Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Conference: +255767123055
Delegates: +255785630007
Exhibition: +255787747918
Magazine: +255716376102


Monday, 27 April 2015

Universal Peace Federation (UPF)

Genocide, Holocaust and Crimes Against Humanity

43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA

Tuesday 28th April, 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm

We invite you to attend the anniversary of the 100th year of Armenian genocide and the

41st year of Kurdish genocide on the University of Sulaymaniyah in Qaladze.

Speakers include:

Margaret Keverian Ali: UPF Director

Mr Raffi Serkissian: Campaign for the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (CRAG)

Mrs Charlotte Simon:  Founder Mothers of Congo, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Eibrahim Mala Zada: PhD Student: To Comment on the Kurdish Genocide

Robin Marsh: Secretary General, UPF
In the last year or so we have heard a number of instances of ethnic cleansing. Black clad ISIL fighters executing orange clad prisoners. Massacres of people who are not Sunni-Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and now Libya. The consequences of those tragic incidents last beyond the generations living at the time. The desire for revenge and the inherited hatred take considerable effort to resolve. Heartfelt reconciliation efforts over many years are required to overcome the bitterness created in relatively short periods of inhuman brutality. The denial of responsibility can delay this reconciliation progress considerably.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. This has always been denied by Turkey. It has been an unresolved hurt that is thought by some to have inspired dictators since then to believe that they can oppress minority communities others with impunity.

Please join us to understand the past better so that we can face the present and future with more clarity. We have speakers from the Armenian community, the Kurdish community and the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo etc.

Kindly RSVP to let us know you are coming. We look forward to seeing you again.

Yours sincerely,

Margaret Keverian Ali
Mobile: 07723024750

Robin Marsh
Secretary General
Mobile: 07956210768

Saturday, 25 April 2015

 P.0. Box 3815,
Simu:            +255 22 292 6032
Nukushi:     +255 22 292 6033



Jumatatu, April 21, April, 2015: Ofisi ya Rais-Ufuatiliaji wa Utekelezaji wa Miradi (PDB) inayosimamia Mpango wa Matokeo Makubwa Sasa (BRN), imealika wataalamu wa kilimo ili kuchambua na kutoa mapendekezo juu ya namna bora nchi inavyoweza kutatua changamoto ya masoko kwa wakulima. Ili kufikia lengo hilo, maabara ndogo ya siku tano imeandaliwa ili kutathmini mifumo ya sasa ya masoko kwa mazao ya mahindi na mpunga.  
Akifungua maabara hiyo jijini Dar es Salaam, Jumatatu, Mtendaji Mkuu wa PDB, Bw. Omari Issa amewataka wadau wote husika kufanya kazi hiyo kwa pamoja katika kuleta majibu yanayolenga mikakati ya muda mfupi na mrefu ili kuwapatia nafuu wakulima.  
Alisisitiza kuwa nidhamu ya kiutendaji ya BRN inawataka wadau wa sekta za umma na binafsi kufanyakazi kwa pamoja ili kutatua changamoto zinazozikabili sekta muhimu; ikiwemo ya kilimo na kuongeza kuwa majibu ya changamoto za masoko kwa wakulima yatakoka kwenye pande pande hizo mbili. Maabara hiyo ndogo inajumuisha wawakilishi 50 kutoka sekta za umma, binafsi, taasisi za kimataifa na wakulima wenyewe.
Tanzania nzima, na hususani miradi ya kipaumbele ya kilimo iliyo chini ya BRN, ilishuhudia uzalishaji mkubwa wa mahindi na mpunga katika msimu wa 2013/14; jambo ambalo limeleta fursa nzuri lakini pia lilikuja na changamoto zake. Kwa mfano katika msimu huo, uzalishaji wa mahindi ulifikia tani milioni 6 ikilinganishwa na uzalishaji wa tani milioni 4.5 kwa wastani katika miaka mitano ya nyuma. Mpunga ulifikia tani milioni 1.7 kutoka tani milioni 0.85 mwaka uliotangulia.
Mwisho wa maabara hii, washiriki wataibua mapendekezo na mpango wa utekelezaji utakaoainisha mfumo madhubuti wa masoko ya mahindi na mpunga. Inatarajiwa kwamba mapendekezo haya yataweza kutumika kwa mazao mengine pia.    
Kwa maelezo zaidi, wasiliana na Mkurugenzi wa Mawasiliano na Utetezi wa PDB:
Nyanda Shuli   Simu: +255 784600170           Baruapepe:
Imetolewa Dar es Salaam na:
Omari Issa, Mtendaji Mkuu,
Ofisi ya Rais-Ufuatiliaji wa Utekelezaji wa Miradi (PDB)

Kwa wahariri:
Kuhusu BRN
Mpango wa Matokeo Makubwa Sasa! (BRN) ni: Mfumo maalum wa utekelezaji wa miradi unaotumika kutekeleza Sekta Kuu za Kitaifa za Kipaumbele (NKRAs) kwa lengo la kuharakisha upatikanaji wa huduma kwa umma ili kufikia malengo ya Dira ya Taifa ya Maendeleo, 2025, ya kuifanya Tanzania ifikie hadhi ya nchi yenye uchumi wa kiwango cha kati. Mfumo wa BRN unajumuisha mkakati wa utekelezaji, muundo wa usimamizi wa utekelezaji katika ngazi ya wizara na mipango mikakati. Kwa pamoja, mikakati hii inajenga mfumo wa maendeleo unaoweka vipaumbele katika ushirikishaji, uwazi na uwajibikaji.
Kuhusu Mfumo wa Maabara
Mfumo wa maabara katika BRN unahusisha kuwakusanya pamoja wataalamu na wadau wengine husika ili kufanya uchambuzi wa kina na kupata suluhu ya changamoto, kuainisha mikakati ya kipaumbele na kuainisha mpango wa kina wa utekelezaji wenye viashiria vinavyopimika.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Two men appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court this week charged with the murder of a Gambian teenager.
Police seek witnesses to Birmingham KFC stabbing
Police seek witnesses to Birmingham KFC stabbing
Sheriff Mbye, 18, who lived with his parents in Lee Bank, died after being stabbed repeatedly on Friday evening following reports of a fight outside a KFC in the Northfield area of Birmingham.
Rakeem Riley, 18, of no fixed address, and Omar Robinson, 21, have been charged with his murder.
Riley was arrested by detectives three hours after the stabbing while Robinson was apprehended at his home in Rann Close, Ladywood, on Sunday morning. Detective Inspector Jim Munro of West Midlands Police said his team are still actively seeking witnesses.
“Clearly the charges are a significant point in the investigation but the enquiry doesn’t end here,” he said.
“We still need anyone who saw what happened, but who’s not yet got in touch, to contact us as they could hold vital information. In particular, we’re very keen to speak to a woman who was pushing a child in a pushchair along Bristol Road South at around the time Sheriff was stabbed – she witnessed the attack and appeared distressed by what she saw. We also want to speak to the occupants of a blue Fiat Punto, which has a large sticker or item placed in the bottom right corner of the rear window. These people are purely witnesses. They will have seen some or all of the incident as it happened. I’d urge them to come forward as soon as possible and they can speak to us in confidence.”
Anyone with relevant information should call police on 101. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
The Home Office’s oft-touted policy of deporting ‘illegal’ migrants before they have an opportunity to appeal the decision has received its most serious challenge yet in a landmark verdict that could undermine the Government.
Judge orders Home Office to bring back deportee
Judge orders Home Office to bring back deportee
Theresa May’s department may face contempt of court proceedings unless a deported Nigerian mother and her son are located and brought back to Britain by this weekend.
The case concerns a woman who claimed asylum in 2010, having been in the UK illegally, according to her, since 1991 when she arrived in Britain after losing her parents in a car accident and her remaining family attempted to force her to marry an older man. Using a false document, she worked here illegally to support herself, and by 2009 had given birth to a son. Central to her claim was her fear of destitution and discrimination as a single mother in Nigeria with no immediate family.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the current political climate in the UK, her asylum claim was repeatedly rejected; leading, at one point, to her being admitted to a psychiatric unit with depression and her son being put into foster care.
The foster carers who looked after the son, Rafeeq Atanda, and remained close to his mother during this time have reportedly been paying for her accommodation and healthcare in Nigeria from their own savings because they were so concerned about what would happen to the pair.
In a ruling last week, Mr Justice Cranston, sitting in the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, granted a judicial review of the decision to deport the pair and in a highly unusual move – believed to be the first of its kind – ordered that the Home Office organise and foot the bill for their return to the UK by Thursday (April 23) at the latest.
The ruling criticised the Home Office for its “flawed” decision to put the child, referred to as RA in court, and his 45-year-old mother Bola Fatumbi (referred to in court as BF) on a plane to Nigeria at the end of January despite evidence of the woman’s poor mental health and the risk that both she and her son would end up destitute on the streets and at risk of prostitution, child labour or trafficking.
In handing down his judgement, Mr Justice Cranston said: “’In ordinary circumstances… young children like RA are removable with their parents and their best interests are served by being with them. In not taking into account the implications of BF’s mental health for RA, and the risk of that degenerating in the Nigerian context and the likely consequences of removal, the Secretary of State failed to have regard to RA’s best interests as a primary consideration.”
The decision raises questions about the validity of Ms May’s election pledge to implement a “deport first, appeal later” regime under which asylum-seekers and migrants would automatically be sent back to their country of origin unless they could prove they would be at risk of “irreversible harm”.
Asylum campaigners and children’s charities have welcomed the ruling, which could have major implications for the way in which scores of children and their parents are deported from the UK every year.
Ian Mearns, the Labour parliamentary candidate for Gateshead in the north-east of England, where the family was living, has been a vocal supporter of the boy’s case. He said: “This is a massive vindication of the local campaign on behalf of [RA]. I have been extremely concerned that the Home Office has failed to take into consideration the rights of the child in this case and in others like it.”
Judith Dennis, policy manager for the Refugee Council, said: “This case is important because it highlights the need for a clear, transparent policy [concerning] children and their rights when it comes to asylum.
“We have this rhetoric about deportation and people being able to appeal from outside the country, but what this ruling says is that you need to balance the need for immigration control against the best interests of the child.
“I don’t think the Home Office even has a proper mechanism for doing that at the moment and that’s what we need – a clear transparent policy that can be worked to when it comes to children.”
Debora Singer, policy and research manager at Asylum Aid, said: “We are very concerned that the Home Office regularly fails to give sufficient importance to the rights of women and children seeking protection in the UK.  Our experience is that women fleeing domestic violence or forced marriage are often disbelieved. As a woman you are more likely than a man to have a refusal for protection corrected at appeal.
“Under international law, the Refugee Convention should be interpreted in a gender-sensitive manner and the courts are obliged to take into account the best interests of children.  But neither of these obligations are a regular feature of the UK’s asylum system.”
At the time of writing, the Home Office, which has declined to comment citing the “ongoing nature” of the case, was seeking a last-minute hearing at the Court of Appeal to quash Mr Justice Cranston’s decision.
Destination of the week Kigali
Famously known as the land of a thousand hills, Kigali is among the most attractive capital cities in Africa with lush hillside and flowering trees. It is designed to impress. According to CCTV Africa report, Rwanda’s government ban on the use of plastic bags in 2008 has propelled Kigali to be the cleanest city in the continent.
The land is a testament that peace and order can be restored after the genocide in 1994. Indeed this capital has risen to grace with waves of foreign investment which have sparked a number of ambitious building projects.
Few people visit Rwanda without visiting Kigali. Cosmopolitanism has taken its hold on Kigali. You can spot modern designs and for this reason it is most popular with the foreigners. The Buzz on the streets leaves many visitors with a picture of a very bright future for the city.
The showpiece capital receives visitors from all walks of life from the humble tourist to foreign investors and visiting dignitaries. The city boasts of a population of one million. The Kigali City Masterplan outlines plans for a new city to be built south of the current city centre.
This is the place for you if you are a young church or NGO volunteer especially if it is your fast time to experience Africa. It is an excellent place to bring up your children.

Top 3 places
Gorilla Trekking
Rwanda is home to the unique Mountain Gorilla which can only be found in four locations around the world! The fur of the mountain gorilla, often thicker and longer than that of other gorilla species. The most interesting bit about the Gorilla families are those that consist of exclusively male groups. They can be found in the Virunga Mountains. A word of caution they do not go close to one if you have a flu. Flu is deadly to the Gorilla family.

Grand Legacy Hotel
No tourist should miss a night at the Grand Legacy hotel located just 5 minutes from Kigali International Airport and about a 15 minute drive to the city center. You will get everything you need such as free WIFI, air conditioned room fitted with en suite bathroom, minibar and flats screen. What more could you ask for? Is it the complimentary buffet breakfast? Come and experience enjoyment to it’s fullest!

Kigali Genocide Memorial

Kigali Genocide Memorial is a must see for anyone visiting the country. In fact, if you can only do one thing go there. It is very informative and emotional. No fees are charged when visiting the memorial, however there is an option to make a donation. Interestingly there is a fee to take pictures inside the memorial and an audio guide available as an option for a small fee.

Monday, 20 April 2015

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Joint Media Advisory

What: Presentation of Results-Based Desk Study on “The Interventions of the African Union and Regional Economic Communities in the Area of Peace and Security in Africa 2007 – 2013”

Who: Presentation will be done by GIZ, to the AU Member States, RECs & Partners

When: Monday, 20 April 2015

Time: 14:30 – 17:15

Where: Plenary Hall of the Old Conference Center, AU Headquarters, Addis Ababa

Languages: The proceedings of the meeting will be in English and French. Program enclosed.

Context: The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to conduct a desk study to assess the state of establishment and functioning of African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) components, as well as the impact of interventions by AU/RECs for peace and security on the continent. The desk study looked at the state of peace and conflict occurrence on the continent and analysed the impact of interventions within the framework of APSA in the area of conflict prevention, crisis management and resolution, as well as peace building, between 2007 and 2013. The outcome of the study indicates that AU/RECs significantly contribute to the promotion and maintenance of peace and security on the continent.

Media: Representatives of the media are invited to cover this event.

NEWS RELEASE                                                          


Ebola: World Bank Group Provides New Financing to Help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Recover from Ebola Emergency
New GDP Estimates Show International Support Vital to Speed Recovery

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2015–The World Bank Group (WBG) announced today that it would provide at least US$650 million during the next 12 to 18 months to help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone recover from the devastating social and economic impact of the Ebola crisis and advance their longer-term development needs. The new WBG pledge brings the organization’s total financing for Ebola response and recovery efforts to date to US$1.62 billion.

The additional funding announcement comes as the WBG releases new GDP estimates showing that the Ebola epidemic continues to cripple the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Estimated GDP losses for the three countries in 2015 rose to US$2.2 billion: US$240 million for Liberia, US$535 million for Guinea and US$1.4 billion for Sierra Leone. In addition to the severe effects of Ebola, the economic downturn in the three countries is aggravated by the sharp decline in global iron ore prices, as well as the collapse of the mining sector in Sierra Leone, resulting in an unprecedented GDP contraction in that country estimated at 23.5 percent.

WBG President Jim Yong Kim announced the new funding from the International Development Association (IDA), the WBG’s fund for the poorest countries, at an Ebola summit during the WBG-IMF Spring Meetings. President Alpha Condé of Guinea, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, and President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone presented their Ebola recovery plans to global development leaders at the meeting.

The new funding is on top of the nearly US$1 billion that the WBG previously committed for the Ebola emergency response and early recovery efforts from IDA (US$518 million) and IFC (US$450 million), and also comes on top of US$2.17 billion in debt relief from the WBG (Guinea, US$1,098.5 million; Liberia, US$464.7 million; and Sierra Leone, US$ 506.8 million), which during 2015-17 will save the three countries about US$75 million annually in debt payments

In line with the countries’ recovery plans, the five priority areas for the additional IDA funds include: strengthening health systems and frontline care; agriculture; education; cash transfers and other social protection programs; and lifesaving infrastructure such as electricity, water, sanitation and roads. The funds also will be used to develop a regional disease surveillance system across West Africa that will help prevent or contain future pandemics.  

“Even as we work relentlessly to get to zero new Ebola cases, the international community must help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone jumpstart their recovery and build a safer, more prosperous and resilient future for their people,” said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. “Many of us have acknowledged that the international community was slow to react to Ebola. Let’s show that we have learned this lesson by supporting an effective and sustainable recovery that also prepares these countries—and the rest of the world—for the next pandemic.”
Since the WBG issued its last economic update on January 20, 2015, important differences among the three countries are emerging. The new report finds that Sierra Leone is now facing a severe recession with the potential for an unprecedented -23.5% growth rate in 2015, resulting from financial issues that led to the closure of iron ore mining. Liberia is gradually returning to normalcy, with a projected GDP growth rate of 3% in 2015, higher than in 2014 though still well below pre-Ebola estimates of 6.8%. Guinea’s economy continues to stagnate, with a projected growth of -0.2% for 2015 compared to pre-Ebola rate of 4.3%.

As a result, the WBG says additional international financing is urgently needed to help the three countries recover fully and reclaim the positive development and growth paths that prevailed before the Ebola epidemic struck West Africa. The pace of recovery in these countries will also depend on how effectively their recovery plans can be carried out.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the week leading up to April 12, there were a total of 37 confirmed cases of Ebola, compared with 30 the previous week. Case incidence in Guinea increased to 28, compared with 21 confirmed cases the previous week; Sierra Leone reported 9 confirmed cases, the same total as in the previous week; and Liberia reported no confirmed cases.

"The full recovery of Ebola-affected countries is only possible when the outbreak has ended and safeguards have been put in place to prevent re-introduction of the disease,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who attended the World Bank Group Ebola summit”Our energy must now focus on effective action to eliminate Ebola, the revival and strengthening of health systems, and ensuring the resilience of communities in the face of future threats: these are a precondition for sustainable and durable recovery."

World Bank Group’s Response to Ebola Crisis 
As of April 2015, the World Bank Group has mobilized US$1.62 billion to date in financing for Ebola response and recovery efforts to support the countries hardest hit by Ebola. This includes US$1.17 billion from IDA, the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries and at least US$450 million from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to enable trade, investment and employment in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

APRIL 6, 2015
Corruption and lack of accountability have long been identified as twin roots of many of the failings of Kenyan institutions, including the police.
If anyone doubted it before, the abominable attack on Kenya’s Garissa University College on 2 April confirms the depth of Kenya’s security crisis. At least 147 students, faculty members and others are confirmed dead, scores of others were injured in the day-long attack and the death toll could still rise.
The attackers entered the campus at 5.30am and began hurling grenades and firing indiscriminately with machine guns, before taking scores of students hostage. They later singled out Christians for execution, taunting them and telling them the attack was revenge for Kenya’s military deployment in Somalia, according to survivors. Al-Shabaab, the Somalia-based Islamist militant group, swiftly claimed responsibility.
Targeting civilians
Garissa is the largest town in Kenya’s north-east region and mainly populated by ethnic Somalis, who are mostly Muslim, but the students were from around the country, of many ethnicities and religions. Witnesses and family members of victims said that in the initial phase the assailants killed randomly. “We have relatives at the university who were not spared by al-Shabaab,”a human-rights activist in Garissa county told Human Rights Watch (HRW). “This has been a big blow to all of us. They were clearly targeting all civilians, no matter the religion.”
Al-Shabaab’s narrative that it spares Muslims is belied by its grisly record of repeatedly attacking civilians in predominantly Muslim Somalia—where it has shown no compunction about murdering students, women and children in countless suicide bombings. So singling out Christians in Kenya seems more of a tactic aimed at stoking ethnic and religious tensions than a matter of ideological conviction.   
And it may be succeeding.
Many members of Kenya’s Muslim and Somali communities are paying an especially heavy price, being twice victimised. First come al-Shabaab and its supporters, seeking to sow terror, hatred and division. Then come Kenya’s security forces, who routinely mete out collective punishment to members of the Somali and Muslim communities, based solely on their ethnic and religious affiliation.
For years HRW and other human-rights organisations have repeatedly documented mass beatings, detentions, even torture of whole neighbourhoods and villages, in the wake of militant attacks on Kenyan security forces. The military and various police units, from the administrative police to the anti-riot squad known as the General Service Unit (GSU), have also been responsible for mass extortion and looting in the course of raids and operations.
Grim history
Human-rights abuses by the security forces long predate al-Shabaab. Kenya’s north-east has a grim history dating back to the secessionist war which began in the 1960s. For decades the region was under a state of emergency and the Kenyan military committed serious human-rights violations, including one of its most horrific crimes—the notorious 1984 Wagalla massacre near Wajir, in which several thousand ethnic Somalis were killed.
Kenya’s Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, established after the 2008 post-election violence and mandated to investigate violations since independence, produced a long report which provides important material on the history of such abuses in the north-east, and the country more broadly. The commission found that Kenya’s military and police had been the main perpetrators of mass killings, torture and other “violations of the bodily integrity” of Kenyan citizens over the preceding five decades, whether in the north-east or elsewhere.
The report, whose recommendations have not been implemented two years after it was handed to the president, Uhuru Kenyatta, also concluded that there had been no political will to address this dire record. On the contrary, successive Kenya administrations have gone to great lengths to cover up and deny it.
Since al-Shabaab intensified its campaign in Kenya in 2011, there have been scores of grenade and gun attacks, often relatively small-scale but usually killing a number of civilians, which have drawn little international attention. Abusive operations by the security forces have usually followed.
In Nairobi, for instance, authorities carried out operation Usalama Watch in April 2014, following a series of grenade and gun attacks in the predominantly-Somali Eastleigh neighbourhood of the capital, Nairobi, and in Mombasa. Kenyan police and military deployed about 5,000 security personnel to Eastleigh over several weeks. Officers beat scores of people, raided homes, buildings and shops, extorted massive sums, and harassed and detained an estimated 4,000 people—including registered refugees, Kenyan citizens, journalists and international aid workers—without charge and in appalling conditions, for periods well beyond the 24-hour legal limit.
The abuses during the Usalama Watch operation and others have been documented by various groups, including the Independent Oversight Policing Authority (IPOA). It has issued several critical reports, raising concerns about slow responses by the security services, failure to protect civilians and poor co-ordination during incidents.
Abuses denied
Instead of seriously addressing the allegations and undertaking the essential police reforms spelled out in several inquiries—and re-emphasised by the IPOA in its recommendations—to meet constitutional requirements, the government routinely denies the scale of the abuses. It has credibly investigated or prosecuted few terrorism suspects and even fewer of those within the security forces responsible for violations.
Al-Shabaab appears to understand and exploit this pattern, which plays into religious and ethnic fissures in Kenya. Other than Nairobi, the areas with frequent attacks are home to the country’s largest Muslim communities, whose residents have complex and longstanding political and economic grievances. The anger and frustration many communities feel is only exacerbated when they are targeted by both al-Shabaab and the security forces ostensibly sent to protect them.
Why would most Kenyan Somalis even attempt to report security information to police, if the likely response is a request for a bribe, with the threat of arbitrary detention and beating and, at best, taunts that ‘you are al-Shabaab’. As for refugees, in addition to the physical and verbal abuse, there’s the risk of having precious identification documents destroyed or confiscated, as has happened repeatedly in Eastleigh over the past few years.  
Many also question why they should report police abuse, since no one will be held to account. In Lamu county HRW interviewed scores of villagers who described the usual pattern of assaults, detention and so on in a security operation there in late 2014, after armed attacks on Mpeketoni and several other villages—also claimed by al-Shabaab—had killed more than 60 people in mid-June. A man and his son who were beaten by police never reported the abuse, since the commander in charge of the unit was attached to the local police station. “Where do we go now?” he asked. “This is not how to fight terrorism.” 
If Kenya’s government understands that it needs to build trust within Somali and Muslim communities, it has yet to show any sign of shifting course and addressing the profound deficits in confidence, accountability and competence which plague the military and police. Instead, Kenyan officials contend that the solution to the security crisis is to restrict further core human-rights protections.
Justifying restrictions on rights as a security measure is not unique to Kenya and some rights can be limited in times of emergency for defined periods. But in December the government proposed, and the parliament controversially passed, wide-ranging amendments to numerous laws to expand police and intelligence-service powers, while restricting investigative journalism, freedom of expression and the rights of refugees—in violation of Kenya’s own constitution and international law. Courts struck down key provisions, but the government appears to adhere selectively to judicial rulings, weakening the overall rule of law.
As news of the Garissa killlings began to emerge, for instance, one of Kenyatta’s first actions was to order 10,000 officers, whose appointments the High Court had nullified because of suspected corruption in their recruitment, to report to camp for training. The president’s action was symbolic of the broader deficiencies which have contributed to the security crisis.
Corruption and lack of accountability have long been identified as twin roots of many of the failings of Kenyan institutions, including the police. For instance, there has been no justice or accountability for the 2008 violence, which saw at least 1,100 people die, displaced hundreds of thousands more and nearly precipitated a civil war—despite widespread agreement that accountability and security-sector reforms are essential for Kenya’s long-term stability.
Kenya’s government ignores these reforms at its peril, especially since the security crisis generated by al-Shabaab is not simply a spillover from Somalia. One of the shifts in al-Shabaab’s strategy over the past few years has been increasingly to recruit and deploy Kenyans and to cultivate Kenyan affiliates, who may be responsible for some of the recent attacks, including in Garissa. It’s clear that some recruits are drawn from a range of ethnic and even religious backgrounds.
Addressing the abuses, corruption and impunity which fuel radicalisation and al-Shabaab recruitment in Kenya should be a high priority in efforts to improve security. To enforce security while protecting human rights is not contradictory. Far from the targeting of suspected terrorists or discrimination against entire communities being legitimate, such violations simply alienate communities whose support is desperately needed by the security forces if they are effectively to protect Kenya’s population. The abuses have profound implications for all Kenyans, and ultimately put every Kenyan at risk.