Violence and impunity

Despite the deaths of 1,400 people following the 2007 vote, security reform has been slow, say Kenyans.

Atsango Chesoni, Kenya Human Rights Commission

Politicians can trigger violence, knowing they can get away with it, say Kenyan activists. A “culture of impunity” led to the killings of 2007-08, and the violence which has marred every election since the re-introduction of multi-party rule in the country.

Analysts in the country say the risk of electoral violence is again high, indeed, it started months ago, in Tana River, in parts of Kisumu and along parts of the coast – and there are allegations that political groups remain behind the organisation and funding of militia groups across the country.

“For a politician in this country who is seeking to advance himself, who is seeking to make sure that he wins, and wins resoundingly, violence is a very, very attractive tool,” says Maina Kiai, of InformAction, a group lobbying for political and social accountability in Kenya.

“After all, if you can’t get caught, why not do it?”

This video is part of IRIN’s “No Ordinary Election” series. Catch up with the whole special series here.

Source: IRIN