On Sunday, July 16, President William Ruto’s administration filed a formal complaint at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in Geneva against the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for their remark on the continuing Azimio la Umoja protests.
On Friday, July 14, the UN agency condemned the government for the deaths in the previous round of protests and warned police to follow the law.
OHCHR has been accused of relying on third-party information in condemning the government for police violence witnessed during the protests in a two-page letter by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya to the UN.
“Such sources often lack first-hand experience and their assertions are often not corroborated by other independent assessments,” read the letter in part.
“The use of such information without due diligence raises concerns about the quality and reliability of the data in question.”
The government wondered why the UN office through its spokesperson, Jeremy Laurence, failed to verify the accusations of police brutality before issuing a statement on the protests.
Further, it was noted that such actions of the UN body were being used by the opposition to intensify their demonstrations which they claimed were undemocratic.
“This strategic portrayal fuels a cycle of hostility and unrest, gravely undermining the foundations of democratic governance. Such escalation not only poses imminent threats to peace and safety but also erodes trust in democratic institutions, thereby undermining the very bedrock of a just and equitable society,” read the letter in part.
Kenya, therefore, called on the OHCHR to also take note of the actions being taken by the coalition led by Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta.
The government reiterated its commitment to safeguarding both the lives of Kenyans and their property amidst a planned three-day demonstration programme by Azimio.
“This commitment to peace, democracy, and human rights is unwavering,” the government pledged.
Kenya was making reference to a statement issued by the OHCHR on Friday, July 14 which called for an investigation into police brutality which allegedly led to 23 deaths.
“Those responsible must be held to account. Effective measures to prevent further deaths and injuries must be adopted” the UN body demanded
Meanwhile, Azimio is set to hold protests from Wednesday, July 19 to Friday, July 21 and will be led by Raila.