NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 20 – US Secretary of State John Kerry has been urged to focus on issues of human rights and civilian protection, during his upcoming trip to the country, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
Human Rights Watch Washington Director Sarah Margon has urged Kerry to press Kenya and Nigeria to ensure that security forces protect instead of preying on marginalized communities, including those of refugees.
In Kenya, she says Kerry should urge investigations into security force abuses including enforced disappearances and torture.
“Kerry should also urge Kenya not to close Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, or forcibly repatriate Somali refugees to their embattled country,” Margon has appealed.
Kerry is expected to visit the country on Monday where he will meet senior Government officials including President Uhuru Kenyatta, to discuss issues of security, regional and international relations and especially the recent upheaval in South Sudan as well as the developments in Somalia according to State House.
In Nigeria, Kerry has been urged to continue pushing for meaningful reforms in the Nigerian military.
In Saudi Arabia, the right group wants Kerry to raise concerns about serious and repeated violations of the laws of war by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen that have killed many civilians.
“He should make clear that the Saudi government needs to end unlawful air strikes or risk losing US sales of munitions and arms. He should also press the government to allow independent investigations into alleged war crimes by all parties to the conflict.
The Obama administration will have few remaining opportunities to express its human rights concerns directly to leaders in the region,” Margon said.
“It shouldn’t waste this one. Kerry needs to tell the Saudis that unless unlawful coalition air strikes in Yemen stop, US weapons sales will.”