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UN group to probe poll chaos deaths
February 9, 2009
By Lucas Barasa (Daily Nation)
Even as the country grapples with formation of a tribunal to try poll violence suspects, a high-level team from the UN headquarters has arrived in the country to investigate killings during the chaos.
The fact-finding mission of the UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial executions will also look into the killings of members of the Mungiki sect allegedly by police and those by the military in Mt Elgon.
According to Kenya National Commission on Human Rights vice-chairman Omar Hassan, the advance team jetted into the country on Sunday for the mission that will last from February 16 to February 26.
The UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial executions, Prof Philip Alston, is expected in the country on February 16.
“He (special rapporteur) is particularly interested in alleged extra-judicial killings during the post-election violence, in Mt Elgon and of Mungiki suspects,” Mr Hassan told the Nation in an exclusive interview in Nairobi, on Monday.
The special rapporteur carries out fact-finding missions with the consent of the Government concerned. He is an independent and impartial investigator, and reports his findings publicly to the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly.
Mr Hassan said the special rapporteur would meet key government officials as well as civil society organisations.
He also hopes to meet with victims and witnesses, politicians and security officers.
An NGO forum will be held on February 16 “so that Kenyan civil society can brief the Special Rapporteur on the issue of killings in Kenya”.
Describing the UN mission as a first major breakthrough and fundamental step forward in investigations into rampant extra-judicial killings in the country, Mr Hassan regretted that it had taken the government more than a year to allow the team to come.
First seen in the Daily Nation. Thanks to the Lucas Barasa and the Daily Nation for covering these documents.