Govt on the spotlight over Turkana attacks

May 14, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – Amnesty International (AI) has accused the Kenyan government of neglecting communities that live in the northern and north eastern parts of the country, citing the recent incident where 38 Kenyans were massacred by the Merille Community of Ethiopia.

Country Director Justus Nyang\’aya told Capital News that the government had historically condoned the marginalisation of these communities, thereby undermining their human rights.

He however observed that the new county governance structures would provide an opportunity to correct these injustices, if they were properly implemented.

"These are people who have been excluded and this exclusion is a human rights violation. These people do not have food or access to other essential basic services and their voices are not heard because they are poor and have been excluded," he said.

Mr Nyang\’aya further accused the country\’s security forces of being lax saying they should boost their intelligence structures to avert such attacks.

"The killings are just a perfect example to show that the government was caught with its pants down. We have one of the best security forces in Africa so how is it that they failed to know that our people would be killed?" he posed.

The civil society organisation also released a report on the human rights situation in 157 countries and territories including Kenya. The report which focused on countries activities in 2010 recognized Kenya for promulgating a new Constitution.

Although Mr Nyang\’aya noted that the development set the pace for reforms in the country he argued that the coalition government continued posing challenges to the realisation of Kenya\’s goals.

"It is still important to note that Kenya has performed as if it has no radar and like there is no purposeful leadership with vision moving us from point A to B. There has been a lot of wrangling in the coalition government," he said.

The global human rights watchdog has also noted that Somali refugees seeking asylum in Kenya continued being turned back. He urged the government to put in place adequate screening measures in order to sift genuine refugees from bogus ones.

"I also think that Kenya should seek for support from the international community if it can\’t handle the influx of refugees because they have to be protected from any forms of abuse," he said.

The human rights report also observed that the country was still struggling with the resettlement of evictees.

"The government continues evicting people from their homes without giving them an alternative place and that is against the law," he said.

Other issues that were raised in the report included violence against women and girls, the issue of Internally Displaced Persons, the unlawful transfer of suspects as well as the right to housing.

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