Kenyans flee homes fearing election bloodbath

kenya fleeingFrom MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya,NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – KENYAN families are fleeing communities worst hit by deadly violence a decade ago in fear of a repeat of bloodshed during elections set for August.The trend has been noted in the central Nakuru County’s Naivasha area, the epicentre of the skirmishes ten years ago.
This comes in the wake of threats and intimidation ahead of the watershed polls. Naivasha was among the areas most affected by the 2007-2008 post-election violence. The inter-ethnic rivalries over land and power, stoked by politicians, left over 1 100 people dead.More than 650 000 people were displaced across the East African country.Some attacks and killings were never investigated or prosecuted.
A recurrence is feared with many people in the town of Naivasha describing threats and intimidation between community members. It is alleged police had failed to investigate, prosecute culprits or protect residents.Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it documented at least six incidents of direct threats against opposition supporters.
Supporters said a group of young men in Kinamba and Kihoto neighborhoods of Naivasha, believed to be behind some of the previous violence, had warned them to stay away from polling places if they did not intend to vote for the ruling Jubilee Party of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Otsieno Namwaya, Africa researcher at HRW, said authorities must urgently investigate allegations of threats and intimidation.
“Kenyan authorities should do more to prevent a repeat of the 2007 bloodshed in Naivasha.”
Maurice Muhatia, head of Nakuru Catholic Diocese, expressed alarm over the rate at which families were fleeing the county.
Naivasha’s senior assistant commissioner, Richard Aguoka, said more security officers had been deployed and government had created peace committees to encourage coexistence.He denied people were fleeing.Some 19 million Kenyans are registered to vote.
– CAJ News

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Posted by on Jul 4 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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