Nairobi - Kenya's reconciliation commission has said the
president, security forces and judiciary should publicly apologise for past
abuses going back 50 years, its final report seen Wednesday said.
Set up after bloody post-election violence in 2007-08,
Kenya's Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) handed over its
weighty four-volume report - containing tens of thousands of testimonies
gathered over four years detailing rights abuses the abuse of rights in the
country - to President Uhuru Kenyatta late on Tuesday.
Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto are named in the
report for allegedly planning and financing violence during the post-election
unrest, although the commission recommends no action be taken against them as
they are awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court on similar charges.
It recommended that the president "offer a public and
unconditional apology to the people of Kenya for all injustices and gross
violations of human rights committed" during its period of investigation,
from independence in 1963 until 2008.
Kenya's police, army and intelligence services should also
apologise "for gross violations of human rights committed by their
predecessor agencies", the panel said, noting that the security forces
have been the "main perpetrators" of "violations of human rights
in Kenya including massacres, enforced disappearances, torture and
ill-treatment, and sexual violence".
It said Kenya should also consider seeking compensation from
former colonial rulers Britain for the "victims of atrocities and
injustices", and said London should also offer a public apology.
Reconciliation and healing
Kenyatta and Ruto are among nearly 200 individuals or
organisations listed as having been singled out by witnesses interviewed by the
commission for alleged rights abuses.
Najib Balala, the newly appointed mining minister, is also
named for "inciting and funding violence", as well as former radio
presenter and ICC indictee Joshua arap Sang.
It is up to parliament - where Kenyatta's party has the
majority - to take the next step.
"The government will take the recommendations of the
report seriously," the presidency said in a statement late on Tuesday.
"Addressing the causes and effects of past injustices
will contribute towards national unity, reconciliation and healing," it
Beyond calling for public apologies the report made few