International Center for Policy and Conflict expresses concern on the security situation in Tana River and the wider Northern Kenya.
It is worrisome that the country is facing a surge of violence and lawlessness that has shattered the lives of thousands of Kenya in these two areas just a few months to the momentous and definitive general elections.
We are calling upon all political leaders to avoid political recklessness and instead confront this violence. Intolerant and divisive politics and ethnic hatred must not be allowed to foment in Kenya.
Political power cannot be assumed by any means at the expense of human lives. We note that many of the so-called peace forums appear meaningless for they are not backed by the prerequisite political commitments beyond political platitudes.
ICPC observes that the violence involving difference communities has both political and resources dimensions.
It is only proper that the government of Kenya takes all the appropriate measures to immediately stop the ethnic violence, protect the victims and avoid the repetition of such senseless killings in the future.
In addition, it is critical for the government to address the root causes of repeated outbreaks of deadly inter-communal violence, including state and local government policies that aggravate existing ethnic divisions.
We urge government of Kenya to ensure that the population at risk of further attacks is adequately protected from violence. ICPC encourages dialogue between different ethnic communities to achieve tolerance and peace.
Further, government officials including security forces should avoid policies that discriminate and violate human rights of local communities while tackling the violence. We remind the government of Kenya of its obligation to prevent and protect persons against acts of hatred, incitement and ethnic violence or any form of violence.
Finally, we urged the government of Kenya to expeditiously, thoroughly and impartially conduct credible investigations into the violence to bring to justice those responsible and to provide redress to the victims – who include children, women and the elderly – and their families.
The writer is Executive Director, ICPC