Test for Kenya at UN Geneva meeting

June 2, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 2 – A clash between the Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) appears inevitable in Geneva on Wednesday when the two parties defend divergent views on Professor Philip Alston’s report on extra-judicial killings.

The disunity became evident after ODM Secretary General Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o said the party’s Parliamentary Group and National Executive Council meetings had vowed to back the controversial report.

“We are talking as ODM but we are inside the coalition government.  We support the report and we are urging the government to adopt it,” Prof Nyongo said.

He said ODM had sent Cabinet Ministers James Orengo and Amason Kingi to urge the UN Council on Human Rights to adopt the Alston report.

“The party as a sign of our commitment to democracy and telling people the truth has sent Mr Orengo and Mr Kingi to Geneva as part of the joint ODM/PNU government delegation to present its position to the United Nations,” he said.

The Party of National Unity has opposed the report that among other things recommends the resignation of Attorney General Amos Wako and the sacking of Police Commissioner Hussein Ali.

Last week, Government spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua dismissed the report saying it was an affront to Kenya’s sovereignty, but Mr Nyong’o rubbished the statement saying it did not reflect ODM’s stand.

Capital News on Sunday established that Mr Ali had prepared an 11-page document to defend himself against Prof Alston’s accusations that his department was involved in extra judicial killings.

He said his officers do not execute suspects with impunity as documented in the dossier due to be tabled at the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday.

The Attorney General, Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti and Justice and National Cohesion Minister Mutula Kilonzo are already in Geneva to defend the government’s position.

The inclusion of Mr Orengo and Mr Kingi (ODM) in the delegation came after Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday insisted that ODM representatives be part of the team to reflect the coalition government at the UN Human Rights Conference.

The Orange Democratic Movement supports the report in its entirety while PNU is opposed to some of the recommendations.

Despite the apparent differences, the government still maintains there is no crisis in the coalition and the Geneva Conference will be another test for the alliance.

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