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Preliminary Response to the Mediation Process in Kenya
The Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ) coalition and the National Civil Society congress (NCSC) wish to reiterate their unequivocal support for the Kofi Annan-led AU and internationally backed mediation process in Kenya.
Kenyans are desperate to see an end to the nightmare that the current crisis represents: this process represents an important, and perhaps the only remaining, opportunity to resolve the Kenya crisis. KPTJ and NCSC also wish to restate that real, lasting peace will only be achieved through both truth and justice with regard to the Kenya Presidential Election of 2007, and the violence that followed it.
The mediation process has achieved some success as well as raising significant concerns. It deserves applause that the two major combating political antagonists in this crisis have been brought to the negotiating table. It is also deserving of mention that these two groups have remained at the negotiation table despite the very challenging and sometimes outright traumatic environment they are dialoguing under. We will shortly be addressing the content of some of the interim agreements arrived at including the proposed Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission announced on February 4, 2008.
There are, however, deep concerns that remain and have been further deepened by unfolding events. The state of insecurity and incalculable losses of life, limb and livelihood in the country is a tragic derogation of all universally accepted norms and standards of human rights. The KPTJ and NCSC support the call contained in the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation documents for the immediate restoration of the fundamental rights and freedoms of Kenyans, including the right of peaceful assembly. We note that, in the past week or so, two Members of Parliament from one side of the political divide have been murdered in suspicious circumstances and demand the speedy and conclusive clarification of these crimes. Further there have been highly inflammatory and unacceptable statements made by Mediation Parties that trespass on the mediation agenda and undermine the prospects of successful mediation with truth and justice. The pattern of disrespect towards and slighting of international partners- including the African Union and President John Kuffuor -which manifested itself again recently with the rejection of Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa cannot go uncondemned. In this regard, the KPTJ and NCSC express their concern over reports that the hotel room of His Excellency Kofi Annan was bugged. The situation should be investigated and, if the reports are true, those responsible be identified and punished.