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Cablegate: Commission of Inquiry Into Post-Election Violence Presents

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 002366

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KDEM KE
SUBJECT: COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE PRESENTS

REPORT TO PRESIDENT AND PRIME MINISTER

1. On September 15, the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election
Violence (CIPEV) -- which was formed as part of the Kofi
Annan-mediated settlement of Kenya's post-election crisis (reftel)
-- presented its report to President Mwai Kibaki. Kibaki then
ordered the report to be released immediately. The report
recommends concrete measures to improve performance and
accountability of state security agencies and enhance coordination
within state security mechanisms, including: strengthening joint
operational preparedness arrangements; developing comprehensive
operational review processes; merging the Administration Police and
the Kenya Police Service; and establishing an Independent Police
Complaints Authority. The report also recommends the creation of a
special tribunal with the mandate to prosecute crimes committed as a
result of post-election violence. The tribunal will have an
international component in the form of the presence of non-Kenyans
on the senior investigations and prosecution staff. The text of the
Executive Summary follows at paragraph 3.

2. Poloff spoke to George Kegoro, the Secretary to the CIPEV.
Kegoro stated that Kibaki and Odinga have already positively
commented on the report and its recommendations. According to
Kegoro, Odinga indicated that the report will be discussed at the
next Cabinet meeting.

3. To follow is the text of the Executive Summary.

Begin text.

The mandate of the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence
(CIPEV) was to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding
the violence, the conduct of state security agencies in their
handling of it, and to make recommendations concerning these and
other matters.

The Report comprises 5 Parts. Part I of the Report is an
Introduction which discusses the historical context of the violence;
Part II is a narration of the violence province by province. Part
III deals with four cross cutting issues: sexual violence,
internally displaced persons, the media and the nature and impact of
the violence. Part IV
deals with acts and omissions of state security agencies and
impunity; and Part V contains recommendations made with a view to
the prevention of future reoccurrence of large scale violence; the
investigation of alleged perpetrators; and how to tackle the culture
of impunity that has become the hallmark of violence and other
crimes in the country.
Sadly, violence has been a part of Kenya's electoral processes since
the restoration of multi party politics in 1991. However, the
violence that shook Kenya after the 2007 general elections was
unprecedented. It was by far the most deadly and the most
destructive violence ever experienced in Kenya. Also, unlike
previous cycles of election related
violence, much of it followed, rather than preceded elections. The
2007-2008 post-election violence was also more widespread than in
the past. It affected all but 2 provinces and was felt in both urban
and rural parts of the country. Previously violence around election
periods concentrated in a smaller number of districts mainly in Rift
Valley, Western, and Coast Provinces.

As regards the conduct of state security agencies, they failed
institutionally to anticipate, prepare for, and contain the
violence. Often individual members of the state security agencies
were also guilty of acts of violence and gross violations of the
human rights of the citizens.

In some ways the post-election violence resembled the ethnic clashes
of the 1990s and was but an episode in a trend of
institutionalization of violence in Kenya over the years. The fact
that armed militias, most of whom developed as a result of the 1990s
ethnic clashes, were never de-mobilized led to the ease with which
political and business leaders reactivated them for the 2007
post-election violence. Secondly, the increasing personalization of
power around the presidency continues to be a factor in facilitating
election related violence.

The widespread belief that the presidency brings advantages for the
President's ethnic group makes communities willing to exert violence
to attain and keep power. Inequalities and economic marginalization,
often viewed in ethnogeographic terms, were also very much at play
in the post-election violence in places like the slum areas of
Nairobi.

NAIROBI 00002366 002 OF 002

One of the main findings of the Commission's investigations is that
the postelection violence was spontaneous in some geographic areas
and a result of planning and organization in other areas, often with
the involvement of politicians and business leaders. Some areas
witnessed a combination of the two forms of violence, where what
started as a spontaneous violent reaction to the perceived rigging
of elections later evolved into well organized and coordinated
attacks on members of ethnic groups associated with the incumbent
president or the PNU party. This happened where there was an
expectation that violence was inevitable whatever the results of the
elections.

The report concludes that the post-election violence was more than a
mere juxtaposition of citizens-to-citizens opportunistic assaults.
These were systematic attacks on Kenyans based on their ethnicity
and their political leanings. Attackers organized along ethnic
lines,
assembled considerable logistical means and traveled long distances
to burn houses, maim, kill and sexually assault their occupants
because these were of particular ethnic groups and political
persuasion. Guilty by association was the guiding force behind
deadly "revenge" attacks, with victims being identified not for what
they did but for their ethnic association to other perpetrators.
This free-for-all was made possible by the lawlessness stemming from
an apparent collapse of state institutions and security forces.

In general, the police were overwhelmed by the massive numbers of
the attackers and the relatively effective coordination of the
attacks. However, in most parts of the country affected by the
violence, failure on the part of the Kenya Police and the Provincial
Administration to act on intelligence and other early warning signs
contributed to the escalation of the violence.

The post-election violence is also the story of lack of preparedness
of, and poor coordination among, different state security agencies.
While the National Security Intelligence Service seemed to possess
actionable intelligence on the likelihood of violence in many parts
of the country, it was not clear whether and through which channel
such intelligence was shared with operational security agencies. The
effectiveness of the Kenya Police Service and the Administration
Police was also negatively affected by the lack of clear policing
operational procedures and by political expediency's adverse impact
on
their policing priorities.

The report recommends concrete measures to improve performance and
accountability of state security agencies and coordination within
the state security mechanism, including strengthening joint
operational preparedness arrangements; developing comprehensive
operational review processes; merging the two police agencies; and
establishing an Independent Police Complaints Authority.

To break the cycle of impunity which is at the heart of the
post-election violence, the report recommends the creation of a
special tribunal with the mandate to prosecute crimes committed as a
result of post-election violence. The tribunal will have an
international component in the form of the presence of non-Kenyans
on the senior investigations and prosecution staff. End Text.

4. Post will continue to monitor closely public reaction to the
report and government actions to implement it. We are coordinating
with resident diplomatic missions on a joint Heads of Mission
statement of support for the CIPEV report and urging implementation
of its recommendations. Post will transmit the contents of the
statement septel.
RANNEBERGER

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