News / Africa

Kenyans Take Precautions Against Potential Election Violence

NAIROBI — A civil society organization based in Kenya’s Rift Valley says there are signs violence could return to areas worst hit by ethnic violence after the disputed 2007 presidential election.  As the country prepares for its fifth multi-party elections in March next year, some communities are starting to take precautions.

Kenyan youths and civil society groups gathered in Nairobi Tuesday at the start of a two-day conference to discuss ways to encourage fair and peaceful elections.

Caroline Ruto is the head of Smart Citizen, a civil society organization that works in the Rift Valley, one of the regions hardest-hit by the violence that followed the 2007 presidential poll.  She on the sidelines of the conference that people in her area are starting to sell off their properties for fear that violence will return with the coming election.
 
“So what is happening now is that some communities are selling off their properties, leasing off their properties - not that there is tension but the wound are still deep so they feel their investment may not be secure," said Ruto.
 
She said her organization has also seen people moving away from towns for fear of attacks. “We see instances where we see people moving away from the towns so that the election can happen and maybe [they will] come back after the election; so the wounds have not really healed,” said Ruto.

Kenya erupted in riots and ethnic violence in early 2008 after both candidates claimed victory in the presidential run-off vote.  At least 1,300 Kenyans were killed and more than a quarter of a million were uprooted from their homes.
 
Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan mediated the talks that ended the fighting and led to the formation of a coalition government headed by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
 
The coalition government was to implement reforms guiding the political process and the role of the police and the judiciary to avoid a return to violence.

But Justice of the High Court David Manjanja, speaking at Tuesday's conference, says the judiciary has failed Kenyans in matters regarding the election disputes.

 “The history of the judiciary on elections has not been very good and I think it’s not a history I want to repeat because it’s an embarrassment," Manjanja said.  "Sometimes the events of 2007 were largely as a result of institutional failure.  Institutional failure because some people felt that the judiciary couldn’t be trusted to arbitrate over election disputes."

Majanja stressed the need for the judiciary to become more effective at delivering service to Kenyans and to ensure that justice is available to all.
 
Rights groups have said Kenya did not do enough to prosecute perpetrators of the post-election violence four-and-a-half years ago.

The International Criminal Court in the Hague has brought charges against two Kenyan politicians, a government official and a radio presenter accused of having a role in the violence.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid