Kenya: ICRC regrets public statement by the police on its confidential Mount Elgon report
In Kenya the police have released a report on their investigation into the conduct of government forces during the operations in the Mt. Elgon region. Available on the internet, the report refers to the findings of several organizations, including the ICRC, and questions their credibility. The ICRC’s Daniel Duvillard, head of operations for East Africa, explains why the organization insists on the confidentiality of its reports.
What is the ICRC’s reaction to the report on the police investigation?
The ICRC deplores public references made – without its consent – by the Kenyan police to the findings of ICRC assessments of the humanitarian situation in Mt. E lgon. In line with its standard practice worldwide, the ICRC submitted its observations confidentially to the Kenyan authorities. This was done directly, without involving a third party. As a matter of course, the ICRC does not share its findings with third parties. The ICRC expects the authorities to whom it submits its reports to refrain from publishing information transmitted in confidence, unless it consents explicitly to such publication.
How credible are ICRC reports?
The ICRC is confident that its reports submitted to the authorities are well researched and credible. It remains committed to pursuing its confidential dialogue with the Kenyan authorities, this being the most effective means of fulfilling its humanitarian mandate.
What activities is the ICRC carrying out in Mount Elgon at present?
Since February 2008, the ICRC has been providing food to up to 12,000 displaced families, distributed by the Kenya Red Cross Society. Every month each family receives 37.5 kg of maize flour, 12.5 kg of beans, 5 litres of oil and 0.5 kg of salt. The distributions will end in October.
Between February and March of this year, the ICRC provided seeds and tools for about 35,000 displaced people, distributed by the Kenyan Red Cross.
The ICRC also donated enough medical kits for use in treating 2,000 beneficiaries. Furthermore, the organization supports the Kenyan Red Cross in evacuating wounded people who cannot be treated locally to regional hospitals by providing fuel for ambulances, and in helping people separated from their families by internal strife restore family link s.
For more information on the ICRC's confidentiality, please see a recent interview on the subject.