I haven’t been able to post for the last few days as I have been in the Rift Valley and internet towers were down in Nakuru, and there was no connection to be had in Naivasha either. Violence erupted Thursday in Nakuru and has spread east to Naivasha and seems to be heading further on to Nairobi. There are accounts of groups of people moving east across the country toward the capital, instigateing organized ethnic cleansing. In Nakuru, countless died and were injured in clashes between the Kikuyus and Luos and Kalengins. A new displaced persons camp was opened in the stadium for a group of Luos fleeing violence by the Mungiki sect. Saturday afternoon nearly a thousand men, women and children were taken by the red cross to hide in the stadium after the Mungiki sect murdered 6 people the night before. Police presence was heavy after the first day of fighting and things cooled down dramatically on Monday when people could be seen returning to work and shops opening up for business again. The hospital on Friday evening, however, was a horror scene, with over 60 wounded mostly by machete, stoning and arrows.
Naivasha, a Kikuyu stronhold, was extremely difficult to manage and virtually impossible to photograph after Sunday’s epic violent clashes wherein Kikuyus killed and wounded an unkown number of Luos, and sent those remaining running for their lives with their belongings in their hands the next day. The security situation has prevented the press and aid agencies from ascertaining the magnitude of the death and injury count, and gangs continued to gather in the city center, setting up road blocks, and looting. This morning when I left, there were many houses set aflame. For the last three days, the Lake Naivasha Country Club hotel’s front lawn has been a refugee camp for a group of Luo families who have not eaten anything since they arrived. In the meantime, out front, a large gang of Kikuyus gathers around the clock with makeshift weapons, aiming to kill those Luos hiding inside. It was terrifying to see such a thing and recalls harrowingly the scenes in the movie Hotel Rwanda.
Late last night I started to receive messages that leaflets had been dropped in the estates along the road from Naivasha to Nairobi, ordering all non-Kikuyus to leave immediately. Sometime around 4 in the morning and ODM MP was assassinated in his home in Nairobi. The situation is not looking good.
Below is a collection of pictures from the last few days in the rift valley.