The UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, is visiting Kenya to meet victims of tribal violence in the Tana River region, where more than 150 people have been killed since 2012, the Kenyan foreign ministry said Wednesday.
The UN Special Adviser would attend and address the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), convening in Mombasa, to raise national awareness and discuss the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“The Special Adviser will hold consultations with community leaders from the Coast with the aim of preventing inter-communal tensions or violence that if not halted, could escalate to atrocity crimes resembling the 2007-2008 election-related violence,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Special Adviser will urge all actors to restrain from violence or incitement to commit violence and adhere to the rule of law during and after the electoral period.
The Kenya National Committee on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and all forms of Discrimination is holding talks from 14 February at the Kenya School of Government in Mombasa.
The Mombasa talks will highlight the State’s responsibility to protect its populations and the importance of peace-building to prevent the recurrence of inter-communal violence in the country.
The violence in Tana River has been blamed on the Police inability to stop atrocities, mostly including killings of groups of villagers and attacks on Police stations. The tribal violence has been blamed on the Pokomo community, targeting the Orma, a pastoralist group in the area.
However, local politicians say those causing the chaos in the region are being ferried from outside the coastal province.
The Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, Dr. Ntumba Luaba, is expected at the Mombasa meeting.
The United Nations Office on Genocide works to advance national, regional and international efforts to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, as well as their incitement.