Kenya should have prevented sexual violence, says expert

Government should have been more vigilant to ensure women were not sexually violated during the post-2007 election crisis in Kenya, an expert witness told the High Court this week.

Rashida Manjoo, a former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, was testifying as an expert in a constitutional petition filed by eight survivors of the post-election sexual violence in the High Court in Nairobi.

She said that anticipating harm, including sexual violence, is a responsibility that states must adhere to and failure to do so should have it held accountable. “The court needs to remind the state of its responsibility and due diligence,” she added.

Presiding Judge Isaac Lenaola heard that women were viewed as ‘fair game’ and recipients of the chaos, thus became susceptible to the systematic rapes that underlined the violence.

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