News / Africa

    Kiambaa Kenyans Reflect on Past Election Violence

    Members of the Kikuyu and Kalenjin tribes are seen gathering for a peace meeting in Eldoret, Kenya, in this June 27, 2009, file photo.Members of the Kikuyu and Kalenjin tribes are seen gathering for a peace meeting in Eldoret, Kenya, in this June 27, 2009, file photo.
    x
    Members of the Kikuyu and Kalenjin tribes are seen gathering for a peace meeting in Eldoret, Kenya, in this June 27, 2009, file photo.
    Members of the Kikuyu and Kalenjin tribes are seen gathering for a peace meeting in Eldoret, Kenya, in this June 27, 2009, file photo.
    Five years ago during election-related violence in Kenya, young people brutally attacked and burned a church in Kiambaa - which housed ethnic Kikuyus who fled from their farms and houses. Today, on the eve of another election, locals remembered the tragedy at a church service.
     
    Worshipers sang at Kiambaa Church in Eldoret, in the Rift Valley region of Kenya. It was here in early 2008 when young men from the Kalenjin and Kikuyu tribes fought around the church, which housed hundreds of people who had fled their homes during the initial post-election violence.
     
    According to some of the witnesses and survivors, about 200 Kikuyu men tried to defend their women and children inside the church.
     
    After more than an hour fighting, they say the Kikuyu men were overpowered by more than 1,000 Kalenjin youths who were attacking the church from all directions.
     
    Anne Mwangi, now 44, is one of the people in the church who survived that day with her four children.
     
    She says when she escaped the church the attackers grabbed her hand and said they were trying protect her while she looked for her children. She says when she reached the gate, she was shocked when she saw an old man hacked to death with an axe.
     
    Peter Mwangi is the son of the man who hacked to death that day. Mwangi says he and his father were among the people who tried to fight back and defend their families being attacked inside the church.
     
    The father of two says when they were overpowered he and other young men tried to run to the main road to call for help.
     
    He says it took two hours for the police to arrive and chase the attackers away. After that, he says they saw their people had been burned to death in the church and some killed outside.
     
    Lingering fears

    In this election the political landscape is different as Kikuyu and Kalenjin are united in the Jubilee alliance.
     
    But for Peter Mwangi, the grief of his loss then is as real as his fear today. He says he could not go back to point out where his father was killed because of possible reprisals from some of his neighbors.
     
    He says the locals are from different tribes, and some of his neighbors are not good people. He says he fears they will think he is giving out information on the attackers and it is best not to speak about it.
     
    Paul Karanja is a pastor in the new church, built 10 meters from where the original church was burned down. He says this community did not get enough help from the police following the last elections and there is little faith the response will be better if there is election violence again.
     
    “We thought policemen could help [protect] us from the attacks, although they did not. Houses were burned when police were there. They were just shooting up [in the air], but they were doing nothing else…”
     
    Human-rights organizations have also raised concerns about the ability of the Kenyan police to handle possible election-related violence. But security officials have assured Kenyans this time that they are ready and up to the task.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Robert Samuel from: South Sudan-Yambio
    March 04, 2013 4:13 AM
    I,m appealing to all Kenyan community during this election,please you need to vote peacefully without violation as it was in the past election.why can,t we African practice Democracy in Africa?and i,m also asking our government of south sudan to have UNITY and avoid division among the youth of the New Nation.and go for peaceful and demorcratic election in 2015.UNITE we Stand,Divide we FALL.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora