, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 14 – Civil society groups have expressed concern over the slow pace of implementing the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission(TJRC) report on historical human rights violations.
Christopher Gitari of the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) says the National Survivors and Victims’ Network (NVSN) has written to the Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale and the House Business Committee but there has been no response.
“We are worried about the TJRC report. It has stalled at the House Business Committee of Parliament and we hope that the Majority Leader and members of the committee can prioritise so that we draw a line in the sand in terms of how we treat Kenyans so that we can end the repetitive action of historical injustices because even as we wait to discuss the TJRC report, you can see that violations are continuing, ” said Gitari further comparing the historical injustices to the ongoing security operation in Kapedo.
The civil societies questioned Parliament’s resolve to implement the recommendations in the report raising fears of tampering.
“The difficulties surrounding the TJRC process and its final report reflect the reluctance of the political leadership to account for a country’s dark past. The report provides the foundation for examining the country’s past and its recommendations, if heeded could help create a stronger republic,” read part of a report by the ICTJ.
Gitari reiterated the importance of implementing the recommendations of the report as it would help resolve some of the recurring conflicts among them land issues.
“There is a taskforce on historical land injustices which is trying to craft a law that will help us deal with historical land injustices and I think even though we are far from dealing with this issue we must support the National Land Commission in that effort as it comes up with policies to address historical land injustices,” said Gitari.
The meeting by the civil society groups was also meant to come up with a road map on how to initiate the implementation of the reports as the victims of the various historical violations were still suffering.
“This road-map really is to help us see what kind of things that can be done to ensure implementation of the report. Our biggest concern is the victims who are extremely vulnerable,” Gitari added.
The controversial Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission handed over the report to Parliament in May 2013.
In December 2013, the house debated and passed an amendment to the TJRC Act, giving the National Assembly the power to determine how the commission’s recommendations would be implemented.