Kenya wounds slow to heal

Thousands remain in temporary camps a year after post-election violence.

    Thousands of displaced Kenyans live under police guard in government-run transit camps

    Anne Njorige, who lives in a camp for displaced people in Eldoret, western Kenya, says she simply has nowhere else to go.

    "I have no land of my own. I used to rent the land I cultivated. I also lost all my property. We took nothing from our homes when we fled," she told Al Jazeera.

    Police guard

    Jane Wanjiku is one of thousands who have been moved from a displaced persons camp to what the Kenyan government calls a transit camp.

    "This land does not belong to me. We want to go back home. We want the government to rebuild our homes as it has promised"

    Jane Wanjiku, transit camp resident

    People living in these camps can access farms and grow crops on nearby land, but are forced to live next to police stations for their own security because of simmering inter-ethnic tensions.

    "This land does not belong to me. We want to go back home. We want the government to rebuild our homes as it has promised," she said.

    Mohammed Adow, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Eldoret, said the displaced blame the government for failing to reconcile them with the neighbours who turned attackers.

    It is a problem that the coalition government, formed in February with Kibaki retaining the presidency and Raila Odinga, the ODM leader, appointed as prime minister, acknowledge.

    "In some areas we have achieved faster progress and in some areas the progress has been slow," Odinga told Al Jazeera.

    In addition, there is widespread public anger at the rising cost of food and fuel combined with the refusal of MPs to pay full tax on their salaries.

    Yvonne Ndege, Al Jazeera's correspondent in the capital Nairobi, said many feel life has got harder under the new government.

    Ringleader trials

    In recent weeks the government agreed to an independent election tribunal that will attempt to try the ringleaders of the violence.

    The Kenyan parliament has until March to begin hearings or a sealed list of suspects will be handed over to the International Criminal Court.

    The dissolution of the country's electoral commission and the establishment of the tribunal were key recommendations of a commission inquiry into the violence chaired by Justice Phillip Waki.

    The commission has handed a list of suspects, some thought to be prominent politicians, to Kofi Annan, the former UN chief who mediated the Kenyan power-sharing deal.

    Odinga told Al Jazeera: "If there is any case against a senior member of ODM, let it be produced, instead of these wild allegations."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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