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Kenya parliament endorses truth and reconciliation commission

[JURIST] Kenya's parliament [official website] Thursday passed a bill [draft text, DOC] endorsing the formation of a Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) [task force study, PDF] to investigate alleged human rights violations committed in the country between Kenya's independence in 1963 and February 2008. The investigations will be conducted by a nine-member panel made up of six Kenyan nationals and three foreign members. Amnesty will not be given to any persons the TJRC deems guilty of genocide or other human rights violations. The relationship between the commission and any international tribunal that might be set up in the wake of Kenya's recent election violence at the recommendation [JURIST report] of a separate commission of inquiry headed by Justice Phillip Waki is as yet unclear. The bill creating the TJRC now goes to Kenya's attorney general for review before presentation to President Mwai Kibaki [official profile]. BBC News has more. The Nation has local coverage.

Kenyan officials have considered the formation of a TJRC since 2003. World leaders such as former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a Kenyan national, pressured the government [JURIST report] to create such an organization following the violence that erupted after the highly contested presidential election [JURIST report] in December 2007. Subsequent reports found that much of the election-related violence was orchestrated by local government and community leaders [JURIST report].

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