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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid