clashes in Coast Province-Likoni and the Surrounding Areas," Criminal Investigations Department (Kenyan police), undated but from late September 1997, signed by the deputy CID director (hereafter "Police Report-Likoni"), copy on file with Human Rights Watch, p. 8. In testimony before the Akiwumi Commission, the report's author sought to distance himself from this conclusion. Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, July 22, 1998, p. 27.
182 Letters from Roshanali Karmali Pradhan to various security officials, presented as evidence to the Akiwumi Commission, copies on file with Human Rights Watch.
183 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 8, 1998, p. 59-73; Mugasia, "Raid suspect held"; Njeri Rugene, "Security men told of conflict," Daily Nation, May 27, 1999.
184 "Security Intelligence: Jambo Mambo International Acrobats Troupe," submitted by the DCIO Kwale to the PCIO Coast Province, dated July 21, 1997, copy on file with Human Rights Watch.
185 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 7, 1998, pp. 8-11, 27-28; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 8, 1998, p. 70; Noel Mwakugu, "Acrobats `joined former soldiers before attacks,'" East African Standard, September 12, 1998.
186 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, May 28, 1999, pp. 87-91.
187 See, for example, Njeri Rugene, "`We lacked funds to combat violence'- ex-police boss," Daily Nation, June 4, 1999. In failing to take any action, he apparently ignored a general order from Nairobi that all police stations be placed on alert in anticipation of the upcoming elections, as well as the order the PSIO said he gave. The former Likoni police chief, who asserted that he was removed from his position rather than formally dismissed, denied the claims against him. Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 2, 1998, pp. 1-9, 44-56.
188 See, for example, Michael Mumo and Patrick Mayoyo, "Move to derail probe alleged," Daily Nation, September 8, 1998; Rugene, "Security men told of conflict."
189 "Police Report-Likoni," p. 9.
190 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Ukunda, May 8, 1999.
191 "Police went to Likoni `too late,'" Daily Nation, August 18, 1998; Mumo,"Ex-Army men...," Daily Nation.
192 Amadi Mugasia, "Raid thought to be external," East African Standard, October 7, 1998.
193 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider D, Mombasa, May 9, 1999; Ngumbao Kithi and Michael Mumo, "Why I abandoned my men in Likoni-Commander," Daily Nation, September 27, 1998; "Two APs were killed in fight with raiders, witness claims," East African Standard, September 23, 1998; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 15, 1998, p. 129-30.
194 Letter dated August 13, 1998, from Roshanali Karmali Pradhan, copy on file with Human Rights Watch; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, August 25, 1998, pp. 48-51.
195 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Mombasa, May 26, 1999.
197 Patrick Mayoyo and Michael Mumo, "Judges say reluctant Maitha must testify," Daily Nation, October 6, 1998; Amadi Mugasia, "Police differed over clashes," East African Standard, September 9, 1998.
198 See, for example, Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 6, 1998, pp. 9-16; Mayoyo and Mumo, "Judges say...," Daily Nation; KHRC, Kayas of Deprivation, p. 40.
199 Michael Mumo and Ngumbao Kithi, "Likoni: Officer says police were divided," Daily Nation, September 10, 1998.
200 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 15, 1998, pp. 14-15. See also Patrick Mayoyo and Michael Mumo, "Ex-police boss seeks to testify in camera," Daily Nation, October 16, 1998.
201 KHRC, Kayas Revisited, p. 32; African Rights (London), "Violence at the Coast: The Human Consequences of Kenya's Crumbling Political Institutions," Witness, Issue 2, October-November 1997, pp. 2, 6-8; "Poor turnout at schools," Daily Nation, September 9, 1997.
202 Human Rights Watch interview with R.K. ("Jimmy") Pradhan, April 20, 1999, Mombasa; Civil Suit no. 276 of 1998, filed in the High Court of Kenya at Mombasa; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, August 27, 1998, pp. 12-21. In his lawsuit, Pradhan alleges negligence and breach of duty and demands civil damages.
203 Provincial Police Headquarters, "Operation Orders `Operation Taputa Mnaz,'" September 17, 1997, copy on file with Human Rights Watch, pp. 6-7.
204 Edmund Kwela and Patrick Mayoyo, "Raiders evicted from caves," Daily Nation, November 2, 1997; Njihia and Kimemia, "Raiders `took...,'" Daily Nation.
205 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Mombasa, May 26, 1999.
206 KHRC, Kayas of Deprivation, pp. 42-44; African Rights, "Violence at the Coast," pp. 18-19; KHRC, Abandoned to Terror, pp. 8-13.
207 Human Rights Watch interview with a former detainee, Mombasa, May 10, 1999.
208 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider A, Ukunda, April 22, 1999.
209 Human Rights Watch interview with Swaleh bin Alfan, Denyenye, May 25, 1999.
210 Human Rights Watch interview with an up-country man, Mombasa, April 23, 1999.
212 Human Rights Watch interview with a former detainee, Mombasa, May 10, 1999.
213 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider F, Mombasa, May 24, 1999.
214 See, for example, "Suspects want to be paid for injuries," Daily Nation, August 25, 1998.
215 Human Rights Watch interview with a former detainee, Mombasa, May 10, 1999.
216 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider C, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
217 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider F, Mombasa, May 24, 1999.
218 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider C, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
219 Human Rights Watch interview with a former KANU politician, Mombasa, May 1999. "Mzee," literally "old man," is sometimes used to refer to the president, as was the case here.
220 "Clashes: KANU Plot Exposed: Senior Politician Tells of Pre-Poll Rig Scheme," The Star (Kenya), December 9-11, 1997, as cited in KHRC, Killing the Vote: State Sponsored Violence and Flawed Elections in Kenya (Nairobi: Kenya Human Rights Commission, 1998), pp. 58-9.
221 KHRC, Kayas Revisited, pp. 8-11.
223 Maitha's testimony to the KHRC was given in the presence of a witness who later described the interview under oath before the Akiwumi Commission. See, for example, Amadi Mugasia and Noel Mwakugu, "Biwott named in clashes probe," East African Standard, September 29, 1998. Maitha had argued that he could not have given the interview because he was hospitalized that evening, but hospital records did not corroborate his claim. Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 13, pp. 78-79, 82; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 14, pp. 122-5; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 15, p.74.
224 Kimemia and Sekoh-Ochieng, "How we bought...," Daily Nation; Eric Shimoli, "Biwott explains his trip to Coast," Daily Nation, August 22, 1997.
225 "Kenyan opposition blame senior presidential aide for violence," Agence France-Presse, August 21, 1997; "Politics behind Coast chaos," People, August 22-28, 1997; Shimoli, "Biwott explains...," Daily Nation.
226 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, June 9, 1999, pp. 54-55. See also, for example, Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 14, 1998, pp. 76-78.
227 "Likoni clashes: A personal account," People, November 7, 2001, read together with "Last of the people who should be investigated," People, November 16, 2001; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 14, 1998, pp. 76-78; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, June 9, 1999, pp. 54-55.
228 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider A, Ukunda, April 22, 1999. One raider interviewed by KHRC stated that he was told he would be trained to be part of the security arrangement for "Mzee" during the 1997 general elections, clarifying that in that case also, the term refers to the president. KHRC, Kayas of Deprivation, p. 23.
229 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider A, Mombasa, May 21, 1999. Raiders interviewed by KHRC similarly reported that they saw visitors at the training camp and, while they did not know them, they were identified as KANU politicians. KHRC, Kayas of Deprivation, pp. 22, 24.
230 Human Rights Watch interview with Swaleh bin Alfan, Denyenye, May 25, 1999; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, August 31, 1998, pp. 81, 89-92; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 16, 1998, pp. 24-26; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 28, 1998, pp. 34, 37. For other accounts of Alfan's testimony, see, for example, Patrick Mayoyo and Michael Mumo, "PC, Sajjad `held meetings with Likoni raid suspect," Daily Nation, September 1, 1998; Michael Mumo and Patrick Mayoyo, "Oathing suspect contradicts himself," Daily Nation, September 2, 1998. Sajjad's lawyer objected to the taking of Alfan's testimony on this point. Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, August 31, 1998, p. 88.
231 "Saga of beach plots," Daily Nation, November 7, 1998. Kamole added that at the meeting Shakombo strongly denied the statement, but Alfan insisted it was true. Shakombo, as noted below, denied any involvement in the raiders' activities.
232 KHRC, Kayas of Deprivation, p. 24; KHRC, Kayas Revisited, p. 17.
233 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 6, 1998, pp. 13, 23-24. See also, Mugasia, "Raid thought...," East African Standard; Michael Mumo and Patrick Mayoyo, "Police boss `ordered Mwidau's release," Daily Nation, October 7, 1998.
234 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 15, 1998, p. 126. The senior official on the stand read from a police report identifying Shakombo as a suspect. See below.
235 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 28, 1998, especially pp. 2-3, 6, 18, 113-115. See also, for example, Boniface Kaona and Michael Githua, "Shakombo says he visited Likoni raiders in the forests," East African Standard, October 29, 1998; Watoro Kamau, "MP denies funding youth training camp," Daily Nation, October 30, 1998. Shakombo's contacts with the raiders following the August 13, 1997, Likoni attack is described below.
236 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 6, 1998, pp. 59-62, 68; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 12, 1998, pp. 85-91; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 13, pp. 68-72; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 15, 1998, pp. 32-52; Pekeshe and Mugasia, "Kisauni MP denies...," East African Standard; Amadi Mugasia, "Nassir sought release of key clashes suspect, says ex-cop," East African Standard, October 15, 1998.
237 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 14, 1998, pp. 45-46, 155-156; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 23, 1998, pp. 56, 69; Mugasia, "Nassir sought...," East African Standard.
238 Watoro Kamau, "MP `met' Moi over police harassment," Daily Nation, October 29, 1998; "Moi: 24 guns still missing," Daily Nation, December 23, 1997.
239 Mayoyo and Mumo, "Ex-police boss...," Daily Nation; Ngumbao Kithi and Michael Mumo, "Witness links man to oathing," Daily Nation, September 23, 1998.
240 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Mombasa, May 26, 1999.
241 Two of those charged (Alamin Mazrui of KHRC and Khelef Khalifa, then a Safina Party activist) were released from custody. The third person, Ali Chizondo of the unregistered Coast-based National Democratic Union (NADU) party, was charged in connection with the violence and denied bail (see below).
242 Margaretta wa Gacheru, "Sunkuli: We're all concerned about the damage," Daily Nation, September 28, 1997.
243 "Churchmen blame Govt over mayhem," Daily Nation, August 24, 1997.
244 Ibid; "Politics behind coast chaos," People, August 22-28, 1997. In a press interview published on the day before the 1997 election, Moi allowed that KANU may have been involved, saying: "It is my belief that politicians on both sides (of the political divide) instigated the violence as a means of making political capital and embarrassing my Government, especially with regard to tourism." Bernard Nderitu, "Interview with President Moi," Daily Nation, Africa News Service, December 28, 1997.
245 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 6, 1998, pp. 65, 69-70, 90; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 7, 1998, pp. 4, 42-43, 78; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 8, 1998, p. 22; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 14, 1998, pp. 76-77, 134-36; Mumo and Mayoyo, "Move to derail...," Daily Nation; Mugasia, "Police differed...," East African Standard; Mugasia, "Raid thought...," East African Standard; Michael Mumo, "Clashes Inquiry faces a cash hitch," Daily Nation, October 8, 1998; Pekeshe and Mugasia, "Kisauni MP denies...," East African Standard; "Six more killed, leaflets target groups," Daily Nation, African News Service, August 18, 1997.
246 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 12, 1998, p. 50.
247 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 12, 1998, p. 50.
248 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 14, 1998, p. 47.
249 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 14, 1998, p. 77; "Six more killed...," Daily Nation.
250 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 2, 1998, pp. 20-22, 28-33; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 6, 1998, pp. 74-76, 78-82; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 12, 1998, p. 99-102; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, June 4, 1999, pp. 1-2; Pekeshe and Mugasia, "Kisauni MP denies...," East African Standard; Mumo, "Clashes Inquiry...," Daily Nation; Michael Mumo and Ngumbao Kithi, "Likoni: PC in a spot," Daily Nation, October 9, 1998; Amadi Mugasia, "Officer wanted Maitha freed, says magistrate," East African Standard, October 3, 1998; Michael Mumo and Patrick Mayoyo, "President `ordered Maitha release,'" Daily Nation, October 3, 1999. Maitha, who maintained that he was innocent of the charges filed, denied any involvement with the raiders. Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 12, 1998, p. 115.
251 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 6, 1998, pp. 32-43; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 7, 1998, pp. 43-44; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 14, 1998, pp. 41-45, 54, 119-120, 135-137; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 15, 1998, pp. 15-16; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 23, 1998, pp. 91-96; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, June 4, 1999, pp. 1-2; Francis Thoya, "Sajjad named in Likoni case," Daily Nation, June 30, 1998; Michael Mumo and Patrick Mayoyo, "MPs to appear at clashes Inquiry," Daily Nation, October 15, 1998; Mugasia, "Nassir sought...," East African Standard; "Witness blames ex-PPO for escalation of Likoni clashes," East African Standard, September 10, 1998; Mumo and Kithi, "Likoni: Officer says...," Daily Nation; Patrick Mayoyo and Michael Mumo, "Ex-MP `collected names of youths,'" Daily Nation, September 11, 1998. As noted above, Mwahima denied having any connection to the raiders. Mwidau also maintained his innocence, maintaining (as did his driver) that his vehicle was hijacked. KHRC, Kayas Revisited, pp. 16-18.
252 See, for example, Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 6, 1998, p. 55; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 14, 1998, p. 157-60; Mugasia, "Nassir sought...," East African Standard; Jacinta Sekoh-Ochieng and Maguta Kimemia, "Clashes judge Ondeyo accuses Nassir," Daily Nation, October 24, 1998.
253 Statement Under Inquiry dated February 28, 1998, copy on file with Human Rights Watch; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 12, 1998, pp. 35-37; Kaona and Githua, "Shakombo says...," East African Standard. Shakombo testified that Bempa, the raiders' leader, was also his cousin.
254 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 16, 1998, pp. 58-64; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 6, 1998, p. 55; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 14, 1998, p. 157-60; Mugasia, "Nassir sought...," East African Standard; Sekoh-Ochieng and Kimemia, "Clashes judge...," Daily Nation.
255 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 16, 1998, pp. 67-68; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, August 31, 1998, pp. 70-81; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, May 31, 1999, pp. 110-113; Sekoh-Ochieng and Kimemia, "Clashes judge...," Daily Nation; Patrick Mayoyo and Michael Mumo, "Oathing suspect links MPs to clashes," Daily Nation, October 17, 1998. Sajjad strongly rejected Alfan's claim that he and Shakombo visited the spiritual leader in police custody and promised to have him released, while Shakombo acknowledged visiting Alfan in jail together with government officials, but said Sajjad was not with them. Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 28, 1998, pp. 33, 62; Ochieng, "Likoni: Sajjad...," Daily Nation; Kaona and Githua, "Shakombo says...," East African Standard.
0 Mayoyo and Nyaga, "Ex-MPs attended...," Daily Nation; "I was scared after release of a suspect, DO tells team," East African Standard, September 26, 1998.
1 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, November 5, 1998, pp. 142-146; Boniface Kaona and Michael Githua, "Biwott, Saitoti to face inquiry," East African Standard, November 4, 1998; Watoro Kamau and Mark Agutu, "Judge: Ex-PC abused office," Daily Nation, November 4, 1998.
2 Human Rights Watch interview with Swaleh bin Alfan, Denyenye, May 25, 1999; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, May 31, 1999, p. 113; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 15, 1998, pp. 27, 104-5; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 16, 1998, pp. 78-82.
3 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 28, 1998, pp. 38-39; Kaona and Githua, "Shakombo says...," East African Standard.
4 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 16, 1998, p. 78-82.
5 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 29, 1998, p. 63-65; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 23, 1998, pp. 74, 83; Sekoh-Ochieng and Kimemia, "Clashes judge...," Daily Nation.
6 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, August 31, 1998, pp. 83-85; "Saga of beach...," Daily Nation; Kimemia and Sekoh-Ochieng, "How we bought...," Daily Nation. See also Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, November 5, 1998, pp. 134-146. Kamole also testified that during the period before KANU nominations, when Sajjad was not yet able to release campaign funds, Kamole had independently arranged to give Alfan some money to secure his later assistance with the campaign, referring to payments of "Ksh.5,000 here and Ksh.7,000 there." Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, November 5, 1998, pp. 53, 142-143. The sums listed were equivalent to approximately $82 and $115 at the time, respectively.
7 "Saga of beach...," Daily Nation.
8 Kimemia and Sekoh-Ochieng, "How we bought...," Daily Nation; "Saga of beach...," Daily Nation. See also Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, November 5, 1998, pp. 134-142.
9 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, August 31, 1998, pp. 86-87; Mayoyo and Mumo, "Oathing suspect links...," Daily Nation; Human Rights Watch interview with Swaleh bin Alfan, Denyenye, May 25, 1999.
10 Mayoyo and Mumo, "Oathing suspect links...," Daily Nation.
11 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, August 31, 1998, pp. 85-86. He repeated this assertion in a later interview with Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch interview with Swaleh bin Alfan, Denyenye, May 25, 1999.
12 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider D, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
13 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider C, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
14 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Mombasa, May 26, 1999.
15 Human Rights Watch interviews with Raider B and Raider C, Coast Province, May 1999.
16 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider D, Mombasa, May 9, 1999.
17 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 15, 1998, p. 117; Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 16, 1998, pp. 10, 12.
18 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 23, 1998, pp. 17-20, 48-51, 71, 126.
19 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 28, 1998, especially pp. 16-18, 28-32, 56, 108-124; KHRC, Kayas Revisited, pp. 18-30; Kaona and Githua, "Shakombo says...," East African Standard. Speaking in another context, Shakombo also strongly denied financing the raiders' activities. Kamau, "MP denies funding...," Daily Nation. Regarding the KHRC interview, Shakombo denied that he would have implicated Sajjad, as was published by KHRC, but allowed that an interview could have been recorded without his knowledge. Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 29, 1998, pp. 13-14.
20 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Mombasa, May 26, 1999.
22 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Ukunda, May 8, 1999.
23 KHRC, Killing the Vote, pp. 67-73.
24 Ibid, pp. 73, 83.
25 KHRC, Kayas Revisited, p. 14. In denying allegations that KANU had instigated the violence, Sajjad stated that he and other party figures actually worked to end it by calling for a meeting of top officials. The date he gave for this meeting, December 12, 1997, was nearly four months after the violence erupted, by which time it had already subsided, and shortly before the elections took place. Ochieng, "Likoni: Sajjad....," Daily Nation.
26 In late 1997 the party was temporarily threatened with deregistration, but ultimately no action was taken. Maguta Kimemia, "Shirikisho Party `not behind clashes,'" Daily Nation, July 30, 1998.
27 KHRC has stated that the registration of the Shirikisho Party, by providing an outlet for the political expression of the indigenous population of the Coast following widespread police abuses, "helped reduce the antagonism toward Moi and his party, KANU." KHRC, Kayas Revisited, p. 46.
28 Gitau Warigi, "Nyachae, Kanu and campaign hurdles ahead," Daily Nation, August 13, 2000. In 2001 President Moi suggested that SPK would merge with KANU, but party leaders rejected the plan, blaming Shakombo for devising it without their consent. "President Moi: Merger," Daily Nation, July 27, 2001; Patrick Beja, "Shirikisho says no to merger," East African Standard, July 29, 2001.
29 Human Rights Watch recognizes that not all information provided to the commission would be admissible in a criminal trial. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) provides that a person cannot be "compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt." ICCPR, Article 14(3)g, G.A. res. 2200A (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 52, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), entered into force Mar. 23, 1976.
30 "Police Report-Likoni." Chizondo maintained he was innocent and claimed the government used him as a scapegoat. Human Rights Watch interview with Ali Said Chizondo, Tiwi, April 21, 1999.
31 Francis Thoya, "17 Likoni suspects freed," Daily Nation, November 27, 1998; Francis Thoya, "Police criticised over Likoni trial," Daily Nation, December 23, 1998.
32 See, for example, "Four Likoni raid suspects died while in prison," Daily Nation, March 19, 1998; Thoya, "Police criticised...," Daily Nation; "Likoni suspects freed," Daily Nation, January 8, 1999; Francis Thoya, "Fresh charges for Likoni suspects," Daily Nation, February 11, 1998. A total of 702 people were arrested and interrogated by police and 350 of those were charged in connection with the Likoni violence, according to the government. Emman Omari, "88 Likoni raid victims identified," Daily Nation, April 22, 1998.
33 Francis Thoya and Lilian Nduta, "Likoni: 4 sentences to death," Daily Nation, November 13, 1998; "Likoni suspects freed," Daily Nation; Francis Thoya, "It's death for 2 juveniles over Likoni killing," Daily Nation, July 24, 2001.
34 Gazette Notice No. 3313: The Commissions of Inquiry Act, Kenya Gazette (Nairobi), July 1, 1998.
35 "Rules of practice bent to protect those mentioned from scrutiny," People, October 28, 2001. See also Gazette Notice No. 3477: The Judicial Commissions of Inquiry Act, Rules and Procedure, Kenya Gazette, July 10, 1998, regarding treatment of evidence on "any matter prejudicial to the security of the state or the Head of State."
36 "Rules of practice...," People.
37 Michael Njuguna and Watoro Kamau, "Mazrui must testify, commissioners say," Daily Nation, February 19, 1999.
38 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 6, 1998, pp. 44-53; Mumo and Mayoyo, "Police boss...," Daily Nation; Mugasia, "Raid thought...," East African Standard.
39 See, for example, Amadi Mugasia, "Lawyer: Clashes rigging plot," East African Standard, September 25, 1998.
40 Mugasia, "Lawyer: Clashes...," East African Standard; Mumo and Kithi, "Inquiry told of altered journals," Daily Nation.
41 The DCIO testified that she was instructed to keep the books locked in a secure place and not to reveal their existence to the press, noting that they were never officially logged or presented in court. However, at the Akiwumi hearings, police produced an undated list of criminal court exhibits purporting to show that the books had been submitted as evidence in the trial, which a commission member and the police officer agreed appeared as if it had been added after the fact. Mugasia, "Lawyer: Clashes...," East African Standard; Mumo and Kithi, "Inquiry told of altered journals," Daily Nation.
42 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, October 14, 1998, pp. 76-78.
43 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, June 4, 1999, p. 110-111.
44 Akiwumi Commission Official Transcript, June 4, 1999, pp. 111-112; Francis Thoya, "MP fearing, court told," Daily Nation, December 12, 1998.
45 See, for example, Matikio Bohoko, "Commentary: Moi may recall Akiwumi Commission of inquiry," Concord (Mombasa), September 22-29, 1998; Thoya, "Police criticised...," Daily Nation. Any effort to bring new cases in connection with the Likoni violence might be subject to the prohibition against double jeopardy, or prosecution twice for the same crime. ICCPR, Article 14(7), G.A. res. 2200A (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 52, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), entered into force Mar. 23, 1976.
46 "Clashes report `being studied,'" Daily Nation, December 9, 1999.
47 "Clashes Report Calls for Inquiries," Daily Nation, October 5, 2000. The provincial police officer for Coast Province had confirmed a day earlier that an investigation had been initiated, but said he did not have any further details. Willis Oketch, "Police launch fresh investigations into clashes," East African Standard, October 4, 2000.
48 See, for example, Francis Thoya, "Lawyers demand Akiwumi report," Daily Nation, February 21, 2000; Francis Thoya, "Farmer Sues Over Akiwumi Report," Daily Nation, October 29, 2000.
49 "Victims of political clashes demand government compensation," AFP, July 27, 2001; "Clash victims plan suit against State," Daily Nation, August 2, 2001.
50 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Ukunda, May 8, 1999.
51 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider B, Mombasa, May 26, 1999. Alfan, as noted above, also apparently felt he had been double-crossed by Coast Province KANU leaders, whom he said had promised to reward him for his campaign activities.
52 Human Rights Watch interview with Raider A, Ukunda, April 22, 1999.
53 Kaona and Githua, "Shakombo says...," East African Standard; Statement Under Inquiry dated February 28, 1998, copy on file with Human Rights Watch.