OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 13, 27 Mar – 02 Apr 2008

OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 13, 27 Mar – 02 Apr 2008


HIGHLIGHTS

– Deadlock over Cabinet continues though principals optimistic of resolution

– Extra shelter materials issued and contingency relocations put in place as heavy rains continue

– Most areas of displacement downgraded from security Phase III to II or I

– Flooding in Taita Taveta affects 6,000 persons

– Advocacy underway to ensure IDP children sit national exams

The information contained in this report has been compiled by OCHA from information received from the field, from national and international humanitarian partners and from other official sources. It does not represent a position from the United Nations.

I. General Overview

On 31 March, members of the Cabinet appointed by President Mwai Kibaki in January met for the first time since the power-sharing deal was signed on 28 February. Ministers agreed on the need to speed up the resettlement of displaced people. They also challenged the police to beef up security and crack down on those threatening displaced people willing to return to their farms. President Kibaki and Prime Minister designate Raila Odinga expressed confidence that they will be able to come to an agreement on the composition of a new coalition Cabinet. There is widespread pressure for a quick resolution of the stalemate. On 1 April, there was a demonstration in Nairobi calling for the Cabinet to be named; police dispersed the protestors.

On 29 March, police in Eldoret arrested an 80-year-old man who is suspected to be the spiritual leader of the Sabaot Land Defence Force which has been involved in land clashes in the Mount Elgon region. Two human rights activists trying to visit the area, where the army is carrying out operations to flush out the militia, were arrested but later released. Three suspects have been charged in court for burning about 30 people to death in a church in Kiambaa near Eldoret on 1 January.

II. Humanitarian Situation

Seasonal rains have caused heavy flooding in Taita Taveta District on the Tanzanian border and also in Nyanza Province. An assessment mission led by the Minister of State for Special Programmes was carried out on April 2nd to Taita Taveta District where some 6,000 persons were affected. The KRCS provided nonfood items to the affected persons and the GoK plans to dispatch food as well.

The Humanitarian Policy Group of the Overseas Development Institute, a British think-tank, presented a discussion paper analyzing post-election displacement, resettlement and return in relation to land issues in Kenya. This will form the basis of a briefing paper to be published later in April. One of the recommendations of the paper warns against the premature return of IDPs as this could trigger off a fresh cycle of violence unless the underlying causes of conflict between communities are resolved. Participants at the presentation pointed out that durable solutions to internal displacement are only viable if accompanied by clear processes to tackle unresolved land issues and other grievances.

Full_Report

Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

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