All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’ - Edmund Burke

October 23, 2008

S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol 6 No 9

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

AS JUSTICE PHILIP WAKO RELEASES REPORT ON KENYA'S POST-ELECTIONS VIOLENCE WILL SIERRA LEONE HEED THE WARNING?Blood-thirsty mobs on the rampage in KenyaA bloody story of mindless proportions

Wednesday October 15, 2008 - President Mwai Kibaki is presented a report including more importantly, recommendations relating to an inquiry into the post-elections violence which claimed more than a thousand civilian lives. The commission of inquiry into the post-election violence, headed by Mr Justice Philip Waki submitted its 529-page report which many see as the first step in addressing impunity and chronic injustice in post-independence Kenya. Chapter 13 of the report carries recommendations which the report's authors hope would help address the ills of Kenyan society.

One prominent Kenyan newspaper, the Daily Nation noted

The investigations of this commission are harrowing in their detail of the most base brutality. Its findings are profound in their incisive honesty and its recommendations, if implemented, will be our salvation. There were many causes of the violence, some associated with spontaneous anger and disappointment at the results of the election. However, the most powerful force driving the ethnic butchery was simply impunity.

And it is this impunity which could well have prompted former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan who had been the Chief Mediator between the opposing sides to tell the BBC Network Africa programme that the recommendation relating to the prosecution of all those who were found to be the most responsible for the blood-letting be brought to justice must be implemented. He said

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace, forgive and let's move on, doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand.

It would be recalled that this medium carried extensive material on the violence in Kenya as neighbour rose against neighbour, as people normally living in harmony and sharing the same values attacked those they believed were not of their kind or in their political camp. It was a situation that appeared to have been fanned by some prominent figures who, from behind the shadows, manipulated events that could have plunged Kenya into a violence that could well have made a combination of Rwanda during the genocide of 1994 and the madness which gripped Freetown in January 1999 look like a social gathering of joyful celebration!!!!!....and the men charged with this offence are now President Koroma's chief buddies

Indeed when Justice Philip Waki was first given the task, there were sceptics who actually commented that he was "too nice a man" to name and shame those responsible but the contents of the report submitted to President Mwai Kibaki and Chief Mediator Kofi Annan showed that he may be that but certainly does not shy away from his duties.

The report has recommended the setting up of a Special Tribunal for Kenya that would try all those most responsible for the violence - atrocities and the massive human rights abuses.

"The victims are calling for justice", said Mr Annan.The innocent and defenceless were the main targets as in Sierra Leone

And it would seem that justice would be ensured as the Mwai Kibaki government has been asked to put all the constitutional instruments in place that would make it possible for the court to operate within the borders of Kenya applying Kenyan law and other necessary instruments that would close any and all legal loopholes and thus bring to justice the puppet masters of death and destruction.

And just to make sure that Kenya as a sovereign state does not shirk such a responsibility in bringing suspects to justice, Justice Philip Waki has submitted a list of those believed to have the greatest responsibility for the mayhem, murder, rape and organised chaos to Mr Kofi Annan.

The names would eventually be released to the Tribunal's Chief Prosecutor and should the Kenyan authorities renege in a bid to protect people in positions of trust either in government or elsewhere, there is a real threat of that list being handed over to the International Criminal Court which could make things pretty difficult for the government itself as well as the perpetrators and those trying to cover up their activities.

The Sierra Herald hopes that the Ernest Bai Koroma set-up which passes for a government these days is aware of the international community's abhorrence of impunity and that he would do his best to stop the protection of all those who rained death, rape and murder on a captive and defenceless population during and after the war in the country.

The Sierra Herald would again want to draw the attention the present Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Serry Kamal that his use of nolle prosequi to protect human rights violators is in contempt of the country's support for human rights and the rule of law.A raging inferno during the mayhem in Kenya

The deployment of a cashiered army thug as well as AFRC and RUF killer like Idrissa Kanu alias Leatherboot does not augur well for the future of justice in Sierra Leone as surviving victims are bound to see it as rewarding evil.

The Sierra Herald would again like to draw the attention of representatives of the international community in Sierra Leone to the ground being prepared for another round of lawlessness and mayhem in a country that is still trying to recover from more than a decade of murder, rape and outright mayhem.

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©Sierra Herald 2002