News / Africa

Kenyans Still Living in Camps From '07 Elections

A child sit on a donkey cart after they were handed food at a World Food Program compound in a displacement camp in Dadaab, Kenya. (file photo)
A child sit on a donkey cart after they were handed food at a World Food Program compound in a displacement camp in Dadaab, Kenya. (file photo)

As Kenya enters 2012, an election year, there are still thousands of Kenyans languishing in temporary settlements, having been displaced by the violence of the last elections in late 2007. These Kenyans are calling for the government to resettle them once and for all. 

Peter Kariuki has been living in a tent with his wife and three children since running away from violence and chaos in early 2008.

Their tent is in a settlement called Mawingu, near the town of Nakuru, a couple of hours from Nairobi. More than 12,000 people live in 2,300 tents at the site.

Three years ago the Kenyan government promised to purchase a large tract of the land for the Mawingu community, on which they could build houses, as many members did not feel safe to return to their homes.

They are still waiting for the land.

“It has been so painful, because within those three years we have lost around 122 people in the camp," he said. "They died due to high blood pressure, some of them pneumatic, some of them - diabetes. This is due to [the fact that] all that we had was lost.”

Minister of Special Programs Esther Murungi was not available for comment when contacted by VOA.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission estimates that more than 660,000 Kenyans fled their homes in the days and months following the December 2007 elections.

Much of the fighting was ethnic based, where communities turned against one another following the disputed election results. Later investigations carried out by different organizations accused politicians of whipping up ethnic sentiments for political gains.

Since 2008, the Kenyan government has conducted a number of programs and offered funds for people to return to their original homes or start up new lives elsewhere.  But there are about 20 settlements like Mawingu where people are living in temporary shelters.

Commissioner Fatuma Ibrahim is with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, another government watchdog.

She says she thinks the government has done an effective job of resettling most people displaced by the post-election violence, especially with the challenges of defining who is eligible for assistance and whose cases are authentic. But, Ibrahim says, those still waiting for land face many hardships including inadequate shelter and poor nutrition and health.

She says she thinks the Kenyan government has failed to resolve underlying issues that ignited the post-election violence.

“I see the leaders have not honestly addressed the problem of internal displacement as a result of conflict related to elections or politics," said Ibrahim. "The government has not brought the politicians to the table in terms of saying that yes, people cannot go back to their farms for these reasons and these reasons, and punishing individuals at the local level.”

Currently, the Hague-based International Criminal Court is determining whether to proceed with the trials of six suspects, mostly government ministers, for their alleged roles in masterminding or financing the post-election violence that killed more than 1,000 people.

Kenyans are to go to the polls in 2012, although it is unclear whether the elections will be held in August or December.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid