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UPDATED: Door to Door Raids and Police Brutality Leave Five Injured and one dead in Kibera

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Military and police forces harassed residents of Kibera. © Anne Holmes

Another day of violence in Kibera left one dead and five wounded according to MSF. In the Nairobi slum of Kibera, where I spent the whole day, police used tear gas and live ammunition on protesters. I saw three young men with bullet wounds, two with non-fatal injuries to the thigh area, and one with a bullet wound to the neck. The latter was walking home from work when he was shot, and died from his wounds shortly after I left the hospital.

The day started with residents of Kibera setting up burning barricades to block police and chanting political slogans, singing and dancing. Then the crowd decided to head to the edge of town to loot the supermarket at which point they were met with 5 large trucks full of police. A long stand off ensued as residents threw rocks and police sent tear gas and opened fire on the protesters. After a few hours, police went in en masse and performed door to door raids, pulling people out of their homes, beating them and breaking down doors. They fired live ammunition in the streets and terrorized men and women on their way home from work. By 6 p.m. all was quiet and three were on their way to hospital with gunshot wounds. A third day of protests is scheduled for tomorrow.

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Youth push around an oil barrel in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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A youth bangs on an oil barrel with graffiti on it in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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A man paints a message to police on the ground in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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A youth sends a stone hurling toward police in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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Young men dance and sing political songs in honor of opposition leader Raila Odinga in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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People crouch down to the ground to avoid tear gas in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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A boy wipes his eyes after taking in a big gust of tear gas in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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The owner of a closed chemist shop peers out her window in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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A boy plays hurt with a rock to display his anger in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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A man hurls a stone at police in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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Police fire tear gas into the crowd of protesters in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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Police charge into Kibera en masse. © Anne Holmes

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Girls cry after police tore through their neighborhood breaking in doors and beating people in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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A woman cries with her children after police tore through their neighborhood breaking in doors and beating people in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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A policeman kicks in the door of a local bar which has shut down business due to the violence in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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Police harass and beat residents of Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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Police threw a man in a ditch full of sewage in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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A man by the name of Geoffry (last name unavailable) was shot in the neck as he was walking home from work and later died of his wounds in Kibera. © Anne Holmes

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15 Responses to “UPDATED: Door to Door Raids and Police Brutality Leave Five Injured and one dead in Kibera”

  1. Eric says:

    Eric

    Cool, I’m writing a book about Thailand right now so this info’s been really useful. Cheers.

  2. Jack says:

    Jack

    I love the info and have bookmarked your blog. Haver you thought of doing a vlog describing this stuff?

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  5. Owen says:

    I happened upon this article from my wired news RSS feed and was wondering if there is a brief overview of what is happening here. I haven’t been real involved in “world politics” and would like to become more so. Could anyone give me just a brief overview of what is being reported? i subscribed to the RSS feed here and am now fallowing it. Thanks for your help.

  6. admin says:

    Hi Rusty,

    Thank you for your comments. That pictures is still there on this post: http://vigilantejournalist.com/blog/archives/250 . sometimes if you scroll down before the pictures have fully loaded, one or two don’t appear.

    Peace

  7. Rusty says:

    Hi Anne, thank you for bringing this awful situation to light in such a powerful way. I chanced upon your page January 18 linked from the Andrew Sullivan site and you originally had a photo of a boy who had apparently been shot in the eye, and was lying on a concrete floor face down, in assumed agony. Even though the image is not there now, I can’t get that one image out of my mind, in spite of the many images being horrific. I keep asking myself “what can I do to help that kid” and I feel so powerless to make a difference when the problems there seem so vast.

  8. admin says:

    Thank you for your comments Simon and for stopping in. All the best and perhaps we’ll meet one of these days.

    Warm Regards,

    Anne

  9. Simon C says:

    I’m living in Kenya right now. Actually Anne, I’m in JavaHouse at Adams (with the free internet) typing this. I just want to say that any photo has been and will be perceived as biased by somebody. Photos of police brutality? The reporter must be anti-Kibaki! Photos of rioters and hoodlums scraping pangas on Ngong road? Must be anti-Raila. You get the point. Anyways, thank you Anne for your bravery and reporting of the facts.

    Simon

  10. admin says:

    I’m sorry, Ethan, but it’s very poorly placed for you to deem those who risk their lives to report what’s happening vultures. Aid agencies call me desperately several times a day to report the numbers, sometimes asking for total anonymity because they fear for their own lives and prefer to remain neutral. None of this is tribal in our heads. It is simply what is happening today. When things settle down, and hopefully they will today, there will be time to report on other issues. I have been planning to get to the Kikuyu refugee camps, but these last three days have been very active elsewhere. What you have to understand is that there are really only a very small group of people who are willing to head into the slums and get the story from inside. What the television reports is not my business. I don’t even own a television. I am simply reporting what I saw where I was. It’s only part of the picture as I can’t be everywhere.

    One thing I can say is this: it’s very easy for people to sit in their arm chairs and make comments about what we do, we being those of us who come home with blood on our clothes, shit and mud on our pants, lungs full of smoke and tear gas, after having dodged bullets and rocks, weathered volatile crowds who may or may not turn on you at any given moment, regardless of tribe, just to file pictures with an agency or paper who decide what to do with them without asking you.

    I have refrained from expressing my opinions about the political situation as I do not feel I am informed enough to intelligently comment. I have a few questions I would like to ask, however. First, why are the streets of downtown Nairobi devoid of ODM supporters? Where are the crowds standing for what they believe in to support their man in a suit in his office making calls for mass action? Why are the poor and destitute in the slums of Nairobi and elsewhere the ones paying with their lives, and will they see any benefit from this when all is said and done? I do what I do, and I call this site vigilante because I operate outside the press structure as it is because I don’t like the way things are reported or sensationalized. If BBC is getting its figures from ODM they are going to the wrong guys. Thursday evening I went to have a drink with some friends after a long day in Kibera only to see Odinga fumble with numbers on the television, annoucing several dead in Kibera. That number was inflated since I had just come from the hospital with all the injured, and only one person had died. It seemed to me that doing such a thing will only insight more anger, not to mention that it’s false information. And who will pay? The poor and powerless.

  11. robert ethan says:

    The Council of Churches has issued a very strongly worded statement concerning the ODM culpability in the slaughter that preceded the events you arrived to chronicle. The place to protest election results is in the cCourts and not in the streets. The Churches also condemned the partisan nature of foreign based journalists like youself who arribed late like vultures to feed off the misery. Odinga wants foreign intervention in Kenyan politics and that has rpoven inflammatory to this point. From using the endorsement of his American Cousin Barack Obama, to the foreign advisor Obama provided for his campaign, Dick Morris, to the role of various European activists, Odinga has relied on outside intervention from individuals who are not conversant with the whole picture of Kenyan politics. It may be his only chance to escape a war crimes trial concerning the organized nature of the slaughter and displacement of the Kikuyu.

  12. admin says:

    Robert,

    I’m not sure where you see opinion stated in this article. The crowd wanted to go and loot a store. They were met by police, and the battle ensued. This piece is pretty standard, almost wire service-like, simply reporting the facts. I don’t side with anyone, least of all the police. For the last three days, which is when I began reporting from Kenya, the confrontations have mostly been between police and ODM supporters. I have made no statements here about what happened prior to my arrival in Kenya, and I try to report only on what I have myself witnessed, or what has been relayed to me by very credible sources on the ground in neighboring parts of Nairobi.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  13. Richard says:

    I AM HORRIFIED AT THIS SENSELESSNESS. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE OF KENYA MUST REALIZE THAT VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER. MARTIN LUTHER KING WAS A CHALLENGER OF RIGHTS AND HIS ACTIONS ARE ABOUND TODAY IN A CULTURE THAT DID NOT RECOGNIZE HIS VERY BEING. PLEASE STOP AND LOOK AT WHAT THE REAL PROBLEM IS. IT IS NOT THAT ONE TRIBE IS DIFFERENT THAN ANOTHER, BUT YET A THIRD PARTY THAT WANTS THE TWO TO BELIEVE THAT LIE.

  14. robert ethan says:

    You present a very one sided view. When the police didn’t intervene earlier in the dispute, many hundreds of Kikuyu were slaughtered by Odinga’s supporters. Would you want a repeat of that?

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