Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 October 2014, 16:03 GMT

Kenya: Tensions and/or conflicts between the Kisii and Kipsigis tribes, currently and during the 1997 elections; instances of violent demonstrations during the 1997 elections leading to the burning of Kisii houses by the Kipsigis or other tribes; compensation for the Kisii; instances of confiscation of Kisii property and land in Kisii town by the government or other tribes before the 1997 elections; return of this property and land to the Kisii (1992-2002)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 16 May 2002
Citation / Document Symbol KEN38935.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Kenya: Tensions and/or conflicts between the Kisii and Kipsigis tribes, currently and during the 1997 elections; instances of violent demonstrations during the 1997 elections leading to the burning of Kisii houses by the Kipsigis or other tribes; compensation for the Kisii; instances of confiscation of Kisii property and land in Kisii town by the government or other tribes before the 1997 elections; return of this property and land to the Kisii (1992-2002), 16 May 2002, KEN38935.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be544.html [accessed 23 October 2014]
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.

While no mention of tensions or conflicts between the Kisii and Kispigis tribes could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate, the Kisii have been involved in disputes with members of other tribes.

Recent news articles have mentioned tensions between the Kisii and Maasai tribes (Africa News Service 13 Feb. 2002; BBC 22 Apr. 2001). For further information on the clashes between these tribes in 1997 please refer to KEN37431.E of 16 July 2001.

A 21 October 1997 Associated Press article reported that five people were killed and houses were burned in land skirmishes between the Kisii and Luo tribes in western Kenya. While land disputes had been occurring in the region for years, the approach of the general elections had "raised tensions" (ibid.).

No reports of demonstrations turning violent and leading to the burning of Kisii houses could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Several news articles reported on violence against the Kisii by members of the Kalenjin tribe, of which the Kipsigis are a member (AI 10 June 1998), and which is associated with the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) party (Daily Telegraph 1 May 1992), during the early months of 1992 (ibid.; BBC 20 Mar. 1992; Xinhua 18 Mar. 1992). While no reports of property or land being confiscated from the Kisii in Kisii town were found, Xinhua reported that clashes between the Kisii and Kalenjin tribes, which had been occurring in western Kenya since November 1991, "intensified" in March 1992 in Kisii town, and left five people dead (ibid.). The opposition group Forum for the Restoration of Democracy stated that a "private and personal" army called the Kalenjin Liberation Front, which was loyal to the president, was responsible for the clashes that had displaced thousands of people belonging to the Kikuyu, Kisii and Luo tribes from their homes in Molo (Daily Telegraph 1 May 1992).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Africa News Service. 13 February 2002. "Kenya: PC to Tour Border Row District." (NEXIS)

Amnesty International (AI). 10 June 1998. (AFR 32/019/ 1998) "Kenya: Political Violence Spirals." [Accessed 15 May 2002]

Associated Press (AP). 21 October 1997. "Five Killed in Inter-Tribal Clashes Over Land." (NEXIS)

BBC. 22 April 2001. "Kenya: More Houses Burnt as Maasai-Kisii Ethnic Clashes Continue in West." (NEXIS)

_____. 20 March 1992. "Kenya in Brief: Nine KANU MPs Accuse Kalenjin Leadership of Fuelling Violence." (NEXIS)

The Daily Telegraph [London]. 1 May 1992. Scott Peterson. "Moi's Tribe Goes on the Rampage: After Years of Peace, Ethnic Violence Has Flared in Kenya." (NEXIS)

The Xinhua News Agency. 18 March 1992. "700 People Arrested Over Tribal Clashes in Western Kenya." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential 1997-2002.

Africa Research Bulletin 1997-2002.

Africa South of the Sahara 2000.

IRB Databases

NEXIS

US Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2001.

WNC

Internet sites including:

Africa Online

Amnesty International

Human Rights Watch

Kenya Human Rights Commission

Minorities at Risk Project

UNDP

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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