Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kenya - News and Perspectives from the Ground II

Alan adds:
Even today we hear that in Nakuru (In the Rift Valley- the Lake is famous for large flocks of Flamingo) last night up to ten people were killed and today roving gangs of youths are confronting the police, and have blocked the main road to Uganda.


Clearly life is by no means 'normal' at present. We are thankful that the level of violence has receded, but even now the newspaper is reporting on a daily basis, deaths, injury, rape and destruction of property. The official death toll is now over 650 persons. One of the attached photographs is of an small town near Eldoret, called Burnt Forest and the destruction can clearly be seen. These burnt down homes are in isolated groups and targeted families of specific tribal background. On my flight to Eldoret I saw many burnt homes and destroyed school buildings. Such senseless damage!

An International team headed by Kofi Annan and Ugandan President Museveni have arrived in Kenya. Many are pinning their hopes on this team that they will be able to bring the protaganists together. Some of the displaced persons are leaving the temporary camps, but most do not want to leave as they still feel it is unsafe. Recently gangs of youths managed to tear up about a kilometre of the railway which passes through the Kibera slum area. The day before a freight train in the same area had been stopped and looted! This is the only railway line to deliver goods to Uganda (there are other road routes) and it has finally been repaired under heavy security. The cost $183,824!

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