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Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 39, 23 Oct - 05 Nov 2008

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HIGHLIGHTS

- Approximately 9,600 people were displaced in Mandera town due to the floods on 14 October and related clashes in the region.

- New flooding in Mandera Central district has submerged 600 hectares of farmland, affecting 1,200 households.

- Allegations have been made of serious human rights abuses perpetrated during a Joint Security Operation to disarm clans in Mandera Town.

- Approximately 10 IDP households fled to Mu'ngetho after they were attacked at the Githiriga transit site in Molo district.

- Two people were killed during clashes between farmers and herders in Maela, Naivasha on 29 October.

- Less than 30 percent of the needed funding has been secured to support non-food assistance interventions to address pastoralists' deteriorating food security in arid and semi-arid land areas.

The information contained in this report has been compiled by OCHA from information received from the field, from national and international humanitarian partners and from other official sources. It does not represent a position from the United Nations. This report is posted on: http://ochaonline.un.org/kenya

I. General Overview

The release of the Commission of Inquiry into the Post Election Violence (CIPEV) Report has fuelled widespread public debate, centred around the recommendation that a special tribunal be established to hold those most culpable for the violence accountable. Parliament considered the recommendations for endorsement on 30 October but was unable to reach agreement. Some political leaders have criticised the report for being based on hearsay, while others have claimed that implementing the recommendations would negatively impact reconciliation by, "opening up old wounds".

There is concern among human rights groups and some foreign representatives that if the recommendations are not heeded measures to ensure accountability and justice will be ignored and an important opportunity to end cycles of impunity will be missed. Furthermore, local media has indicated that the continued debate of the recommendations among high-level politicians could fuel animosities and deepen divisions between communities and some IDPs who continue to fear insecurity in areas of return.

Progress was made in other areas addressing longer-term reforms as Parliament passed a Bill which provides the legal framework for review of the Constitution. While some politicians are already campaigning for the 2012 elections, it is critical for Kenya to redress the underlying drivers of past conflicts, including socio-economic disparities, land issues, and marginalization.

Meanwhile, Kenya's role in the peace process in neighbouring Somalia was praised at the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Summit on 29 October. The Summit also produced a new peace roadmap for Somalia which includes the formation of a new cabinet, several reform measures and the appointment of a Somali peace facilitator to oversee implementation of the process.

Securing peace in the war-torn country is of paramount importance for Kenya. The conflict, human rights abuses, humanitarian concerns and proliferation of lawlessness in Somalia has had a significant impact on Kenya including the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALWs), and insecurity along the Kenya-Somali border.