26 January 2013

Kenya: Wareng DC Dismisses Report On IDPs

Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
Internally Displaced Persons (file photo): The government has been taken to task by the Human Rights Group for alleged favouritism of certain communities.

The government has dismissed a report by Human Rights Watch that said it was favouring the resettlement of IDPs from a certain community.

Wareng District Commissioner Seif Matata faulted the report, saying the government had not received any complaints from the IDPs. He said the government is using the list that has the names of all registered IDPs that was compiled after the 2007/8 post-election violence.

Last week, HRW released a report claiming the government was biased in its resettlement programme in the Rift Valley region. The report suggested that the discriminatory practice would likely stoke inter-ethnic tensions ahead of the March 4 elections.

The group said the research was carried out in Uasin Gishu and Nakuru counties late last year. "The Government is favouring one community over others in the allocation of homes, land and money for displaced people and this was causing anger and frustration in Rift Valley. These policies have exacerbated tensions in an area that is still recovering from serious election-related violence five year ago, and the tension could lead to violence again," said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director.

Local government officials, as well as community leaders and civil society activists, fear the government's policies have increased the chance for another round of election-related violence.

The group said it spent one week in each counties (Nakuru and Uasin Gishu) speaking with local government officials, police, tribal elders, civic groups, and communities from the larger dominant tribes as well as other communities.

The prevailing view of interviewees in both the counties including government officials was that the national government was favouring one displaced tribe at the expense of others.

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