Nigeria – Jonathan warns against bloodshed during voting on eve of election

Reuters

Nigeria president warns against bloodshed ahead of Saturday poll

Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:08pm GMT
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Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan stands for Kenya's national anthem before the Africa Union Peace and Security Council Summit on Terrorism at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, September 2, 2014.      REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
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By Tim Cocks

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan warned against violence ahead of Saturday’s presidential election as people stockpiled food, cash and fuel for fear of post-election clashes.

Jonathan will face former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari in what is seen as the closest presidential race since the end of military rule in 1999.

In a broadcast to the nation on Friday, Jonathan said no political ambition could justify violence or bloodshed, adding that security measures had been taken to guarantee a free and fair election.

“Let me warn, however, that as President, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, I am under oath to protect the lives of all Nigerians and the security of our country at all times. I will never abdicate my responsibilities in that regard,” he said.

“Those who may harbour any intentions of testing our will by unleashing violence during the elections in order to advance their political ambitions should think again,” Jonathan said.

He added that security agencies were ready to deal with anyone who tried to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the elections or cause public disorder in Africa’s top oil producer and biggest economy.

Around 800 people died in post-election violence in 2011 in which Jonathan defeated Buhari. Western powers have been pressing both sides not to stoke tensions, with U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders issuing a direct appeal for calm this week.

LONG QUEUES, STOCKPILING

In the capital Abuja long queues formed outside banks from people seeking to withdraw money. Queues for fuel also stretched for hundreds of metres in cities across the country.

“I’m getting my cash out now because I don’t know what is going to happen. If it gets bad, you don’t want to be stuck with no cash,” Wale Olatunji, 31, a businessman queuing in the sun at a bank in Abuja, said.

Ishaya Yahaya Junior, a 40-year-old civil servant in the northern metropolis of Kaduna, where worst violence occurred in 2011, said the atmosphere was tense, amid fears of a repeat of post-election violence.

“We have been stockpiling provisions – lots of people have been doing this. We don’t want to go outside if there is trouble,” said the father-of-two, who estimated that his family could live for three weeks on stored food if necessary.

In a sign of growing tensions, a spokesman for opposition Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi, said an unidentified gunman shot at the governor’s convoy on Thursday, wounding a security guard. The Nigerian police however, said in a statement that the gun shots were fired from the governor’s convoy.

BOKO HARAM HEADQUARTERS CAPTURED

The Nigerian army said separately that its troops had captured the northeast town of Gwoza, destroying the headquarters of the insurgents.

Jonathan said in the speech that the Nigerian army had contained Boko Haram Islamist insurgents in the northeast who were seen as the biggest security threat ahead of the election.

“They (army) have recaptured most of the communities and territories formerly occupied by the insurgents, making it possible for thousands of internally-displaced Nigerians to begin returning to their homes and communities,” Jonathan said.

The past six weeks have seen a dramatic turnaround against the insurgency, with troops from Chad, Cameroon and Niger joining a battle to dismantle the group’s hold on a territory that in January was the size of Belgium. It is unclear, however, whether that will help Jonathan’s re-election chances.

“Concerted and well-coordinated land and air operations have liberated Gwoza, the headquarters of their so-called caliphate which they renamed “darul hikima”, the army said in a statement, adding that arms and ammunition were recovered and Boko Haram’s administrative headquarters was destroyed.

It said Nigerian troops had taken over enclaves and hideouts from the militants, who were fleeing towards border areas.

Nigeria – army says it has retaken Boko Haram’s Gwoza HQ

This is incredibly well-timed.  Is it real, was it deliberately delayed until today for political reasons. Impossible know who to trust in the current situation in Nigeria.KS

Premium Times

Finally, Nigerian troops recapture Gwoza town

FILE PHOTO: Recapture of Mubi Town

The Nigerian military has finally recaptured Gwoza, a popular town in North Eastern Borno State.

The Defence Headquarters, in a tweet, said the town was recaptured on Friday morning by troops.

“FLASH: Troops this morning captured Gwoza destroying the Headquarters of the Terrorists self styled Caliphate,” the DHQ said Friday morning.

Gwoza, one of the largest towns in Borno, fell under the control of Boko Haram terrorists on August 6, 2014.

The terrorists, after sacking the town, killed many people and displaced others, including the Emir, Muhammed Timta.

The group also erected its flag, declaring the area as an Islamic caliphate.

Just recently – on Wednesday – President Goodluck Jonathan, while receiving some International Election Monitoring Groups said the military command had assured him that Gwoza would be liberated on Friday.

He said the liberation of the areas under terrorists attack would pave way for the successful conduct of general elections in all states of the federation.

He also that after the twon had be recaptured, a little time will be needed for clean up.

There were reports that Boko Haram was hiding the abducted Chibok girls in Gwoza, but the military hasn’t said if they were found there.

BBC

Boko Haram HQ Gwoza in Nigeria ‘retaken’

Nigerian soldiers celebrating their capture of Gwoza in Nigeria
The capture of Gwoza was celebrated by Nigerian soldiers after the battle
Boko Haram

The Nigerian army says it has retaken the north-eastern town of Gwoza, believed to be the headquarters of militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

The insurgents had now been driven from virtually all the territory they had held, it said.

Some militants were now fleeing towards border areas, the military said.

News of Gwoza’s recapture comes a day before presidential elections, which were postponed by six weeks because of the offensive against Boko Haram.

Thousands of people have been killed since 2009, when the group began its insurgency to create an Islamic state.

An estimated three million people have fled their homes because of the unrest, and many may be unable to vote.

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Analysis: BBC’s Will Ross, Lagos

Nigeria map

Gwoza’s location made an ideal base: The nearby Mandara Mountains offered protection and the jihadists could flee into Cameroon until the military there stepped up patrols. There is a complex system of caves and tunnels, some of which burrow hundreds of metres into the mountainside. Recent rumours suggest the Boko Haram leader may have been hiding there.

When Gwoza was captured by the jihadists last August thousands of residents were trapped and terrified on the mountain slopes with no food. They were badly let down – the military fled, leaving the jihadists to help themselves to the armoury.

Now on the eve of a pivotal election there is at last some good news for those who survived. The cost was high though.

One resident told me the jihadists recently assembled all the elderly residents and informed them that, as they were unable to defend themselves from a military attack, they would be helped on their way to paradise. They were slaughtered in Gwoza’s abattoir.

Eyewitnesses say that after the military assault, people could be seen heading over the mountain by torchlight – Boko Haram fighters on the run.

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BBC Africa security correspondent Tomi Oladipo says Gwoza’s capture is a major milestone for the Nigerian army.

The town is not far from Chibok, where Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from a boarding school last April.

Our reporter says Gwoza was one of the places where the militants were rumoured to be hiding the girls, who are yet to be found.

‘Weapons recovered’

After his fighters captured Gwoza in August 2014, the Boko Haram leader declared a caliphate in areas under his control.

The militants have been pushed back since Nigeria’s neighbours sent troops to help it earlier this year.

“These successful operations have culminated in the dislodgment of terrorists from towns and communities in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states,” military spokesman Chris Olukolade said.

Army personnel shaking hands in front of a police training college near Gwoza
The armed forces also recaptured a police training base near Gwoza
Soldiers from Niger with a Boko Haram flag after recapturing Damasak
Soldiers from Niger (pictured), Chad and Cameroon have been helping in the offensive

The recapture of Gwoza was first announced in a tweet from Nigerian armed forces.

A lot of arms and ammunition were recovered and “a massive cordon and search has commenced to locate any of the fleeing terrorists or hostages in their custody”, Mr Olukolade said.

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Boko Haram at a glance:

Wanted poster for Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in Maiduguri, Nigeria - May 2013
  • Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western-style education
  • Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009 to create an Islamic state
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria
  • Has also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
  • Abducted hundreds, including at least 200 schoolgirls
  • Pledged allegiance to Islamic State

Turning the tide against Boko Haram?

Who are the militants?

Nigeria decides 2015: Election coverage

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Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam which makes it “haram”, or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society.

Earlier this month, the group pledged allegiance to Islamic State militants, who control large parts of Syria and Iraq and are also active in Libya.

South Sudan government to borrow $500m

Sudan Tribune

March 26, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s national legislative assembly has authorised the ministry of finance to negotiate a loan of half a billion US dollars in a special sitting on Wednesday.

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Members of South Sudan’s parliament sing the national anthem during the reopening of parliamentary sessions in the capital, Juba, on 11 June 2012 (Photo: Giulio Petrocco/AFP/Getty)

The decision came as crude oil prices shrink globally and daily production in the country has dropped in the oil producing states of Unity and Upper Nile due to the ongoing conflict.

Cabinet affairs minister Martin Elia Lomoru on Wednesday presented the authorisation request to Members of Parliament (MPs) for approval. Lomoro told the lawmakers that the council of ministers had already approved the request by finance minister Daniel Deng Athorbei since 15 February.

“It is then my pleasure […] to read this memo seeking parliamentary approval for the loan worth five hundred million to be solicited from the Qatar National Bank (QNB) by the ministry of finance,” Lomoro said.

He told the parliamentarians that the country’s economy is in “a dire situation” and needed money to keep it running.

A chunk of South Sudanese government’s revenues come from oil by 98%, whereas the daily oil production has dropped from about 260,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 160,000 bpd since the conflict began in December 2013.

Finance minister David Deng Athorbei who also attended the Wednesday’s extraordinary session of parliament said the authorization will enable him to negotiate a half billion dollars loan with QNB, further assuring that the parliament will also have to rectify any agreement reached.

‘There will be a clause which will say ‘any agreement we reached will be subject to rectification by the parliament,” said Athorbei, who took office from former finance minister, Agrey Tisa Sabuni, in January.

“What I am seeking here is the authorisation for this august house to say ‘please go ahead and negotiate for us this loan.’ This is what I just simply want,” he added.

The MPs, when asked by the speaker of the assembly, Manasseh Magok Rundial, after presentations by the two ministers whether they approved the request, they responded “yes” without further deliberations.

“Therefore, there is no need really to refer the matter to the committee,” said speaker Rundial, referring to parliamentary procedure that would have required a special committee’s scrutiny of executive’s presentation in parliament.

“It is only the permission of this House to let him [finance minister Athorbei] go and do the thing [loan negotiation] that will be rectified by us,” he said.

Juba government is believed to have borrowed loans worth billions of dollars in order to supplement its budget including to finance the war.

Rebels led by the former vice-president Riek Machar have demanded that the national debts be disclosed during the peace talks in Addis Ababa, a proposal rejected by president Salva Kiir’s government, saying this was not necessary.

(ST)

Nigeria – “political thugs” fire on Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s convoy

Punch

Thugs open fire on Gov Amaechi’s convoy

Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi

 RIVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi escaped unhurt in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area on Thursday when gunmen, suspected to be political thugs, fired shots at his convoy.

Two members of the All Progressives Congress were however unlucky as they were seriously injured in the incident, which happened at about 6pm on Thursday.

The governor was   on a door-to-door ward campaign of the area.

An SMS sent to our correspondent by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. David Iyofor, indicated that the attackers   made bonfire along a major road in the area to prevent the governor from leaving.

The SMS read, “This evening, gunshots were fired at the convoy of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi at Rumuolumeni, Obio/Akpor LGA by PDP thugs.

“Obio/Akpor is the home of the PDP governorship candidate in the state, Nyesom Wike. The thugs attacked the governor’s convoy and his entourage with bottles, stones and other dangerous objects. Then gunshots were fired at the convoy.

“When the governor was leaving the community, bonfire was set up on the road to prevent him from leaving. More gunshots were fired at his convoy. Amaechi was on door-to-door ward campaign in the state.”

The Greater Together Campaign Organisation, a team in charge of the APC candidate, Dakuku Peterside’s governorship campaign, described the attack on the convoy as part of the plan to assassinate chieftains and members of the APC.

The Director of the campaign organisation, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, said in a statement   in Port Harcourt   that the thugs were repelled by the governor’s security personnel.

Semenitari lamented that the situation in the state had become worrisome considering that a group of security operatives had gone to the governor’s home town to carry out a secret investigation.

The statement read in part, “In keeping with their plans to attack and assassinate chieftains and members of the APC, thugs of the PDPambushed the convoy of Governor Amaechi, who was on a door-to-door campaign in Rumuolumeni, Obio/Akpor, Rivers State.

“The thugs were repelled by the governor’s security personnel. However, the PDP in Rivers State has concluded plans to launch house-to-house attack on APC chieftains in the state with the aid of security personnel.”

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ahmad Mohammad, told our correspondent that he was still trying to reach out to the Divisional Police Officer in Obio/Akpor to ascertain the veracity of the claim that the governor’s convoy was attacked.

Mohammad promised to react to the matter as soon as he got any response from the DPO in Obio/Akpor   but he had yet to keep the promise as of 9pm on Thursday.

Also in Edo State, the government on Thursday alleged deployment of armed soldiers in the country home of Governor Adams Oshiomhole in Iyamoh     Etsakor West LGA.

A statement by the state Commissioner   for Information and Orientation,   Louis Odion, said the presence of the soldiers was to “intimidate the governor on   election day.”

The statement read in part, “Family members of the   governor were shocked to find his country home taken over by soldiers this(Thursday) afternoon. When asked, the invading force said they were acting on orders from above.

“We also have it on good authority that the Army high command in Abuja had sent some soldiers to Edo State on what they described as ‘special operations’.

“In order not to arouse suspicion, these soldiers were told to dress in suits and pose as SSS operatives and station them at polling units on election day, particularly in areas seen as APC strongholds.”

Copyright PUNCH.

Sierra Leone in three day ebola lockdown

BBC

Ebola outbreak: Sierra Leone in lockdown

A file photo taken on November 12, 2014 shows health workers from Sierra Leone"s Red Cross Society Burial Team 7 preparing to carry a corpse out of a house in Freetown.
Thousands of people in Sierra Leone have died of Ebola

The authorities in Sierra Leone are enforcing a three-day lockdown to curb the spread of Ebola, with the entire population ordered to stay at home.

There is a two-hour exemption on Friday to allow Muslim prayers and a five-hour window for Christians on Sunday.

Volunteers are going door-to-door, looking for people with signs of the disease and reminding others how to stay safe.

Dozens of new cases are still being reported in Sierra Leone every week.

The three West African countries worst affected by Ebola – Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea – have set a target of having no new cases by the middle of next month.

The outbreak has killed more than 10,000 people in the three countries over the past year.

Thousands of Nigerians flee to Chad to escape Boko Haram

Mail and Guardian

A refugee camp in Chad has provided temporary sanctuary for thousands of fleeing Nigerians.

Traumatised but safe: Hammah Aminu, aged 20 (above) is among more than 4?000 people who have sought refuge from Boko Haram at the Dar es Salaam refugee camp in Chad. (Lauren Clifford-Holmes)

“I saw Boko Haram with my own eyes and I saw the bodies. If I think about the corpses, I will cry.”

These are the words of 12-year-old Tahiru Abakhar whose family was attacked by Boko Haram in Baga and again hounded by the Islamist group in other towns until they fled to neighbouring Chad.

“After Boko Haram attacked us in Baga, we fled to Doro. Then Boko Haram followed us and attacked there. Then we escaped from Doro to the river and came to Ngouboua with a little boat. Then they attacked at Ngouboua and then we fled to Dar?es??Salaam [a Chadian refugee camp],” Tahiru explains.

In January thousands of Nigerians made their way to Ngouboua, a fishing village on Lake Chad. But they found little peace. Ngouboua was attacked by Boko Haram on February 13.

This was the militant group’s first breach of Chad’s border. Reports put the number of dead between 10 and 13 and aerial photographs showed a large portion of the town’s homes burned down.

Passing through Ngouboua recently, it was hard not to see and feel the loss. Many lost all their belongings in the blaze. Soot-covered houses were too numerous to count. Blackened clothes are melted together in the hot sand, cooking pots strewn in the ruins.

Following the attack on Ngouboua, the Chadian government, with the assistance of the United Nations refugee agency and partners, started moving Nigerian refugees to a camp named Dar es Salaam at Baga Sola.

An estimated 7 000 people are stuck on the islands in Lake Chad and more are awaiting assistance and transportation from Ngouboua.

Quest to launch an Islamic state
The Baga attack on January?3, which was recorded as Boko Haram’s most violent, attracted perhaps the most media coverage since the jihadist group launched its attacks in 2009 in its quest to create an Islamic state. This, and its subsequent strikes on surrounding areas, has resulted in an estimated 170 000 people fleeing to neighbouring countries to seek safety.

Until January, the majority of refugees fled to Cameroon and Niger, but there has now been a sustained influx into Chad.

Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, has already declared war on Chad in a video released in January shortly after Chad joined a military coalition to fight the insurgents. He also denounced Chad’s President Idriss Déby.

Chad formed a military alliance in January with Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon, aimed at defeating Boko Haram. Chad’s 20 000-strong army is the most effective in the region. It claims to have inflicted heavy losses on Boko Haram inside Nigeria.

Peace at Dar es Salaam
Families and children who have gone through terrifying ordeals are filling up Dar es Salaam. Conditions are not easy but there is a sense of safety. A heavy contingent of joint military forces police the camp precinct where 4 000 mostly Nigerians have taken refuge since it was opened in mid-January.

The sun bakes down on the white plastic UN tents as people try to go about a normal life. Groups gather, squatting in the sand, as they cook the limited food, mostly rice, available to them.

Children collect firewood and others help their mothers pump water at one of the boreholes, filling bright yellow containers. Mothers bathe their children, balancing them on pieces of cardboard to keep them from sitting in the sand. Inside the tents there is little or no furniture. Only blankets are laid out on reed mats.

There is much sorrow in the newly found peace; few families at Dar?es??Salaam have arrived as a unit. Most are fragmented, having been separated from one another during the attacks.

Chaos in the night
From the accounts of those in the camps, Boko Haram prefers night attacks during which, under the cover of darkness and in the ensuing chaos, wives and husbands are separated and children get lost in the rush to safety.

Twenty-year-old Hammah Aminu has been in Dar es Salaam camp for two months. Her husband wasn’t home when Boko Haram entered her hometown of Doro and she ended up fleeing with her brothers. She was separated from them and is now feeling very alone at the camp.

“I have heard that my husband is in Maiduguri [in Nigeria] and I want to meet him, but I have no way to go there. I have lost many things when I left; I lost my telephones and my clothes and food,” she says, crying with her hands over her eyes.

But some say they have good endings to their horror.

When Boko Haram attacked Doro, nine-year-old Habiba Idris lost sight of her parents and her six brothers and sisters. She managed to flee across the lake with family friends.

On arriving in Ngouboua she was told that Boko Haram had probably killed her father because someone had seen him go to Dabata Amina to look for his family. Boko Haram attacked that town too.

“After I heard that I was crying,” Habiba says.

But the next morning a boy came to tell her they had seen her father in Ngouboua. It turns out he, too, had crossed the lake in the search for his family. “I said, thank God. When I saw my father I was so glad,” Habiba remembers.

Once reunited, Habiba and her father made their way to Dar?es??Salaam where they tracked down her mother and some of her siblings.

Not enough food
Aminu says food at the camp is not enough – a sentiment echoed by many other refugees. Every day portions of rice and a few other staples are dished out to families and they cook for themselves.

The local residents seem to have welcomed the refugees. The citizens of Nigeria and Chad are finding unity against their common enemy: Boko Haram.

“The population was very surprised by the arrival of so many ­refugees but they have been very fair and have been supportive. They have a moral obligation to support these people,” says Dimouya Souapebe, speaking as the local government authority in Baga Sola.

Dar es Salaam camp co-ordinator Idriss Dezeh says locals have received the Nigerian refugees with open arms. “There are even some who have donated food … they have been extraordinary.”

But the increasing number of refugees in the area is putting pressure on the local population and resources.

Souapebe acknowledges this, saying: “There can be problems with price increases and also stock levels of food and products for the local population. This is also because it is not easy to get farm produce and products to Baga Sola.”

People are scared
Sitting in a makeshift shack on the border of the lake, Muhammad Kurundu, a metal worker in Baga Sola, says his business has suffered since the refugees started arriving in the area.

“Before the refugees came, people bought a lot of things. But since the refugees arrived, everyone is scared and staying in their villages and don’t want to come to the market.

“The people are scared because Boko Haram want to attack and kill them. All the routes are blocked, they are afraid of being burned or assassinated or have their throats slit on the way,” says Kurundu.

Shop owner Ali Abdullah says that since the refugees arrived the sale of clothing and shoes is not good, but the sale of his foodstuffs, such as sugar, maize, rice and tea is going well.

“Since the refugees arrived, the sale of consumables is good, but all the routes are blocked. We can’t go to Nigeria or Cameroon [to buy products] … our products can only come from N’Djamena [Chad’s capital] or Libya.”

With Nigeria’s pending election on March 28, few are hopeful of going home. For them, neither President Goodluck Jonathan nor his rival Muhammadu Buhari have the will to tackle Boko Haram, which they say will continue its reign of terror even after the poll.

The implication for neighbouring Chad then is that more refugees may be coming their way.


Kenyatta apologises to vitims of Kenyan state violence and starts PEV victims’ fund

The Star (Nairobi)

I’m sorry, Uhuru tells victims of violence

 
INSTRUMENT: TJRC Report

INSTRUMENT: TJRC Report

BY FELIX OLICK

March 27, 2015

PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta has made a public apology for all State injustices committed since Independence.

He also announced a Sh10 billion Restorative Justice Fund for victims of the 2007 post-election bloodletting. An estimated 1,500 people were killed and 650,000 displaced.

In a bold move, Uhuru asked for forgiveness from victims of gross violations committed by the past three regimes, including the massacres of the post-poll violence of 2007 in which he later was named a suspect.

“To move forward as one nation, I stand before you today on my own behalf, that of my government and all past governments, to offer the sincere apology of the Government of the Republic of Kenya to all our compatriots for all past wrongs,” the Head of State said in his State of the Nation address yesterday.

“I seek your forgiveness and may God give us the grace to draw on the lessons of this history to unite as a people and, together, to embrace our future as one people and one nation.”

Uhuru’s apology sets the stage for the implementation of the explosive Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Report that has been gathering dust since May 2013.

It was the first report of a commission of enquiry that he received as President. The report recommended that the sitting President apologises for State –sponsored violations of rights between December 12, 1963 and February 28, 2008.

In his speech to a joint sitting of the bicameral Parliament yesterday, Uhuru disclosed that he has instructed Treasury to establish a Sh10 billion Restorative Justice Fund that will be rolled out in the next three years.

“This will provide a measure of relief and will underscore my government’s goodwill. I have also established a State Department dedicated to strategic initiatives in marginalised and at-risk regions and populations of our country,” he said.

In what may cause fresh ripples within elite political circles, the President asked the National Assembly to immediately kick off the process of implementing the TJRC Report.

“Their Report is before this House, and I urge Honourable Members to process it without undue delay,” Uhuru said.

Senior government officials and politicians are among hundreds of Kenyans recommended for prosecution in the TJRC Report.

Some of the leaders cited for investigation include former President Daniel arap Moi, ex-Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, former ministers William ole Ntimama, Nicholas Biwott, Henry Kosgey, Sally Kosgei, Beth Mugo, Franklin Bett and Elizabeth Ongoro.

The report also recommended investigation of former MP Norman Nyagah over the killing of Dr Chrispine Odhiambo-Mbai in 2005.

The Truth Report also recommended that State security agencies, in particular the Kenya Police, the Kenya Defence Forces and the National Intelligence Service, also ask for forgiveness for gross violations of human rights committed by their predecessor agencies.

However, President Kenyatta dashed the hopes of victims of the 2007 post-election violence over any local trials, saying that, according to Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, “there are challenges to obtaining successful prosecutions”.

“These challenges range from inadequate evidence, inability to identity perpetrators, witnesses fears of reprisals, and a general lack of technical and forensic capacity at the time,” he said.

The President regretted the electoral violence that has periodically hit Kenya over the years, saying the mayhem reached a crescendo in 2007.

“Collectively, these incidents have disunited us and held our people hostage to this tragic history by providing the foundation and rationale for the cynical and destructive politics of hate and division.”

– See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/im-sorry-uhuru-tells-victims-violence#sthash.lV64R0Kh.dpuf