In Kenya, sexual violence was a political weapon during the presidential election

In Kenya sexual violence was a political weapon during the

Nine months before the next presidential election scheduled for August 2022, FIDH and the Kenyan Federation for Human Rights warn of the phenomenon of sexual violence in a report published on Tuesday. According to testimonies collected during their investigation, this sexual violence was used as a political weapon during the 2017 election, particularly in opposition strongholds.

With our correspondent in Nairobi, Florence Morice

Rape, often collective, genital mutilation or even forced male circumcisions… These are some of the forms of sexual violence documented during the 2017 presidential. Violence that particularly affects regions considered opposition strongholds.

According to the testimonies of survivors that we have collected, gender-based violence was committed on a large scale during the presidential election in opposition strongholds, says Irene Soila, program officer at the Kenya Federation for Human Rights. The main perpetrators of this violence are the police or other men in uniform. They were committed during episodes of repression. The security forces took advantage of the climate of confrontation during demonstrations to engage in such violence. »

The authors of this report are concerned about the impunity that still surrounds this violence, more than four years after the election. ” Most of the survivors interviewed did not file a complaint. The authors being police officers, there was in any case no chance that another police officer would follow up on a complaint against one of his colleagues. “, continues Irene Soila.

Beyond the physical, social and psychological consequences engendered by this violence, the International and Kenyan Human Rights Federations fear that it will hinder the participation of women in the next elections, to the point, according to FIDH, of to compromise ” credibility “.