HRW: Politicians linked to Kenya violence

Politicians in Kenya may have played a role in attacks that killed 110 people over the past month, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch.

The report alleges that local authorities failed to prevent the violence — and in some cases might have organized it.


View Photo Gallery: Clashes between farmers and herders in southeastern Kenya escalated Monday with 38 people killed, including eight children.

“Members of both communities, including victims of the attacks, told Human Rights Watch that area politicians who hoped to win seats in next year’s elections were involved in the violence on both sides and that the villagers had informed the police about their suspicions. They said the recent violence was aimed at displacing the supporters of opponents,” the advocacy group wrote, urging Kenyan authorities to investigate and prosecute those responsible.

Hundreds of members of the Pokomo and Orma tribes have attacked each other’ villages near the Tana river delta since late August, and more than 12,000 people have been displaced, the Guardian reports.

Kenyan Livestock Development Minister Dhado Godana has already been charged with inciting the violence, but HRW says at least three more politicians were involved.

Kenyan police have vowed on Twitter to bring the perpetrators to justice:

All inciters and criminals in #TanaRiver will soon face the full force of law. #TanaRiverClashes

— Kenya Police (@KenyaPolice) September 11, 2012

But others in Kenya have expressed skepticism that the police have done all they can.

Someone pls explain how 300 people assemble without security agencies knowing it #Tanariverclashes

— Ferdinand Mwongela (@fmwongela) September 11, 2012

If The Police can blame The Executive for inaction and indecision on #TanaRiverClashes, then Kenya is sure on autopilot. Sad affair.

— ZM (@UrbaneKenyan) September 12, 2012

Read the full HRW statement here.

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