The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has expressed concern over shoot-to-kill orders issued by State and top security officers.
Addressing journalists at a Naivasha hotel Thursday, KNCHR Vice-Chairperson George Morara and Commissioner Jedidah Wakonyo said the latest call was made by Deputy President William Ruto over violence in North Rift region.
They two commissioners regretted that such a move is usually followed by massive security operations, which at times lead to killings, rape and destruction of property.
“There is also the act displacement of a large number of vulnerable persons,” said Mr Morara.
He said for the past 10 years, the commission has documented atrocities meted out on residents by security officers deployed to implement the so-called ‘shoot to kill’ orders.
“This collective punishment practice negates the spirit and letter of the Constitution, which protects the right to life and security of persons,” he added
On her part, Ms Wakonyo said they are also alarmed that a number of political leaders have been adversely mentioned in connection with the on-going conflict in the North Rift.
“The commission calls for speedy legal action against politicians and other opinion leaders linked to the fueling the current violence in the North Rift, especially within Baringo County and East Pokot Sub-County,” she said.
They said the massive displacement of persons had created a humanitarian crisis, noting some of the families were in dire need of food, shelter and even more urgent health facilities as they had moved away from areas providing such services.
The commission however lauded the government for its efforts in trying to restore law and order in the North Rift region.
They urged security officers deployed in the troubled region to carry out the operations within the confines of the law.
The commission warned against brutality and collective punishment in a bid to restore normalcy, calling for intelligence-led policing which was likely to yield more fruitful results.
They expressed hope that the posted officers were well-skilled, equipped and experienced in covering the local terrain, urging them to avoid committing human rights atrocities in the name of restoring peace in the region.