Vigilantes

I discovered the excellent blog of The Vigilante Journalist who reports from Naivasha. He offers more evidence that the killings are being planned. People in estates along the Naivasha-Nairobi Road are being told to leave if they are not Kikuyu.

I haven’t been able to post for the last few days as I have been in the Rift Valley and internet towers were down in Nakuru, and there was no connection to be had in Naivasha either. Violence erupted Thursday in Nakuru and has spread east to Naivasha and seems to be heading further on to Nairobi. There are accounts of groups of people moving east across the country toward the capital, instigateing organized ethnic cleansing. In Nakuru, countless died and were injured in clashes between the Kikuyus and Luos and Kalengins. A new displaced persons camp was opened in the stadium for a group of Luos fleeing violence by the Mungiki sect. Saturday afternoon nearly a thousand men, women and children were taken by the red cross to hide in the stadium after the Mungiki sect murdered 6 people the night before. Police presence was heavy after the first day of fighting and things cooled down dramatically on Monday when people could be seen returning to work and shops opening up for business again. The hospital on Friday evening, however, was a horror scene, with over 60 wounded mostly by machete, stoning and arrows.
Kalenjin Warriors - Nakuru 29.01.08
Kalenjin Warriors Prepare For Battle. Photo: The Vigilante Journalist

Naivasha, a Kikuyu stronhold, was extremely difficult to manage and virtually impossible to photograph after Sunday’s epic violent clashes wherein Kikuyus killed and wounded an unkown number of Luos, and sent those remaining running for their lives with their belongings in their hands the next day. The security situation has prevented the press and aid agencies from ascertaining the magnitude of the death and injury count, and gangs continued to gather in the city centre, setting up road blocks, and looting. This morning when I left, there were many houses set aflame. For the last three days, the Lake Naivasha Country Club hotel’s front lawn has been a refugee camp for a group of Luo families who have not eaten anything since they arrived. In the meantime, out front, a large gang of Kikuyus gathers around the clock with makeshift weapons, aiming to kill those Luos hiding inside. It was terrifying to see such a thing and recalls harrowingly the scenes in the movie Hotel Rwanda.

Late last night I started to receive messages that leaflets had been dropped in the estates along the road from Naivasha to Nairobi, ordering all non-Kikuyus to leave immediately. Sometime around 4 in the morning and ODM MP was assassinated in his home in Nairobi. The situation is not looking good.

The Vigilante Journalist has posted photos which are both graphic and moving. Please be warned some of them are extremely harrowing.

In Naivasha there are reports that multi-ethnic vigilante groups are forming to protect their communities which is slightly more hopeful.

Local resident Kennedy Aringo told the BBC News website they have formed a vigilante group including the different ethnic groups to protect themselves.

“We held a meeting and were all in agreement that those behind the killings are not from Naivasha so we have formed a security unit composed of Luos, Kikuyus and Kambas to protect ourselves,” he said.

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