Back last May I had checked in with the State Department’s Freedom of Information Office about the status of outstanding documents from my 2009 FOIA requests regarding the 2007 Kenya elections.
At that time the FOIA Office wrote me that State Department documents about the IRI and USAID Exit Poll had finally been received from the Africa Bureau, presumably including the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, in addition to just the Central Records in Washington. (From what I had been told by the FOIA Office previously, the Africa Bureau did not respond for well more than two years following my original FOIA submission.) The estimated additional time to review and release documents was six months, to November 30, 2012.
November 30 came and went with no documents. i wrote to request release on an expedited basis due to the new elections upcoming but got no response. Checking back I was eventually given a new date of May 2013, after the new Kenyan elections.
A lot of people in a variety of capacities in the U.S. government, or otherwise funded by U.S. taxpayers, are working on matters involving the March Kenya elections. Likewise, from other donor governments and international organizations. And of course Kenyans who bore the actual effects of the disaster in the last elections have the most at stake in the new elections. Why further delay disclosing and addressing the documentary record from 2007?
Impunity for election fraud in 2007 makes the 2013 Kenya elections riskier. Even though there will be no accountability now, Americans and Kenyans should at least know as much as possible about what happened.
- Nairobi on the Precipice (africapotashblog.wordpress.com)
- Lessons for Kenya’s 2012 Election from the Truth Trickling Out About 2007–New Cables from FOIA (Part One)
- Lessons from 2007 and New FOIA Cables (Part Two)
- Part Eight–New Kenya FOIA Documents: Diplomacy versus Assistance Revisited or “Why Observe Elections if We Don’t Tell Anyone What We See?”
- Africa Bureau under Frazer coordinated “recharacterization” of 2007 Kenya Exit Poll showing Odinga win (New Documents – FOIA Series No. 12) (africommons.com)