Kenya: a long road to reconciliation

Kenya: a long road to reconciliation

The crisis in Kenya in 2008 was triggered by the alleged rigging of the December 2007 preside ntial election — setting various ethnic groups against each other.

What began as political violence, quickly became ethnic.

By 21st January 2007, “ethnic cleansing” had resulted in displacement of more than 300,000 people of all walks of life from diverse ethnicities into camps and with host families.

The crisis had the underlying deep seated issues that have roots in the historical inequalities and injustices between ethnic groups in Kenya.
Reconciliation is far from achieved.

At the end of the year, still over a hundred thousand people living in camps, transit centres, or hosted by families.

While some families are afraid of being driven away again by angry neighbors, other displaced people have different reasons for not returning home.

Some are waiting until they receive the full amount of resettlement funds promised by the Kenyan government. Others who were previously renting are still seeking new apartments to rent at affordable prices from landlords who aren’t taking advantage of the displacement.

Still others have moved to ancestral homelands where they feel safer, but family land isn’t always available for resettlement, creating new tensions.

In addition, some displaced families are pooling government resettlement funds to buy new land to settle safely on together—a solution that unfortunately may lead to greater community divisions in the future.