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From Asif: MOLO - KENYA

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  • ms@ms.lt
    Asif, Please send letters or news as below to Holistic Helping or Nafsi Afrika Saana or another group rather than Mendenyo. You are a leader at our lab so we
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 12, 2007
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      Asif, Please send letters or news as below to Holistic Helping or Nafsi
      Afrika Saana or another group rather than Mendenyo. You are a leader at
      our lab so we need your help to build momentum at our less active groups
      and leave our most active groups for newcomers. And I invite you to lead
      your own group at our lab where you can have as much traffic as you like.
      Thank you for your letters! Andrius

      --------------------
      MOLO, 12 December 2007 (IRIN) - Revenge attacks, rumours, inaccurate media
      reports and provocative public statements by politicians have fuelled
      hostilities in Kenya's New Molo district, where clashes have displaced
      thousands of people and caused dozens of deaths, according to a government
      official.

      "As a result of the tension among the three communities in the district,
      opportunists have taken advantage of the fluidity of the situation to fuel
      hostilities," Mohamud Salim, the district commissioner, told a UN
      delegation in Molo town.

      "The problem now is that many people have fled their homes," he said. "We
      do not have an exact number of the displaced as we are still collecting
      the data but many of the IDPs [internally displaced persons] are now in at
      least 20 sites in and around Molo town."

      Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) estimates that at least 3,000 families, or
      15,000 people, have been displaced in the violence. At least 500 IDPs have
      sought refuge at a church compound, a few metres from the DC's office.

      “I fled my home more than a week ago together with my husband and four
      children. We slept in the open the first night at Keringet police
      station,” Ann Wacu, 24, said. She is one of the IDPs at the Apostolic
      Church compound.

      Clashes erupted in the district in late September, following accusations
      and counter-accusations among the three communities, the Kalenjin, Kikuyu
      and Kisii. Since then, at least 24 people have been killed, hundreds of
      houses burnt and thousands of people displaced.

      Salim said the problems facing the IDPs included poor sanitation, lack of
      adequate shelter and food.

      Political observers trace the tension and suspicion among the three
      communities to 1992, also an election year, when politicians incited the
      groups against each another, promising them the land of their neighbours,
      who they attacked before fleeing.

      "I don't call them tribal clashes because these people have co-existed
      together peacefully for a long time," Salim said. "The current tension is
      due to the tribal mentality that took root in 1992 and has made the
      communities lose trust and respect amongst one another. When someone
      commits a crime, that person should be dealt with as an individual, not
      the tribe."

      KRCS, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF-Spain) and local government officials
      are providing relief aid to the displaced, most of whom have fled to urban
      areas in the district.

      In a bid to reduce the violence, public meetings with local leaders have
      been held while security has been beefed up with an increase in the number
      of police in the district.

      Jeanine Cooper, head of the Kenya office of the UN Office for the
      Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), who led the inter-agency
      mission to Molo, said the purpose of the visit was to support efforts
      towards conflict-resolution and peace-building on the ground.

      "Insecurity is a product of violence and fear, so even when you don’t have
      violence, the same displacement of people could occur because of fear,"
      she said. "As the UN, we'll put together a joint programme on conflict and
      displacement for the areas affected by conflict in the country and this
      trip will guide what we do in the programme.”

      She said the situation in Molo required both short-term solutions, such as
      emergency response to the IDPs' needs, and long-term interventions, such
      as peace-building and civilian protection.

      "We hope to design a programme in the next few weeks to tackle the
      short-term needs as well as put in place plans for the long-term
      interventions," she said.

      js/mw
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