Address impunity, EU urges Kenya

April 20, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – The European Union (EU) has urged the Coalition Government to renew its commitment to addressing impunity and accountability in the country.

In a statement sent to newsrooms on Monday, the EU regretted that the two main issues have remained key constraints to the implementation of the National Accord. 

Heads of Missions of the EU member states and the European Commission in Nairobi added that; “it was worth noting that the momentum of reforms had slowed and that greater political was needed to see the reforms through." 

“We urge the coalition partners to address these with a renewed sense of urgency and vigour, with as  a matter of priority dealing with the establishment of a special tribunal to deal with post-election violence, accountability for extra-judicial killings and speedy establishment of the Police Review Board as recommended by the Waki Commission,” the statement said.

The Union however said that they were encouraged by the resumption of dialogue between members of the coalition government.  The Union challenged Parliament to assert its oversight authority.

“As the Parliament resumes its work tomorrow (Tuesday), we would like to underline its key role in furthering the implementation of many of the reform agenda issues of the National Accord.”

Various interest groups have continually criticised the pace of reforms in the country which many say has been slowed by wrangling between coalition partners, Party of National Unity and the Orange Democratic Movement.  President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga however last Thursday opened up the avenues of communication.

The Union added that a new constitution is Kenya’s best hope for a framework and basis for multi stakeholder engagement.

“We appreciate the efforts undertaken thus far and urge Parliament to ensure that the necessary pace and momentum are generated and maintained.”

The international community also cited the civil society as an important partner in re-creating momentum and restoring a sense of common national purpose.

 “To ensure such engagement it is critical to ascertain that their basic rights (freedom of association, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech) are safeguarded,” the statement read.



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