Kenya: Waki Commission Report Addresses Post-Election Violence against Women
Monday, November 3, 2008 1:31 PM

The BBC reports that Kenya’s post-election violence has resulted in approximately 300,000 refugees and more than 1,500 deaths.  The violence began after the December 2007 election held in Kenya and is only now being officially addressed.  Numerous crimes were committed and an article posted on the African Woman & Child Feature Service website suggests that sexual violence is one of the most widespread.  On 15 October 2008, the Waki Commission issued a special report documenting their findings on the post-election violence.

The Waki Commission’s report is based on over three months of investigation into crimes committed.  Sexual crimes that occurred are described as “under-reported, under-investigated and insufficiently addressed.”  The recommendations that are put forth focus on the creation of a Special Tribunal for Kenya.  This tribunal would be composed of both international and domestic judges and would prosecute those most responsible for the serious crimes committed during the period of violence.  The Waki Commission warns that if a tribunal is not set up in a timely manner, the names of suspected perpetrators will be recommended to the International Criminal Court for prosecution in that venue.  The Commission urges the creation of an Independent Police Conduct Authority, which would investigate complaints about the police force.  The Report concludes that sexual violence was often ignored by police.  A comprehensive reform of the Kenyan Police Force is strongly recommended.

Unfortunately, interviews conducted by the BBC suggest that many Kenyans believe the Waki Commission Report does not fully address the complexities of the conflict.  Others doubt that the Report will lead to significant improvements in the country.  Ultimately, the interviewees urged the Commission to work toward a new constitution in order to ensure meaningful change.

To read full Waki Commission Report, click here. (pdf 529 pages)

Compiled from:Waki Commission: Kenya Voices”, BBC News, 17 October 2008, . (accessed 3 November 2008).

Chimbi, Joyce, “Sexual Violence Survivors Await Justice Nine Months On”, African Woman & Child Feature Service, . (accessed 3 November 2008).