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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid