Kenya: Too scared to go home

Kenya: Too scared to go home


RUMURUTI, 28 March 2008 (IRIN) – A month after clashes erupted in Kenya’s Rift Valley district of Laikipia West, calm has returned but internally displaced persons (IDPs) are yet to return home, with leaders voicing concern over the acquisition of guns by communities living in the area.

“Let us not confuse calmness for peace while ethnic animosity persists,” Frederick Sisia, the new district commissioner for Laikipia West, told a peace and reconciliation workshop on 26 March in Nyahururu, the district’s headquarters.

“The truth be told, and let’s be honest with one another: there is no community which is not buying firearms now. Every community must surrender these firearms during an upcoming planned disarmament.”

The clashes, pitting the mostly pastoralist Turkana and Tugen communities against the dominant Kikuyu ethnic group, began in early March following the killing of a suspected Turkana rustler. Since then, at least 25 people have died and over 8,000 have been displaced in the district. Continue reading