Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August 2014, 14:57 GMT

Kenya Since the Elections

Publisher WRITENET
Author Richard Carver
Publication Date 1 January 1994
Cite as WRITENET, Kenya Since the Elections, 1 January 1994, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a6c2c.html [accessed 28 August 2014]
Comments By Richard Carver.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

RESEARCH PAPER: KENYA SINCE THE ELECTIONS

(updated version, January 1994)

1. INTRODUCTION

Kenya's return to multi-party politics was consummated by the presidential and parliamentary elections held in December 1992.  Faced by an opposition divided three ways, President Daniel arap Moi and the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) succeeded in retaining control of both the presidency and the legislature.

President Moi won 1,962,866 votes, Kenneth Matiba of FORD-Asili 1,404,266, Mwai Kibaki of the Democratic Party (DP) 1,050,617 and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga of FORD-Kenya 944,197.[1]   In the parliamentary elections KANU won 100 seats, Ford-Asili and FORD-Kenya 31 each and the DP 23.  Three were won by small independent parties making a total of 188 elected seats.  A further 12 members of parliament are nominated by the President (Government of Kenya, "Kenya's General Election, 29 December", 1 February 1993).

The main international observer groups were generally critical of the conduct of the elections.  One newspaper summarized their conclusions in unequivocal terms: "Kenya's presidential and parliamentary elections were extensively rigged" (The Independent, 4 January 1993).  The Commonwealth Observer Group noted a number of aspects of the elections which it considered unfair: the registration process in many parts of the country; the nominations process, particularly in the Rift Valley where 16 KANU candidates were returned unopposed; the lack of transparency by the Electoral Commission; intimidation and violence in the campaign; bias in the state-owned radio and television; and the intimate links between KANU and the state apparatus.  However, the Commonwealth observers concluded:

Despite the fact that the whole electoral process cannot be given an unqualified rating as free and fair, the evolution of the process to polling day and the subsequent count was increasingly positive to a degree that we believe that the results in many instances directly reflect, however imperfectly, the will of the people (Commonwealth Observer Group, "The Presidential, Parliamentary and Civic Elections in Kenya", 1993, 39-40).

The other main international observer group, from the International Republican Institute, reached broadly similar conclusions (Government of Kenya, "Kenya's General Election, 29 December", 1 February 1993; The Independent, 4 January 1993).

The Independent commented:

Had the opposition not been divided on tribal lines among three ambitious and self-indulgent contestants, the man who has ruled Kenya as an increasingly corrupt, autocratic and brutal one-party state since the death of Jomo Kenyatta in 1978 would almost certainly have been defeated (The Independent, 4 January 1993).

The newspaper went on to observe that

the threatening manner in which the incumbent has been talking of an end to the "restraint" that has supposedly marked his regime suggests that President Moi will resume his repressive ways.  If this is the case, Kenya must expect a period of unrest...(Ibid.)

At the time the expectations of unrest were widespread.  For example, Western embassies had drawn up detailed plans for the evacuation of their nationals in the event of escalating violence (The Independent, 28 December 1992). 

2. POLITICAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS DEVELOPMENTS IN 1993

Hopes of a post-election pact between the political parties rapidly collapsed (The Independent, 8 January 1993).  Fears of future conflict centred on the increasing division of Kenyan politics along ethnic lines and the country's rapidly declining economic situation.   The ethnic problem was underlined in President Moi's nomination of his new Cabinet, dominated by members of his own Kalenjin group and Vice-President George Saitoti's Maasai, along with a number of other smaller ethnic groups.  The two largest groups in the country, the Kikuyu and Luo, who widely supported the opposition, had only one representative each in the 25-member Cabinet (Financial Times, 14 January 1993).

The problem of ethnic division has emerged most clearly in the violent clashes which have taken place in western Kenya - notably Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza Provinces - which are examined in more detail below.

Kenya's experience of multi-party government started badly, with violent anti-government demonstrations marking the beginning of the first parliamentary session.  President Moi immediately suspended parliament (Financial Times, 28 January 1993).  The government has encouraged a string of defections from the opposition parties to KANU, which in turn has exacerbated rivalry between the opposition parties.  These defections have meant that the relative strengths of FORD -Kenya and FORD -Asili have fluctuated, creating tension over who is to be the official leader of the opposition (The Guardian, 16 March 1993; BBC, Summary of World Broadcasts, 3 June 1993; Ibid., 22 June 1993).

FORD-Kenya has been torn by internal dissent over its response to ethnic violence in the Rift Valley and western Kenya.  In September 1993 its secretary-general, Gitobu Imanyara, was dismissed from his post and resigned from the party.  The immediate cause was that he had criticized party leader Oginga Odinga for accepting a payment from a member of the board of the corrupt Goldenberg International company.  Party vice-chairman Paul Muite resigned in sympathy.  However, underlying the dispute was internal dissatisfaction with Odinga's handling of the political violence.  Imanyara (a Meru) and Muite (a Kikuyu) apparently felt that Odinga had reached an accomodation with the government to protect his own Luo community (Africa Confidential, 22 October 1993).  In January 1994, Oginga Odinga died, leaving the party even deeper in crisis (The Independent, 22 January 1994).

The government has taken steps to meet criticisms of its human rights record, for example by dropping treason charges against its "last" four political prisoners, including former member of parliament Koigi wa Wamwere (International Herald Tribune, 20 January 1993).  (However, Mirugi Kariuki, one of the those released, alleged in June that the government was holding 60 political prisoners in Nakuru District (The Nation, 15 June 1993)).  In April, Chief Justice Hancox, a British contract judge whose handling of political cases had been criticized by human rights lawyers, was replaced by a Ghanaian, Justice Fred Apaloo.

However, prominent critics of the government have continued to suffer arrest and harassment.  In April, opposition member of parliament Raila Odinga was one of five people arrested for organizing a march calling for an end to ethnic violence.  Police baton charged the marchers (The Independent, 7 April 1993; The Guardian, 7 April 1993).  In June police tried to arrest a member of parliament within the precincts of parliament (The Nation, 10 June 1993).  Two by-elections in western Kenya in May - caused by defections from the opposition to KANU - were marked by intimidation, particularly by police and KANU members against opposition MPs and supporters.  On the eve of the vote five MPs were arrested and charged with causing disturbances.  One MP was reported to be so badly beaten that he could barely stand.  He was carried into court and laid on the floor (Daily Telegraph, 22 May 1993).

The National Election Monitoring Unit described the Bonchari by-election - won by KANU - as "not free and fair".  The International Republican Institute (IRI) blamed both government and opposition for pre-election violence, although KANU was singled out for particular criticism.  The IRI condemned the "continuing failure by the government to create an environment conducive to pluralist democracy" (The Nairobi Weekly, 30 May 1993).

The continuing harassment of the independent press has been indicative of a general intolerance of criticism.  In 1993 the government continued its campaign against two independent magazines, Society and Finance, by seizing issues of the magazines and arresting their editors.  In April armed police raided the Finance offices, smashing up computers and putting a staff member in hospital (Article 19, "Kenya: Continued Attacks on the Independent Press", 31 May 1993).  Article 19 comments that the government "clearly remains concerned about the international repercussions of banning publications and is resorting instead to a combination of legal and extralegal methods to drive its critics out of business" (Ibid.)  At the end of April police raided the premises of Fotoform Ltd, a small independent company which prints both Society and Finance, seizing essential components from printing machinery.  The company and the magazines initiated a court action to recover the parts.  The High Court refused to return the components until the outcome of sedition cases against Finance and Fotoform.  However, in September the charges were quietly dropped and the magazines were near to ruin, having lost months of sales and advertising revenue (Article 19, "Kenya: Shooting the Messenger, 29 October 1993).  Meanwhile police also raided the premises of Colourprint, the company which printed the magazines while Fotoform was out of business.  They seized copies of the magazines, abducted the son of one of the directors for several hours and threatened to seize machine components (Ibid.).

According to Article 19, the types of stories carried by the magazines which have antagonized the government include

the murder in 1990 of Foreign Minister Robert Ouko, which it emerged was carried out on the orders of members of President Moi's entourage; allegations of corruption by President Moi and his family and close associates; tribalism in government, particularly violent attacks by members of President Moi's Kalenjin ethnic group against Kikuyu communities in the Rift Valley; and latterly the issue if intimidation and ballot rigging in the 1992 general elections ("Kenya: Continued Attacks on the Independent Press")

A report from the Church of the Province of Kenya (Anglican) on freedom of association also raised concern about the government's lack of respect for freedom of association.  It lists dozens of incidents between 1986 and November 1993 in which peaceful assemblies have been criminalized by the refusal of the authorities to grant licenses.  The report comments:

If indeed the Constitution guarantees Kenyans the right to hold meetings, the denial for licenses to hold public meetings should not arise.  Despite the constitutional guarantee, the abuse of those freedom arise [sic] many times.  Even where licenses to hold such meetings have been granted, Provincial Administration cancels them the last minute [sic] declaring such gathering [sic] illegal.  Consequently, Kenyans have been charged with holding "illegal" meetings (Church of the Province of Kenya, "Curbing of Freedom of Association in Kenya", no date).

3. THE ECONOMY

The parlous state of the Kenyan economy has led to overt social discontent in recent months, notably a general strike called in early May by the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) to demand, among other things, the dismissal of Vice-President George Saitoti who was seen as the architect of government economic policy.  The secretary-general of COTU, Joseph Mugalla, was arrested and charged with inciting workers to take part in a strike (BBC, Summary of World Broadcasts, 7 May 1993).  About 2,750 workers were dismissed for taking part in the strike but later reinstated (Daily Telegraph, 7 May 1993).  Kenyan law only allows strikes in pursuance of an industrial dispute after a 21-day "cooling-off period" (US Department of State, "Country Reports for 1992", 1993).

A central grievance of the urban population is inflation, which officially stood at 32 per cent at the end of 1992, but which a USAID official estimates at about 50 per cent (Christian Science Monitor, 26 February-4 March 1993).  Real growth in gross domestic product was only 0.4 per cent in 1992, compared with 4.3 per cent in 1990.  Zero growth is expected this year, while the Kenyan population continues to grow at nearly 4 per cent each year (The Economist, 12 June 1993).

In April 1993, the World Bank resumed aid to Kenya which had been suspended in November 1991.  The World Bank made a tranche of $170 million in quick disbursal aid from a previous agreement immediately available to Kenya.  This followed the government's second devaluation of the shilling in two months and a decision to reverse an increase in the money supply - one of the factors contributing to inflation (Financial Times, 22 April 1993).  In March the government had defied the International Monetary Fund and World Bank by abandoning an agreed programme to reform the system of foreign exchange allocation (Financial Times, 24 March 1993).  In May, after a new agreement with the IMF and in preparation for an international donors' meeting in Paris, there was a further devaluation of the shilling, import restrictions were lifted and foreign exchange allocation liberalized (Daily Telegraph, 18 May 1993).

In November 1991 donors had suspended quick disbursing balance of payments support worth $40 million a month because of government failure to tackle corruption.  The donors also made demands for political reforms and greater respect for human rights which led to the government's introduction of a multi-party system (Financial Times, 24 March 1993).

Finally, in November 1993, the consultative group of aid donors to Kenya, meeting in Paris, agreed to pledge $850 million in new aid.  This represented a significant victory for the government in overcoming - or at least calming - donor concerns about both official corruption and the potential impact of ethnic violence (see below).  The World Bank, which chaired the meeting, expressed continuing concern about both these problems in its communique after the meeting.  The resumption of aid was dependent on Kenya settling repayment of $700 million in debt arrears (Financial Times, 23 November 1993; The Guardian, 24 November 1993).  In January 1994 Kenya rescheduled $500 million of arrrears with the Paris Club of official creditors (Financial Times, 26 January 1994).

A major problem - and one of great political sensitivity - is corruption.  The Financial Times has written of

corruption perpetrated by the ruling elite which has defeated reform efforts.  This has taken two forms: direct payoffs to politicians by private companies in return for inflated government contracts or politicians using their position to build business empires and divert money to overseas bank accounts (Financial Times, 24 March 1993).

One recent scandal which has been politically explosive is the "Goldenberg scam".  Goldenberg International was licensed to export gold and diamonds and paid large sums from government funds in export compensation payments for inflated shipments, as well as pre-shipment finance which the company used to speculate on the foreign exchange market.  A report by the Auditor-General blamed the Vice-President (and then Finance Minister) George Saitoti, for the scandal (Financial Times, 24 March 1993; The Independent, 8 June 1993; Society, 12 April 1993).

International and Kenyan financial officials interviewed by the Christian Science Monitor argued that official corruption had reached a level where it had an effect on the economy as a whole.  A Kenyan banker argued that luxury consumption by corrupt individuals pushes up the price of foreign exchange, which has the effect of increasing prices of everyday goods.  This is particularly marked because of the country's dependence on imported fuel (26 February-4 March 1993).  There have been regular fuel shortages in recent months because of lack of foreign currency, while the Mombasa refinery has had difficulty processing the available crude oil because of lack of spare parts (Indian Ocean Newsletter, 15 May 1993).

The Christian Science Monitor concluded:

These experts assert that official corruption has become so pervasive it is driving up prices of everyday goods and keeping away potential foreign investors and the jobs they would create.  They warn that Kenyans eventually may react in civil conflict that could start Kenya down a long slide toward Somalia-like chaos (26 February-4 March 1993).

4. THE "TRIBAL CLASHES"

Ethnic violence in the Rift Valley and other areas of western Kenya is the major source of instability in the country and has led to the displacement of large numbers of people.  A recent report in The Guardian estimated the number displaced by the clashes at up to 250,000 (28 April 1993).  Africa Watch put it even higher: 300,000.  The latter figures is an extrapolation from the number of displaced people currently being fed by the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) in the Rift Valley ("Divide and Rule: State-Sponsored Ethnic Violence in Kenya", November 1993).  The Africa Watch figure has been disputed, but there seems to be agreement among many independent observers that the figure is more than 200,000.  As long ago as April-May 1993, the UN Disaster Management Team 1993, aggregated figures of displaced people in a number of different locations based on estimates by local non-governmental organizations responsible for relief work.  The total was 89,136, although this was reckoned not to include a further 25,000 people also displaced, giving a total of around 115,000 ("Mission to the areas of Western Kenya affected by Ethnic Clashes", May 1993).

4.1 Origins of the violence

Ostensibly the violence in western Kenya results from land disputes between the settled agricultural communities of Kikuyu and Luo people and pastoralist Kalenjins and, latterly Maasai.  However, many Kikuyus and Luos are supporters of the opposition parties, while President Moi is a Kalenjin and Vice-President Saitoti a Maasai.

The Nairobi magazine Society summarized the interpretation of many Kenyan observers:

At their onset the clashes were seen by many as a Kanu scheme aimed at intimidating opposition supporters into supporting Kanu, or alternatively as a way of scattering opposition supporters out of so-called Kanu zones.   Others saw them as a clever Kanu diversion to show the international community - which had pressurised the Kanu government into  accepting pluralism - that Kenya was not "cohesive enough" to go multiparty.  But Kanu leaders, including President Moi, have also had their explanation for the clashes.  They call the clashes a plot by the opposition to discredit the Kanu government (1 March 1993).

Gibson Kamau Kuria, a prominent human rights lawyer, has linked the ethnic violence to a long-standing political strategy of federalism - known as "majimboism" - which dates from the pre-independence period when Daniel arap Moi was a leader of the Kenyan African Democratic Union (KADU).  The majimbo policy, according to Kamau Kuria, is aimed at establishing areas in the dominant party/ethnic group has the power to exclude others.  It thus runs counter to the new multi-party system.  As examples of majimboism he cites the threats to drive "non-indigenous" people out of the Rift Valley and the declaration of the Rift Valley and some other areas as "KANU zones" (Nairobi Law Monthly, May 1993).

Outside observers are generally united in holding KANU and the government responsible for the ethnic violence.  The US Department of State reported a September 1991 political rally at which a group of Rift Valley KANU politicians purported to "ban" members of the opposition from entering the area and threatened Kikuyus, Luos and Luhyas living there.  "Without any rebuke from President Moi or other high level government officials, KANU M.P.'s continued in 1992 to encourage the heightening of tribal tensions by making threats and issuing ultimatums."  For example, in June 1992 a government minister threatened that non-Maasais in the traditional Maasai area of Narok would not be allowed to vote there unless they owned land or property.  The next week Maasai warriors attacked Kikuyus at a voting registration centre in Narok, killing three and injuring four.  The US Department of State noted: "Although many opposition members were arrested for inciting violence, no  action was taken" against the Minister concerned ("Country Reports for 1992", 1993).

The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights stated:

There have been reports of armed Kalenjin civilians attacking members of the Kikuyu, Luo and Luhya ethnic groups.  The aim of these attacks seems to be to drive other ethnic groups from what was once "Kalenjin" lands and to force support for the ruling party, KANU ("Human Rights in Kenya and Malawi", June 1992).

The Lawyers Committee criticized the failure of the government to deal with those responsible:

The Kenya police and security forces have done little to protect victims from such violence, nor has the government punished those responsible for inciting these inter-ethnic attacks.  Rather, an unsigned, undated statement was released by the office of the President claiming that the opposition were responsible for all the violence through a private militia trained in Libya (Ibid.).

The political opposition and the independent press in Kenya have repeatedly made similar allegations of official complicity in the violence and the failure of the security forces to respond adequately.  Such allegations have also come from other sources.  In March 1992, Ojuang K'Ombudo, the Assistant Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, disrupted the National Assembly, shouting that Luo people were being murdered by Kalenjins.  He criticized the police for failing to arrest attackers identified by local residents (Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Report No 2, 1992; Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, "Human Rights in Kenya and Malawi", June 1992).

In September 1992 a parliamentary select committee, chaired by Kennedy Kiliku, reported on the violence.  (At this time the National Assembly was still a single-party, KANU body.)  The committee concluded that 800 people  had been killed and that many government officials, security officers, provincial administrators and others had "abetted, perpetrated or instigated" the violence.  The Kiliku report singled out Vice-President Saitoti and former minister Nicholas Biwott for responsibility, along with a number of other senior officials.  On 14 October, Parliament rejected the report (International Human Rights Law Group, "Facing the Pluralist Challenge: Human Rights and Democratization in Kenya's December 1992 Multi-Party Elections", November 1992; US Department of State, "Country Reports for 1992", 1993).

A British journalist described his attempt in early 1992 to report an attack to the police:

"There is a house on fire about 400  yards away," I said. "Have you reported it?" replied one of the five policemen.
"I am now.  Do you want a lift there (the Kenyan police are often short of transport)?"  The reply was: "You are incorrectly parked and in violation of the traffic codes.  Drive on." (The Times, 20 March 1993)

Reports by Kenyan church groups have also criticized government complicity in the violence.  In March 1992 the country's Roman Catholic bishops issued a pastoral letter in which they alleged that the conflict was "all part of a wider political strategy" involving "well-trained arsonists and bandits" who were "transported to the scenes of crime from outside the area".  The letter concluded:

There has been no impartiality on the part of the security forces.  On the contrary, their attitude seems to imply that orders from above were given in order to inflict injuries only on particular ethnic groups (Financial Times, 23 March 1992).

In June 1992 the National Council of Churches of Kenya published a report on the violence.  It claimed

There is evidence that there was cordial interaction between the warriors, security and administration officers....
Evidence has been received that homes and farms of senior government officials, political leaders and administrative officers have and are being used as hideouts for warriors, depots for weaponry, sanctuaries... where warriors return in the event of facing resistance... (NCCK, "Report of Task Force", June 1992, 7).

On the strength of interviews with members of the security forces the NCCK researchers concluded that non-Kalenjin personnel in the police and paramilitary General Service Unit were not allowed to carry arms when dealing with the ethnic clashes.  Non-Kalenjin police officers on patrol - who are unarmed - are always accompanied by armed Kalenjins (Ibid., 12).

The NCCK's researchers witnessed an attack in Kericho in which a man was

hacked severally on the head, collar-bone and across the ear until he collapsed in our view.  One of the attackers then shot the victim with an arrow... We took him to the hospital... The victim died on arrival (Ibid., 11).

Describing attacks by Kalenjin warriors in the Molo and Olengueroni areas, the NCCK report said:

The attackers appeared disciplined and obeyed instructions.  These constitute regimented discipline usually found in those who have undergone rigorous military training... Military helicopters were involved in some of the operations... (Ibid., 3).

Interviewed more than a year later, an Africa Watch researcher acknowledged that the violence was not entirely one-sided but drew a distinction between the discipline and organization of the attackers:

When non-Kalenjin attack they're like vigilantes, wearing their own clothes.  But when Kalenjin attack, they're organized in large numbers, and they're obviously trained and uniformed (Christian Science Monitor, 27 September 1993).

The NCCK report claimed that most of those displaced - whom it estimated at 50,000 at the time - had had their identification documents and papers relating to land ownership destroyed, so that they were unable to register to vote or to reclaim their land.  It concluded: "Many potential voters are disenfranchised thereby affecting the electoral process in those areas substantially" (Ibid., 8).  The Christian Science Monitor reported a similar claim by a Kenyan human rights lawyer that one aim of the attacks was to disrupt voter registration (19-25 June 1992).  International observers also identified the clashes in western Kenya as an unfair aspect of the December 1992 elections (Commonwealth Observer Group, op. cit.).

4.2 Clashes continue in 1993

Ethnic clashes have continued in the year since the elections, suggesting that intimidation of voters was not the sole motivation behind the attacks.

Immediately after the elections there were reports of Kalenjin warriors hunting Kikuyu whom they suspected of voting for the opposition.  Four people were reported to have been killed by Kalenjins in the Rift Valley town of Eldoret at the beginning of January (The Times, 2 January 1993).  Fourteen people were reported killed and 10,000 displaced in violence in the Rift Valley in the first three weeks after the election.  The attacks were reported to have been carried out by Kalenjin warriors, armed with bows and poisoned arrows, as in many previous attacks (Inter Press Service, 13 January 1993). 

There were continued reports of attacks in the following weeks culminating in an upsurge of violence in April.  The Guardian reported attacks by Kalenjin warriors in Narok and Burnt Forest, where 30 houses were burned to the ground, and estimated that 40,000 people had been displaced from their homes since the elections (28 April 1993).  The paper also reported a growing mood of resistance among the Kikuyus, including the administering of oaths to men who pledged to defend their people and the smuggling of guns into the Rift Valley from Uganda and Somalia (Ibid.).

In Cheptais members of the Sabaot ethnic group threw a grenade into a bar, injuring five.  There were unconfirmed - and probably unreliable - reports that three people had been killed.  Luhyas and Itesots retaliated, attacking a group of Sabaots and killing five (NCCK, "The Clashes Update", April 1993).

A new element in the violence in 1993 was that it began to affect urban areas.  Nakuru, the provincial capital of the Rift Valley, was hit by four days of rioting in May after the police had demolished the kiosks of street traders and hawkers, allegedly singling out non-Kalenjins.  Kiraitu Murungi of FORD -Kenya said, "Demolition of the kiosks is the urbanization of the tribal clashes".  The member of parliament for Nakuru, a member of FORD-Asili, alleged that while the "Kalenjin community were being guarded, others were chased in the streets by police like wild animals" (Inter Press Service, 14 May 1993).  The KANU paper, Kenya Times, pointed to opposition rivalry with the Asian community, which has extensive shopkeeping interests and tends to support the government.  It alleged that the opposition had organized attacks on Asians in Nakuru and their property.  The demolition of kiosks could be seen as a result of lobbying by the Asian community against their business competitors (Ibid.).

After the Nakuru riots, officials tried to disassociate themselves from the demolition of the kiosks.  The Provincial Commissioner was alleged to have organized the demolition, but later denied any knowledge (Ibid.).  The mayor of Nakuru and the town's KANU branch chairman each accused the other of having organized the demolition (BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 12 May 1993).

Another incident which raised widespread concern took place at the state opening of parliament in March, when Maasai warriors - known as moran - attacked opposition supporters in the parliamentary precincts in Nairobi.  One magazine described it as "a scene reminiscent of South Africa's war-loving Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party" (Society, 6 April 1993).  A newspaper alleged that a senior cabinet minister had paid the moran to carry out the attack - and the police to stand by and not intervene (Standard, 28 March 1993).  In an earlier incident moran had attacked and beaten the Democratic Party candidate contesting the seat held by Vice-President Saitoti.  The Vice-President, himself a Maasai, denied allegations that he had instigated the attack but described those responsible - who had put the opposition candidate in hospital - as "patriotic Kenyans" (Society, 12 April 1993).

Another dimension of the ethnic violence in 1993 has been an increase in attacks on those who try to monitor the clashes.  A number of the attacks on the independent press have resulted from their coverage of the violence (Article 19, op. cit., May and October 1993).  For example, Reverend Jamlick Miano, editor of the Presbyterian  church magazine Jitegemea, was arrested in May after an issue of the magazine had attacked President Moi's allegedly divisive policies.  It referred to the 1990 demolition of Nairobi's Muoroto slum in which several people were alleged to have been killed, as well as the clashes in western Kenya and the demolition of vendors' kiosks in Nakuru (Agence France Presse, 31 May 1993).  A member of parliament, John Njenga Mungai, was arrested when he tried to organize a demonstration against the demolition of the kiosks (BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 13 May 1993).

In June Anglican bishop George Njunga criticized Rift Valley police for refusing to give security to clergy who wanted to tour Olenguruoni and Molo, the scene of some of the worst clashes (The Nation, 15 June 1993).

Earlier, in February, the prominent environmentalist Wangari Maathai went into hiding after President Moi had publicly accused her and the NCCK of fomenting the Rift Valley violence.  She said that she feared for her life (The Independent, 8 March 1993).  On 25 February her colleague, John Makanga, was arrested by plainclothes police without a warrant.  They beat him severely in the presence of witnesses.  On 1 March he appeared in court bearing new injuries, apparently caused by beatings in custody.  He alleged that he had been denied food for three days after his arrest.  He was charged with distributing seditious publications accusing the government of complicity in the ethnic violence and remanded in custody.  Earlier John Makanga and Wangari Maathai had visited the Kikuyu victims of ethnic clashes in Uasi Gishu district in Rift Valley Province and distributed leaflets about a Tribal Clashes Resettlement Volunteer Service (Amnesty International, 5 March 1993; Tribal Clashes Resettlement Volunteer Service, "Tribal (Political) Clashes", nd).

Government harassment of Wangari Maathai even extended beyond the borders of Kenya.  At the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in June 1993, thugs broke up an exhibition of photographs of the Rift Valley violence which Wangari Maathai had organized (Article 19, October 1993).

4.3 The effects of the violence

According to official figures, 365 people were killed in ethnic clashes between October 1991 and December 1992.  In reply to a parliamentary question in May 1993, Jackson Kalweo, Minister of State in the Office of the President,  said that 7,113 people had been displaced.  Opposition member of parliament Martha Kalua noted that the parliamentary select committee report in 1992 had estimated the number of displaced at about 100,000 (BBC, Summary of World Broadcasts, 7 May 1993).  The NCCK estimates that it is feeding 130,000 displaced people in the Rift Valley (The Guardian, 28 April 1993), while a team from the United Nations Disaster Management Team in April-May 1993 estimated a current total of some 110,000 displaced (UNDMT, op. cit.).  These are current figures - clearly the total number who have suffered displacement since October 1991 is higher.  For example the Bishop of Eldoret has estimated that 40,000 clash victims have returned to their homes or nearby areas.  However, there have been incidents in which returnees have been killed when they tried to return to their land (Ibid.).

None of those displaced by the violence yet appear to have tried to flee the country.  A report in mid-June that 5,000 Kenyan refugees had fled to Ethiopia because of "tribal conflict" (Reuter, 14 June 1993) appears to be unconnected with the situation in western Kenya.  The Ethiopian relief and Rehabilitation Commission reported that members of the Njura and Niqadu ethnic groups had crossed into Borema region.  The Kenyan Government is reported to have said that they had crossed the border because of hunger (Ibid.)  A few days later the Nairobi press reported new outbreaks of violence between clans in Wajir, although it is unclear whether this was the cause of the refugee flows since different ethnic groups were involved in an area some 200 kilometres from the Ethiopian border (The Nation, 23 June 1993). 

People displaced by the violence in the west of the country could only cross into Uganda, or possibly from the southern Rift Valley into Tanzania, although this does not yet appear to have happened.  Any flows of people out of the country might be expected first from the Mount Elgon region which borders Uganda.

The official death toll of 365 is lower than all other estimates.  Inter Press Service reports opposition estimates of 800 dead (14 May 1993), while another recent press estimate is 1,000 (The Guardian, 28  April 1993).  Africa Watch puts the number of dead at 1,500, extrapolating from the 750 estimate made by the Kiliku parliamentary select committee (November 1993).

An official statement has blamed violence in the Rift Valley - a fertile food producing region - for the shortfall in grain production.  The government predicts a serious food shortage in late 1993.  Maize production for 1992 is estimated at 2.34 million tonnes, a 6.1 per cent increase on 1991 but still 390,000 tonnes "below average".  Wheat output fell from 195,000 tonnes in 1991 to 125,000 tonnes in 1992 (Reuter, 9 June 1993).

The NCCK found in mid-1992 that "Resettlement of the victims is hampered by the lack of trust in the government which has been a result of the involvement of government officers" in the attacks.  The NCCK report noted:

Further no proper security has been provided to the displaced people in the event of return to their homes particularly in the Mt. Elgon region.  Many of the victims have no resources to enable them reassemble [sic] homes as all their property has been destroyed.  Families have lost parents leaving orphans who will be unable to re-establish new homes.  Others are aged and therefore incapable of re-establishing homes (NCCK, "Report of Task Force", June 1992, 18).

The NCCK reiterated these findings in a bulletin issued in April 1993.  It says that most people are willing to return home but "most of their houses were razed down completely by the arsonists".  The bulletin quotes one displaced person in Kamutiong-Kimilili market who says that

most of the victims have found it convenient to camp at the markets and churches so that they receive immediate help from the charitable organisations and to some extent the government.  Thus, he says that it is not that people are fearing that there was no security but their major worry is that even if they go back, they will not have anything to eat (NCCK, "The Clashes Update", April 1993).

However, a number of other displaced people are quoted as saying that they feared for their security if they returned home, particularly those from the Mount Elgon area.  The NCCK concludes: "[n]one of the families have dared to return for fear that arsonist [sic] may strike again" (Ibid.).

4.4 The creation of security zones

President Moi responded to criticism of the government's alleged inaction or complicity in the Rift Valley violence in a speech on 2 September 1993 when he declared some of the worst affected areas - Molo, Burnt Forest and Londiani - to be "security operation zones".  In the following months there was clearly a decline in violence in those areas.  However, the security measures also appeared to be aimed at those who were trying to monitor abuses.  The first people to be arrested under the government's policy of creating "security operation zones" were 13 opposition members of parliament visiting Molo on a fact-finding mission.  Under the new policy no one from outside the area may visit Molo, Burnt Forest and Londiani (Reuters, 4 September 1993).  The police claimed that the new policy had successfully quelled the violence.  The District Officer in Molo dissolved the local peace council, a group of elders formed to reconcile victims of the clashes, replacing it with a resettlement committee under his own control. The problem is that resettlement is not merely a technical question, but entails some resolution of the land disputes which are at the root of the conflict.  Very few clash victims have yet been resettled for precisely this reason (Article 19, October 1993; Africa Watch, November 1993).

On 10 September Bedan Mbugua, editor of The People, and Reverend Timothy Njoya were arrested near Elburgon, on their way to Molo (Agence France Presse, 10 September 1993).  A few days later the Nakuru District Commissioner, William Kerario, said that the press was free to visit Molo, as long as he was notified in advance.  However, the government could not allow anyone "just to sneak in and out as this will be defeating the purpose for declaring the area a security zone" (Article 19,  October 1993).  On 20 December the High Court lifted the restrictions on the Mbugua and Njoya on the grounds that the regulations creating the security zones had not been gazetted at the time of their exclusion (Daily Nation, 21 December 1993).  Both Article 19 (October 1993) and the Nairobi Law Monthly (October 1993) had questioned the legal basis for the creation of the security zones.

On 21 September a reporter for the Daily Nation was apprehended by armed police at Kerisoi Trading Centre in Molo South and escorted from the area.  The reporter had been there to cover distribution of relief supplies by the Red Cross and the Roman Catholic church (Daily Nation, 22 September 1993).  The following month another Nation reporter, Joseph Ngugi, was arrested and charged with entering a security zone illegally (Daily Nation, 28 October 1993).

Meanwhile, a visiting delegation of Dutch parliamentarians was also excluded from the clash areas.  On their departure they said that they might call for a UN investigation into the clashes and warned of the danger that Kenya might degenerate into Somalia-style ethnic violence (Agence France Presse, 12 September 1993).

The government was concerned about a visit to the clash areas by a group of musicians led by Sammy Muraya, members of the National Democratic and Human Rights Organization (NDEHURIO).  They recorded testimony from those displaced by the clashes and then made a number of songs condemning the violence and calling on rich people to help the victims.  A cassette of the songs circulated clandestinely.  The aim was to sell it to raise money for the clash victims but the musicians had to go underground and faced arrest for visiting a security zone.  However, some copies of the cassette were played in matatus (minibus taxis).  Vendors selling the tape were harassed and, in at least one case, tortured by police (Article 19, October 1993).

On 18 September the founder of NDEHURIO, Koigi wa Wamwere, was arrested in Burnt Forest with several of his associates, including lawyer Mirugi Kariuki.  A former member of parliament, Koigi was one of the last political prisoners to be released from custody earlier in the year, as was Kariuki.  Seven of those arrested were brought to court four days later and charged with possession of weapons.  Koigi wa Wamwere and Mirugi Kariuki were still in prison in early 1994 with 13 others.  One man arrested in connection with the same case, Jackson Mutonye Ndegwa, died in custody in early November - as a result of bullet wounds, according to Amnesty International.  Amnesty International believes that the group are possible prisoners of conscience.  Their continued imprisonment inflames Kikuyu suspicions that the government handling of security operations is still not even-handed. (Amnesty International, 21 September, 29 September, 26 November, 10 December, 15 December 1993; The Standard, 20 September 1993; Agence France Presse, 23 September 1993; New African, January 1994).

Similar concerns are aroused by the frequent arrest of Kikuyus for swearing illegal oaths to defend their home areas.  On 24 September, for example, 61 people were arrested for allegedly taking part in an oathing ceremony in Kaptembwa, Nakuru (Agence France Presse, 27 September 1993).  Africa Confidential argues that the significance of oathing ceremonies is being exaggerated "to support the government's arguments that there are 'genuine and spontaneous' ethnic clashes" (22 October 1993).  However, Kenyan human rights activists are concerned that oathing is on the increase while arms flow into the area and Kikuyu men receive military training (personal communication, 12 October 1993).  There is a growing fear that animosities could lead to worsening violence and even civil war.

5. RELIGIOUS CONFLICT

Discontent among members of Kenya's substantial Muslim community has recently broken out in open unrest, with riots on the streets of Mombasa after the arrest in May 1993 of Sheikh Khalid Balala, a popular local preacher (BBC, Summary of World Broadcasts, 31 May 1993).  In September there were further clashes between radical Muslims and government supporters in Mombasa and Malindi, followed by more violence during a by-election campaign in December (Agence France Presse, 22 December 1993).

Sheikh Balala came to prominence in May 1992 when police stormed the Kwa-Sibu mosque in Mombasa to disperse a crowd protesting against the government's refusal to register the Islamic Party of Kenya (IPK) (The People, 30 May-5 June 1993).  Earlier, protesters had rioted causing millions of shillings worth of damage.  Several people were shot dead by police (Society, 1 March 1993, Le Monde, 23 May 1992, The Guardian, 26 May 1992).  The State Department commented on police "insensitivity" in handling the issue ("Country Reports for 1992", 1993).

Balala was arrested in July 1992 and charged with "imagining" the death of President Moi - a charge similar to treason which carries the death sentence (The Guardian, 22 July 1992).  He was held for six months, but eventually released without being brought to trial, increasing his popular standing in Mombasa.  Balala was not, however, the founder of the IPK, which was launched in 1992 by a group of Mombasa businesspeople and intellectuals to articulate the grievances of the Muslim community in the Coast province (The People, 30 May-5 June 1993).

The refusal to register the IPK apparently reflected the government's fear that the country's substantial Muslim community - some 6 million out of a total population of about 24 million - could become a coherent political force in opposition to KANU.  However, in a speech in June 1992 President Moi blamed Muslims for slavery, which has had the effect of drawing criticism from prominent KANU Muslims such as Hussein Maalim Mohamed, a Minister in the Office of the President, and Shariff Nassir, chairman of KANU's Mombasa branch, both outspoken critics of the IPK (Society, 1 March 1993).  The continuing refusal to register the party has also led the IPK to align itself more closely with other opposition parties.  Thus a prominent IPK leader, Professor Rashid Mzee, won the Kisauni parliamentary seat in December 1992 running on a FORD -Kenya ticket (Africa Events, June 1993).

Kenya's largest concentration of Muslims is in the Coast province.  According to the IPK, one of the main grievances among indigenous Coastal people is land.  The majority of local people, numbered at more than one million, are squatters, while prime beach land and many settlement schemes in the province are occupied by outsiders.  The government is seen as having been complicit in a number of celebrated cases where indigenous people have been evicted from their land.  Professor Ali Mazrui, the well-known Kenyan Muslim academic, also identifies unemployment - which in Coast is twice the national average - as another potent campaigning issue for the IPK (The People, 30 May-5 June 1993).

Kenya's other main Muslim community is composed of people of Somali ethnic origin.  A major grievance among Kenyan Somalis since 1989 has been the requirement that they register with the authorities and carry a pink identity card - in addition to the national identity card carried by all Kenyans - to distinguish them from Somali refugees (see, for example,  Africa Watch, "Kenya: Taking Liberties", July 1991, 298-322).  Prominent representatives of the Somali community may increasingly identify themselves with Muslim political aspirations.  In April 1993, lawyer Mohammed K. Ibrahim, who has represented Somalis faced with deportation under the screening regulations, issued a public statement condemning the eviction of Somali residents on an estate in Eldoret in Rift Valley Province.  He called the eviction a calculated move to deprive Muslims of their rights and evict them from certain areas of the country: "This kind of action definitely appears to justify the need for the registration of the Islamic Party of Kenya to protect the interest of this marginalised group of people" (Society, 26 April 1993).

In recent months the government has tried to marginalize the impact of the IPK by differentiating between Muslims of African descent and those (like Sheikh Balala) of Arab descent whom it accuses of responsibility for the slave trade in the eighteenth century.  A new organization, the United Muslims of Kenya (UMKE), has been set up by pro-KANU figures in Mombasa to counter the allegedly Arab IPK.  A pro-opposition Nairobi newspaper, The People, draws a parallel with "the stage-managed tribal clashes in the Rift Valley" and warns that a "political time-bomb is bound to explode in the Coast." (30 May-5 June 1993)  The disturbances in May 1993 in Mombasa followed the statements of a local KANU politician, Emmanuel Maitha, warning of a "bloody religious conflict".  According to the pro-Muslim Africa Events, Maitha, who is not a Muslim himself, was a leading local member of FORD-Kenya until he defected to KANU and ran for the Kisauni seat against the IPK supporter Rashid Mzee (June 1993).  Africa Events reports that Maitha called on black Muslim youths to take up arms against their Arab counterparts:

Those who do not want their houses to be attacked should write on their walls in bold letters that they do not support the IPK and they will be spared. (Ibid.)

In response Sheikh Balala announced the formation of a military wing of the IPK and threatened three prominent Mombasa KANU politicians, including Maitha, with death.  Police arrested Balala for incitement, but only after a public outcry was Maitha arrested for his remarks (The People, 30 May-5 June 1993; The Nairobi Weekly, 30 May 1993; BBC, Summary of World Broadcasts, 2 June 1993).  After his release on bail on 28 May, Sheikh Balala told journalists that he had 10 trained suicide bombers who would "eliminate" 10 named senior KANU leaders.  He was rearrested  shortly afterwards and sent for psychiatric reports (Agence France Presse, 2 June 1993; Reuter, 2 June 1993).

In September, Maitha announced the formation of the Coast Protective Group (CPG) with the stated aim of ending "the domination and oppression of indigenous Africa tribes by rich Arabs".  He said that the CPG would recruit an army of 5,400 to carry out this task and called for a general strike to force Arabs to close down their businesses (Agence France Presse, 27 September 1993).

Maitha challenged election victory of the IPK's Rashid Mzee in Kisauni on the FORD -Kenya ticket and in November 1993 the High Court ordered the election be re-run.  In the by-election in December Mzee won for a second time, but not before 30 people had been injured in inter-party violence (Agence France Presse, 22 and 23 December 1993).

The Nairobi Weekly, usually highly critical of the government, reports an unsubstantiated allegation in the KANU paper, the Kenya Times, that an unnamed Kikuyu politician provided money and arms to the IPK.  The paper also talks of "radical Islamic International fundamentalists" and the "green peril", which it links to recent Islamic disturbances in Tanzania (30 May 1993).  The People, on the other hand, says that Sheikh Balala "isn't the firebrand radical he has been portrayed to be" and quotes him as saying:

I am a nationalist.  I believe in the unity of this country.  All Kenyans are my brothers, whether they are Muslims or not.  I never have been and will never be for the formation of an Islamic state in Kenya. (30 May-5 June 1993)

However, both newspapers are agreed on the potentially explosive nature of the Islamic question.

6. REFUGEES: THE PROBLEM OF SECURITY

At the end of May 1993 Kenya was host to 384,910 refugees.  The majority of these - some 330,000 - were Somalis, while the remaining 50,000 were equally divided between Ethiopians and Sudanese.  Since the beginning of 1993 the number of refugees in Kenya has been steadily decreasing.  Throughout 1992 an average of 900 refugees arrived in the country each day.  By May 1993 daily arrivals had dropped to less than 50 a day.

Also large numbers of refugees have begun to return home.  About 10 per cent of the Somali refugees registered in camps in Kenya have voluntarily returned over the past few months and some 86,000 more are registered for voluntary repatriation.  Over 42,000 Ethiopians repatriated in the first quarter of 1993 (UNHCR, "Information Bulletin, Kenya", June 1993; UNHCR, "Kenya Fact Sheet", 26 May 1993).

However, refugees continue to face very serious security problems, especially Somalis in camps in the east of the country.  The deployment of international forces in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia has driven armed Somali bandits into the border areas.  The bandits enter refugee camps, attack refugees and loot warehouses (UNHCR, "Kenya Fact Sheet", 26 May 1993).

In January, at least 18 people, including several Kenyan guards, were killed in cross-border raids when armed bandits attacked refugee camps in search of food and vehicles (UNHCR Update on Refugee Developments in Africa, 20 January 1993).  There were armed attacks on relief vehicles in two separate incidents in May (UNHCR, "Kenya Fact Sheet", 26 May 1993).

A particularly serious issue is the high incidence of rape of women refugees.  The women who are targeted are often those involved in trading who refuse to pay extortion money, while others are attacked when they are collecting firewood (UNHCR, "Information Bulletin, Kenya", June 1993).  Medecins sans Frontières (Belgium) withdrew most of its women workers from the north-eastern camps in May 1993 because of the high incidence of sexual assaults and threats to its staff (Reuter, 26 May 1993).

In April-May a mission from the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights visited the Dadaab area camps.  It found that "beatings of refugees as well as sexual assault and rape of refugee women are daily and nightly occurrences".  A rape counsellor told the Lawyers Committee that 107 cases referred to her in the previous two months were only the "tip" of the problem (Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Letter to William Kimalat, Permanent Secretary for National Security in the Office of the President, 11 May 1993).

The Lawyers Committee also stated that they had interviewed four women in Hagadera who reported being raped, one of whom "specifically accused Kenyan soldiers of the assault".

Refugees in all of the camps reported looting and beatings by bandits and the police.  Indeed, reports of such abuses are legion.  Many refugees said they did not report attacks to the Kenyan police because they either were afraid of retaliation or considered such complaints futile (Ibid.).

In some cases reported to the Lawyers Committee, Kenyan security personnel were alleged to have killed refugees.  In August 1992, 15 refugees were killed and their bodies burned.  Witnesses implicated the police in some of the killings.  On 3 March 1992, after bandits had killed four police the previous night, a detail of about 20 police fired unprovoked into a crowd of about 1,000 refugees gathering for food distribution in Dagahaley.  Three were killed and six seriously wounded (Ibid.)

Similar allegations of sexual abuse against refugees were reported in September by African Rights.  Its report claimed that thousands of Somali women had been raped.  In five nights spent by an African Rights representative in the camps, 22 women reported having been raped.  The majority of rapes were carried out by bandits, but many were committed by the police.  Women who reported rapes perpetrated by security officers were threatened with reprisals.  The report contains details of 16 rape cases, as well as evidence of killings of refugee men by the police.  African Rights was highly critical of both the Kenyan authorities and the UNHCR, which it said had "consistently failed" to follow up cases of abuse against refugees ("The Nightmare Continues... Abuses Against Somali Refugees in Kenya", September 1993).

A report published by Africa Watch in early October cited cases of rape of Somali boy refugees.  It said that police had taken statements but that there had been no follow-up action (Reuters, 4 October 1993).

The UNHCR branch office also made public its concerns about abuses against refugees.  There were 192 reported cases of rape between January and August 1993.  In early September police abducted a 16-year-old Somali girl from a refugee camp and repeatedly raped her for two nights (Inter Press Service, 11 September 1993; Le Monde, 23 October 1993).

Associated Press (12 September 1993) and Reuters (23 September 1993) both reported abuses against refugee women.  The latter quoted a Kenyan official in Dadaab as saying that it was not Kenya's responsibility to investigate what happened in the camps - it was for Somalis to sort out among themselves.

In January 1993 the Kenyan Government asked the UNHCR to repatriate all the Somali, Ethiopian and Sudanese refugees in the country after a series of bandit attacks:

The number of refugees in Kenya has not only seriously compromised the security of this country but greatly outstretched the infrastructure and medical services (International Herald Tribune, 20 January 1993).

UNHCR responded:

While committed to finding a durable solution for the 416,000 refugees who have found sanctuary in Kenya, UNHCR's mandate will not allow it to be a party to the forced repatriation of refugees to areas where their lives could be at risk (UNHCR Update on Refugee Developments in Africa, 20 January 1993).

UNHCR also stressed that the majority of victims of bandit violence were the refugees themselves (Ibid.)

The Kenyan authorities promptly made clear that they would not return refugees forcibly (Financial Times, 21 January 1993).  UNHCR stated that it had asked governments involved in Operation Restore Hope (later UNOSOM) in Somalia to consider speeding up the deployment of forces to three areas along the Somalia-Kenya border to stop bandit raids (UNHCR Update on Refugee Developments in Africa, 20 January 1993).  At the same time the possibility has been mooted of deploying UN troops inside Kenya to protect the refugee camps (Reuter, 8 February 1993).  However, it is unclear what steps if any the Kenyan authorities have taken to address the problem of abuses against refugees by their own security personnel (Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, telephone interview, 2 July 1993).

7. CONCLUSION

Independent observers looking at Kenya from a variety of viewpoints have a bleak outlook for the coming months.  The economic situation remains unpromising, with galloping inflation and no growth expected this year (The Economist, 12 June 1993).  In May, President Moi made an international appeal for food aid to stave off a growing crisis (UNHCR, "Kenya Fact Sheet", 26 May 1993).  Corruption continues to bedevil economic management and popular opposition to government economic measures is growing (Indian Ocean Newsletter, 8 May 1993).

The post-election period has led, if anything, to greater restrictions on the government's political critics (Article 19, "Kenya: Continued Attacks on the Independent Press", 31 May 1993) and no apparent let-up in ethnic violence in the west of the country (NCCK, "The Clashes Update", April 1993).  More than 100,000 citizens - and perhaps as many as 300,000 - are still displaced in their own country (UNDMT, May 1993; Africa Watch, November 1993)  Muslim grievances in the Coast Province look increasingly explosive.  No effective steps have been taken to ensure security of refugees (Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, 11 May 1993).

If there is any common denominator it is the increasingly ethnic nature of Kenyan politics, something which was noted during the general election campaign.  For example, even the May 1993 general strike had an ethnic aspect, with the trade union leadership in the hands of officials who had hitherto been KANU loyalists but who come from the Luhya ethnic group, which is out of favour (Indian Ocean Newsletter, 8 May 1993)  The government describes this ethnic division as an inevitable consequence of the multi-party system, which it opposed all along.  The opposition accuses the government of orchestrating ethnic sentiments in order to divide and rule (Society, 1 March 1993). 

It is clear that the government is increasingly guided by a federalist conception ("majimboism") which, whether deliberately or not, contributes to this division of political parties along ethnic lines.  Each district or ethnic community is assigned its "own" political party - in practice the ruling party.  Those at risk, inevitably, are those groups who are largely excluded from government, including substantial blocks of Kenya's population: the Kikuyu, the Luos and the Luhya in the Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western Provinces, the Somalis in general and increasingly the Muslim community, which constitutes about a quarter of the population (Africa Confidential, 22 October 1993). 

Attacks on the Luo population in Coast Province from the end on November 1993 showed how this conception of ethnic and political exclusiveness was spreading, with disastrous consequences.  Several thousand Luos were driven from their homes (Associated Press, 1 December 1993; New African, February 1994).

Many sober observers are predicting that the violence will worsen.  New African headed a recent article on Kenya "Spectre of civil war" (January 1994).  Africa Confidential described a "new level of desperation in the Kikuyu farming community which could proivde fertile ground for an escalation of the violence in the Rift Valley".  The same newsletter commented: "While Moi tours the country denouncing the opposition for exploiting ethnic divisions, he turns a blind eye to the inflammatory words of Maitha and other Coast KANU leaders" (22 October 1993).  Two Africa Watch researchers wrote on their return from Kenya recently:

There is a growing atmosphere of hatred and suspicion between communities that have lived together peacefully for years....  The culture of violence which has taken root in Kenya raises the alarming possibility of a civil war..." (Africa Report, September/October 1993)

It seems inevitable that Kenya is in for a long period of violence and social unrest.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Africa Confidential [London], "A murderous majimboism", 22 October 1993

Africa Events [London], "War of nerves", June 1993

Africa Report [New York], "Divide and Rule", September/October 1993

Africa Watch, Kenya: Taking Liberties, New York, July 1991

__Seeking Refuge, Finding Terror: The Widespread Rape of Somali Women Refugees on North Eastern Kenya, 4 October 1993

__  Divide and Rule: State-sponsored Ethic Violence in Kenya", November 1993

African Rights, The Nightmare Continues... Abuses Against Somali Refugees in Kenya, September 1993

Agence France Presse, "Church editor arrested", 31 May 1993

__"Radical Moslem leader rearrested", 2 June 1993

__"Reporter, churchman arrested on way to sealed off Kenya clash areas", 10 September 1993

__"Netherlands may call for UN probe into Kenya clashes", 12 September 1993

__"Kenyan opposition figure charged with visiting closed areas", 23 September 1993

__   "Sixty-one arrested in connection with tribal clashes in Kenya", 27 September 1993

__   "Group to 'protect' Africans from Arabs formed in Kenya coast", 27 September 1993

__"One feared dead, 30 injured in Kenyan by-election", 22 December 1993

__"Kenyan opposition party wins by-election", 23 December 1993

Amnesty International, "Kenya: Sedition charges and threats to safety of 2 environmentalists", 5 March 1993, (IFEX)

__Urgent Action bulletins, 21 September, 29 September, 11 October, 25 October, 19 November, 26 November, 10 December, 15 December 1993

Article 19, International Centre Against Censorship, "Kenya: Continued attacks on the independent press", London, 31 May 1993

__"Kenya: Shooting the messenger", 29 October 1993

Associated Press, "Somali refugee rape victims may finally get attention", 12 September 1993

__"10,000 people displaced by ethnic clashes", 1 December 1993

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Kenya: COTU leader denied bail", 7 May 1993

__"Kenya: official figures of those killed and displaced in 1991-2 ethnic clashes", 7 May 1993

__"Kenya: tension in Nakuru following attacks on kiosks and Asia-owned shops", 12 May 1993

__"Kenya: Nakuru calm after three days of rioting; Molo MP appears in court", 13 May 1993

__"Provincial Commissioner says local council demolished kiosks in Nakuru", 14 May 1993

__"Kenya: Balala released on bail", 31 May 1993

__"KANU official opposed to Islamic party leader freed on bail", 2 June 1993

The Christian Science Monitor [Boston], "Kenyan Fights Slow Election Drive", 19-25 June 1992

__"Inflation Soars, Investors Leave As Kenyan Corruption Takes Toll", 26 February-4 March 1993

__"Tribal Clashes in Kenya Continue",  27 September 1993

Church of the Province of Kenya, "Curbing of the Freedom of Association in Kenya", no date

Commonwealth Observer Group, "The Presidential, Parliamentary and Civic Elections in Kenya", London, 1993

The Daily Telegraph [London], "Sacked workers are reinstated", 7 May 1993

__"Moi accepts economic reforms to secure aid", 18 May 1993

__"Kenyan repression may rebound on Moi", 22 May 1993

The Economist [London], "If Kenya goes...", 12 June 1993

Economist Intelligence Unit, "Kenya" Country Report No. 2, London, 1992

__"Kenya" Country Report No. 4, London, 1992

The Guardian [London], "Mombasa riots", 26 May 1992

__"Kenyan Islamic leader charged", 22 July 1992

__"Cry of foul as defectors join Moi", 16 March 1993

__"Kenyan police arrest Odinga", 7 April 1993

__"Death toll mounts in tribal wars", 28 April 1993

__"Kenya foreign aid resumed despite graft and violence", 24 November 1993

The Financial Times [London], "Catholic church rounds on Moi", 23 March 1992

__"Moi's new cabinet fails to inspire foreign confidence", 14 January 1993

__"Kenya reassures UN over fate of refugees", 21 January 1993

__"Moi suspends parliament after clashes", 28 January 1993

__"Kenya abandons the straight and narrow of reform", 24 March 1993

__"Bank to resume Kenyan aid", 22 April 1993

__"Kenya asks donors for 'substantial' support", 23 November 1993

__"Kenya reaches Paris Club debt deal", 26 January 1994

The Independent [London], "Violence mars poll in Kenya", 28 December 1992

__"The deal that Kenya deserves", 4 January 1993

__"Kenyan agreement collapses before it starts", 8 January 1993

__"Democrat fears for her life in Kenya", 8 March 1993

__"Kenya replaces Chief Justice", 2 April 1993

__"Kenyan arrests", 7 April 1993

__"Export scam robs Kenya of millions", 8 June 1993

__"Odinga's death leaves Kenya opposition leaderless", 22 January 1994

Indian Ocean Newsletter [Paris], "Kenya: Under the surface of a general strike", 8 May 1993

__"Kenya: Fuel shortage once again", 15 May 1993

International Herald Tribune [Paris], "Kenya Frees Last Political Prisoners", 20 January 1993

__"Kenya Wants to Deport Refugees", 20 January 1993

International Human Rights Law Group, "Facing the Pluralist Challenge: Human Rights and Democratization in Kenya's December 1992 Multi-Party Elections", Washington D.C., November 1992

Inter Press Service, "Kenya: Ethnic violence flares up again", 13 January 1993, (NEXIS)

__  "Kenya: Ethnic violence comes to town", 14 May 1993, (NEXIS)

___  "Kenya police accused of rape in refugee camps", 11 September 1993

Government of Kenya, "Kenya's General Election, 29 December", London, 1 February 1993

Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Human Rights in Kenya and Malawi, New York, 23 June 1993

__Letter from Arthur C. Helton to William Kimalat, Permanent Secretary for National Security in the Office of the President, 11 May 1993

Le Monde [Paris], "Kenya: plusieurs blessés lors de manifestations islamistes", 23 May 1993

__"Des centaines de réfugiées somaliennes violées et laissées à l'abandon", 23 October 1993

The Nairobi Law Monthly, "Majimboism and Ethnic Clashes in Kenya Today", May 1993

The Nairobi Weekly, "Uproar over Bonchari", 30 May 1993

__"Islamic fundamentalism Rock Kenyan Coast", 30 May 1993

The Nation [Nairobi], "Balala held again over death order", 3 June 1993

__"MP fights off CID men at Parliament", 10 June 1993

__"Clashes: Bishop censures police", 15 June 1993

__"60 'held for political Nairobi, 15 June 1993

__"Three killed in Wajir clashes", 23 June 1993

__"'Nation' barred from zone", 22 September 1993

__"Police fail to take Koigi to court a second time", 22 September 1993

National Council of Churches of Kenya, "Report of Task Force", Nairobi, June 1992

__"The Clashes Update", Nairobi, April 1992

New African [London], "Spectre of civil war", January 1994

__"Mombasa in ferment", February 1994

The People [Nairobi], "The Balala-Maitha controversy", 30 May-5 June 1993

Reuters, "Britain suggests UN troops for Northern Kenya", 8 February 1993

__"MSF pulls women staff out of Somali camps in Kenya", 26 May 1993

__"Kenya court sends firebrand Moslem to psychiatrist", 3 June 1993, (NEXIS)

__"Poor harvests mean food shortages likely", 9 June 1993

__"More than 5,000 Kenyan refugees cross into Ethiopia", 14 June 1993

__"Moi pledges crackdown on ethnic strife", 4 September 1993

__"Rape, beatings and robbery - a tale of refugee life", 23 September 1993

Society [Nairobi], "The Arrow of God", 1 March 1993

__"Palace Revolt", 1 March 1993

__"Dirty Tricks",  12 April 1993

__"A Monster Returns", 12 April 1993

__"Muslims Marginalised", 26 April 1993

The Standard [Nairobi], "'Armed' Koigi arrested", 20 September 1993

The Times [London], "Tribal war opens split in Kenya party leadership", 20 March 1992

__"Opposition accused by Moi of pushing Kenya into civil war",  2 January 1993

Tribal Clashes Resettlement Volunteer Service, "Tribal (Political) Clashes", Nairobi, ND

United Nations Disaster Management Team, "Mission to the areas of Western Kenya affected by Ethnic Clashes", Nairobi, May 1993

UNHCR, Information Bulletin, Geneva, 12 February 1993

UNHCR, Information Bulletin, Nairobi, June 1993

UNHCR, Kenya Fact Sheet, Geneva, 26 May 1993

UNHCR Update on Refugee Developments in Africa, Geneva, 20 January 1993

U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1992, "Kenya", Washington D.C., 1993

[1] FORD is the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy, which in 1992 split into two separate parties.

Search Refworld

Countries