To ensure accountability for human rights abuses and the prevention of future abuses, Human Rights Watch makes the following recommendations:

On Accountability

To the Government of Kenya

  • Ensure that individual organization, incitement, or participation in political and ethnic violence, excessive use of force by members of state security forces (including the police) is impartially and rigorously investigated, and that perpetrators are brought promptly to justice.

  • Ensure that individuals recommended by the Commission of Inquiry and the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission for criminal investigation and prosecution for their role in the violence and excessive use of force by state agencies are investigated and prosecuted by the relevant authorities.

  • Act on the reports of previous efforts to establish accountability for past abuses, including the reports of the Akiwumi Commission and the Kiliku Commission, ensuring that individuals identified as culpable are further investigated with a view to criminal prosecutions.

  • Ensure offenses under the Electoral Offences Act, including those identified in the course of investigations by the Independent Review Committee, are impartially and rigorously investigated, and that perpetrators are brought promptly to justice.

  • Ensure that no one suspected of inciting or organizing political violence is appointed to cabinet positions or any other government post.

  • Ensure that the police build on recent efforts to encourage victims of sexual violence to report crimes, take all reports of sexual violence seriously, and investigate all allegations. Ensure that survivors of sexual violence are able to access appropriate medical care and psychosocial support.

  • Ensure that Kenyan police and judicial institutions are willing and equipped to meet the task of providing for justice. Where necessary, request international assistance to provide training or other assistance in police reform and enhance investigative and prosecutorial capacity.

  • To Foreign Governments

  • Provide appropriate support, as requested, for the National Dialogue and Reconciliation process and institutions established under its auspices, including the Commission of Inquiry and the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission.

  • Make future bilateral and multilateral non-humanitarian assistance conditional on human rights benchmarks including accountability of individuals responsible for current and previous episodes of political violence and excessive use of force by police.

  • Maintain and extend foreign visa screening and asset freezes of those individuals suspected of implication in corruption, arbitrary seizure of land, and political violence, during the period of investigation and following convictions.

  • On Reforms to Safeguard against Human Rights Violations

    To the Government of Kenya

  • Implement electoral reforms such as the gazetting of the Political Parties Act and provision for the independent appointment of electoral commissioners.

  • Ensure full and fair settlements of land disputes in line with recommendations from the Njonjo Commission and Ndung’u Commission reports and international standards on the rights to property and land, including the rights to historic land of indigenous communities. This will require a new law that sets up powerful and adequately funded mechanisms to resolve historic disputes, including allocation of compensation when appropriate.

  • To Foreign Governments

  • Provide appropriate, coordinated support for initiatives aimed at addressing the full and fair settlement of land disputes and compensation for historical and current human rights violations.

  • On Displaced Persons

    To the Government of Kenya

  • Ensure that internally displaced persons are protected from further violence regardless of their ethnicity and location, and ensure that the fundamental and social and economic rights of all those displaced by recent and previous events are met, including through equitable access to food, health, and education services.

  • Engage with civil society and internally displaced persons themselves to agree on a national plan for voluntary return, re-location or re-settlement of the displaced; that plan should take into account the long history of displacement in Kenya and the ongoing unresolved questions over land rights and should include a process of compensation for those who have lost their homes and property.

  • To Donor Governments, UN Agencies, and National and International NGOs

  • Assist the Government of Kenya in ensuring that adequate protection and assistance is provided to all displaced persons, without discrimination as to ethnicity or location.

  • Provide additional assistance to the Government of Kenya and Kenyan NGOs, as required, to meet its obligations to displaced people, including in the settlement or resolution of long-standing disputes over land.