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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More