Kenya IDPs hold demonstration

February 17, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Febr 17 – Around 10,000 Kenyans displaced two years ago by post-electoral violence marched on Wednesday from Ol Kalau to Nairobi, where the governing coalition looked on the brink of collapse.

As the uneasy partnership between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga threatened to unravel over graft allegations, another unresolved issue came to haunt the two principals.

Some 10,000 people who fled their homes as a result of the tribal clashes that broke out following the two leaders\’ December election dispute embarked on their 200-kilometre journey to State House on Tuesday.

"You can see we have not left out even the elderly women and children, we want to go to State House," Peter Kariuki, who is leading the demonstration, told AFP.

"And it will not matter how many days it will take us. We have a message for the president. We want him to listen to our grievances because we fear this coalition may collapse before we are resettled as promised," he said.

The displaced people had been staying in tents near Ol Kalou. They argue they are unable to return to their homes and complain that the government has abandoned them.

Some 1,500 people were killed and a quarter of a million displaced in the days after the bungled presidential election, the worst unrest to rock a nation often described as a beacon of stability in the troubled east African region.

Kenyan officials claim that all displaced have been resettled or returned to their homes but tens of thousands remain in limbo.

"We cannot live in such poor conditions, yet we have our own homes we were chased from because of problems caused by these two leaders, Kibaki and Raila, and they have continued to ignore us," Waithera, a woman in her sixties taking part in the march, said.


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