, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29 – The Special UN Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Professor Philip Alston, has recommended that the Kenyan military be barred from participating in peace keeping missions abroad.
In a report released on Tuesday, Prof Alston said the military units that participated in the offensive operation against militia in Mount Elgon should not take part in such missions.
Prof Alston said there is need for an independent investigation to ascertain all the allegations of extra-judicial killings and other human rights abuses leveled against the service corps by local and international human rights watchdogs.
“Until such an investigation is undertaken, the military units deployed to Mt Elgon should be barred from participating in UN or African Union peace-keeping operations,” the report states.
Prof Alston said he had conducted comprehensive investigations since February and established that the military was involved in extrajudicial executions and other human rights abuses during an offensive operation that targeted members of the Sabaot Land Defense Force (SLDF) in Mount Elgon between 2006 and 2008.
In compiling his report, Prof Alston said he also relied on reports released by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and other lobby groups which documented evidence.
“I also conducted interviews with senior military officials, locals, the police and victims of the atrocities,” he states in his voluminous report released on the website of the UN Human Rights Council.
Prof Alston’s Senior Advisor Sarah Knuckey told Capital News that the report will be released officially next week.
“Prof Alston will orally summarise his findings at the Human Rights Council next week. Kenya (and other Governments) will then have an opportunity to respond,” Ms Knuckey wrote in her email to Capital News.
Prof Alston’s report particularly takes issue with some 300 soldiers from the Alpha Company of the First Kenya Rifles and the Alpha Company of the 20 para Batallion who were deployed to Mt Kenya.
Locally, Military Spokesman Bogita Ongeri said he would only comment on the report after studying it.
“I have not seen the report, those are very serious allegations and I can only comment once I have studied it,” he told Capital News on telephone.