Human rights experts from five East African countries and Congo say despite progress in their countries in ratifying the United Nations Convention against Torture, human rights abuse is still prevalent as governments appear reluctant to draft and implement local laws.

The experts who have gathered for a conference in the Rift Valley town of Naivasha said Tuesday successful prosecutions of perpetrators of torture, who are mostly state agents, are still unlikely and in cases where the courts have awarded compensation to the victims of torture, governments are averse to pay.

East Africa will face new challenges of torture and human rights in land displacement as governments explore natural resources such as oil and coal, said Peter Kiama, an official of the Independent Medico-Legal Unit, a Kenyan human rights group.