Eldoret Calmer Today

Afromusing has posted a series of photos on her blog showing life in Eldoret. The situation is calmer although people are leaving in droves and in convoy. She reports that the food situation there is not dire with some supermarkets open and cash machines are working and dispensing a maximum of Kshs 400. Because of roadblocks friends of hers were stuck in Ndalat and narrowly escaped being macheted.

These are not conventional roadblocks, they are manned by desperate youth who ask for your id, and also for money. There is a guy who parted with ksh1500 between town and the airport.
-Friends telling a kikuyu friend pole (sorry) because his house was burned. The thing is the people doing the burning are not even known to the people in the area, they are coming in from other places. I feel sick about this whole mess, cant even get myself to type the tribes kikuyu, kalenjin etc when typing this post. people are people. Because we are supposed to be ONE KENYA, this is shocking and utterly…shit, i cant find the word.

Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet confirms that up to 30 checkpoints have been set up by vigilante groups between Burnt Forest and Eldoret .

“If you are not of the right ethnic group, it’s no go,” explained the Red Cross official.

“People are being targeted and it is known which ethnic group is being targeted,” said Gullet. When asked to clarify, he said in the areas he visited, “it’s largely the Kikuyu ethnic group that’s being targeted.”

Afromusing laments that the turmoil the region is undergoing is more complex than ethnicity. The people who are doing this are not known in the area.

Shock, dissapointment – cant believe that this is happening. Its more complicated than just kalenjin vs kikuyu, people have intermarried…we are supposed to be ONE Kenya. The gains made over the yrs, economic and social etc, down the drain for what?!

Why isn’t Kibaki providing security?

Ethnicity alone is not the cause of conflict in the region and past experience shows that where it has arisen it has been politically engineered.

ethnic clashes, wherever they have taken place in Kenya …have been instigated by the fear of loss of political power and the consequences that might accompany such an eventuality such as loss of priviledge and the patronage that goes with it. In this regard it has been noted elsewhere that the only distinct pattern that emerges from the ethnic clashes is that they appear to be connected to political tension in the body politic (W.R. February 6, 98: 8). This is informed by the fact that the Rift Valley clashes took place when the political atmosphere in the country was highly charged due to external and internal pressure for political pluralism … immediately after the 1997 elections, violence erupted again in Kikuyu strongholds in Rift Valley province, i.e. Laikipia and Nakuru districts that were seen as a means to counter the legal challenge mounted against the election of Moi by opposition leader Mwai Kibaki.

The use of the state as an instrument of material acquisition has meant that those who have benefited over the years from the structure of access have used every trick available, including mobilizing ethnic support as happened in Rift Valley in particular, to sustain the regime in power.

If indeed the State through some of its key actors were responsible for the initiation and manipulation of the clashes for selfish ends, then the whole question of finding a lasting solution to the problems becomes a remote proposition. This is because it would not be in the interest of the instigators of such violence that a solution be found. One cannot help but reach such a conclusion especially considering how the government has handled the findings of the Akiwumi Commission _ a judicial commission which was set up in 1998 to inquire into the causes of the ethnic clashes in various parts of the country and recommend actions to be taken against the perpetrators. (Oyugi. W.O 2000)

more here (pdf)

Work Cited:
Oyugi W.O., 2000, Politicised Ethnic Conflict in Kenya: A Periodic Phenomenon, Addis

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