News / Africa

Rights Groups Demand Justice for Kenyans Displaced by Political Violence

As Kenya gears up for possible elections this year - and as four prominent Kenyans are to have their post-election violence cases tried before the International Criminal Court - thousands of people are still languishing in often-deplorable conditions in camps that they fled to during violence following the last elections. Backed by human rights groups, the so-called IDPs are calling for the government to re-settle or compensate them before new elections proceed.

Inside the tiny burlap-covered tent where Margaret Wairimu lives with her seven children are several secondary school textbooks donated by a well wisher. The textbooks mock her and her teenage son David, since there is no way she can afford to send him to school.

Wairimu and her children have been at Tumaini camp in the Maai Mahiu area since early 2008, after having fled violence that killed her father. She said life in the camp is hell.

“Here, there are many problems. There is no water, there is no food to cook, we do not have clothing, the basic needs for the households are not available. We are waiting for well-wishers to come here and give us food and clothes,” said Wairimu.

In late 2007 and early 2008, the country erupted into ethnic violence following the bitterly-disputed 2007 presidential poll. More than 1,000 people were killed.

Estimates of the number of people who fled such violence range from around 300,000 to more than 663,000, as reported by the Kenya Human Rights Commission.

People fled to hundreds of camps across the country. Through government or donor programs, such as Habitat for Humanity, many of them returned to their homes, were integrated into new communities, or even pooled their government payments together to purchase land as a group.

But thousands still languish in camps like the one in Tumaini, too afraid to go back to their original homes.

Keffa Magenyi is programs coordinator at the Internal Displacement Policy and Advocacy Center based in Nakuru, a group addressing the rights of victims of post-election violence.

Magenyi estimates that there are 29 camps housing more than 40,000 households, and that almost half of the displaced population, or IDPs, did not receive government assistance of any kind.

“You still find a big population of IDPs have not been catered for, have not been resettled, have not gotten justice, have still not gone back to their farms,” said Magenyi.

VOA was unable to get an interview with Minister of Special Programs Esther Murugi despite repeated attempts to do so.

Naivasha Member of Parliament John Mututho is taking party leaders and several ministers to court over the government’s failure to re-settle the IDPs.

He alleges that a network of people is siphoning off assistance meant for the IDPs with the support of people within the government.

“People are getting kickbacks. People do not want the problem to be sorted out because they gain. The president [Mwai Kibabki] has been very candid: two weeks, end of the month. But they somehow confuse him and he has to give new deadlines and extend others,” said Mututho.

He also is calling on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission not to draw up electoral boundaries for the next elections until the IDPs have been settled.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid