In-depth: Kenya's post election crisis

KENYA: Introduction

The Kenyan president and the prime Minister share a light moment during their trip to rift valley to aid in the resettlement of the IDPs in the post election crisis, Eldoret, Kenya 2008
NAIROBI, 7 January 2008 (IRIN) - Kenya suffered its worst humanitarian crisis since independence following the December 30 results of a hotly-contested presidential election. Opposition leader Raila Odinga and his supporters rejected the declared victory of incumbent Mwai Kibaki, alleging it was the result of rampant rigging. Protests degenerated into widespread violence as decades of economic frustration and ethnic rivalry spiraled out of control. In the days immediately after the results were announced, gangs of youths blocked Kenya’s main roads and set fire to hundreds of homes of perceived ‘outsiders’. In all, more than 1,200 people were killed and some 600,000 displaced into temporary camps, with an equal number seeking refuge with friends or relatives. Agricultural activity was seriously hampered as farmers moved away from their fields, posing long-terms risks for the country’s food security – already threatened by drought and soaring fertiliser prices. The education and health sectors were also compromised by the large-scale displacement of professionals.

IRIN has provided in-depth, multi-media coverage and analysis of the crisis from the outset, through the formation of a coalition government in February to the subsequent recovery phase, including the resettlement of IDPs and the reluctance of many of the displaced to return home for fear of fresh attacks.

For additional Kenyan reporting please click on the following links:

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"Last year we had plans…" (multimedia)
Around 600,000 people have been left homeless by the violence and chaos following Kenya's disputed elections in December 2007. 

Audio Slideshow

Listen and View
Damaris Mumbi fled her home town of Kapsabet in Rift Valley province, when angry neighbours burnt her house and shop, and threatened to kill her family and anyone else from tribes associated with President Kibaki.

Damaris is now sheltering with her children in a tented camp at a church compound in Runda, a suburb of the capital, Nairobi. Like many thousands of ordinary Kenyans, Damaris' life has been shattered by her ordeal. She describes her sense of utter hopelessness.

(This audio slide show is an IRIN pilot. If you experience any technical difficulties in viewing or listening, please inform us at

Nancy Wanjiru: "Violence more out of jealousy than tribalism" (audio)
Listen to the audio | full report

Pastor Chased away by his own congregation (audio)
Listen to the audio | full report


Resettlement of IDPs begins in Rift Valley
Compensation, fear of attacks keeping IDPs in Rift Valley camps
IDPs remain cautious as leaders preach peace
Reconciliation key to returns
Talks deadlock could slow IDP returns - officials
Too scared to go home
Census plans on track despite displacement
Tension high as hundreds flee clash-torn Laikipia
Reconciliation key to returning home, say IDPs
Urban displaced still looking for a home
Focus shifting to recovery, resettlement of IDPs
Friends united
Nowhere to go


Security improves in Mt Elgon but fear remains
Tracing roots of conflict in Laikipia
Call for lasting solution to insecurity in western region
Armed and dangerous
Violence unabated in Mt Elgon district
Clashes, tension "routine" in troubled Molo


Human Rights Watch urges inquiry into post-election violence
State failed to protect citizens during unrest - UN report
"Real work" begins after political deal


Making ends meet in post-election Samburu
Agencies appeal for funds as new government named
UN humanitarian envoy winds up visit as mediation talks enter "crucial" week
Kenya crisis highlights cluster approach complications

Hear our Voices
Teresia Wamwitha:"We fled our home with only the clothes we had on"
Rosemary Kuria: "These children belong here, where else can I take them?"
Joseph Lotaba:"I don't understand why my home was burnt"
Roselyne Anyango: "If there is no peace, we Kenyans are going to die"
Peter Okoth:“We are threatened by the same people we treated for their injuries”
John Mbugua and David Chege-Waweru share their experiences of the post election violence
Angela: "My children need to start school but we're stuck in the camp"
Lucy Awino: “I pray that things will go back to how they were before”
Two sides: Mary and Susan are both displaced in the same area - but with different stories


Displaced women “still facing threat of sexual violence”

Healing the children

Classroom crush


Spreading the word of hate

NAIROBI, 22 January 2008 (IRIN) - Inflammatory statements and songs broadcast onvernacular radio stations and at party rallies, text messages, emails, posters andleaflets have all contributed to post-electoral violence in Kenya, according toanalysts. Hundreds of homes have been burnt, more than 600 people killed and 250,000displaced.
full report

The Rift Valley’s deadly land rows

NAIROBI, 18 January 2008 (IRIN) - Kenya's breadbasket Rift Valley Province has experiencedsome of the worst ethnic clashes since December's disputed polls. But there is nothingnew to the violence in this volatile region.
full report

Photo: Julius Mwelu/IRIN
 View Related Photo Essays
 • Kenya's Displaced
 • General Elections 2007
It’s the economy, stupid (not just “tribalism”)

09 January 2008 (IRIN), The wave of violence that engulfed Kenya after the presidential election has been widely described as tribal or ethnic in nature. But analysts in the east African country point to basic economics as the true cause of the unrest.
full report

Health workers grappling with conflict-related sexual violence

15 January 2008 (IRIN), As Kenya counts the human and material cost of the political violence, hospitals are reporting an increase in reported rapes during the immediate post-election period, spurring the government and health organisations to find ways to treat these cases as well as protect the displaced from further incidents of sexual violence.
full report

 Video on the Post Election Violence - From Ecstasy to Agony
 Documentary on Nairobi's Kibera - Slum Survivors
Background - Key documents

 Kenya dialogue public statement: 14 Feb 08
 Kenya dialogue public statement: 4 Feb 08
 Kenya dialogue public statement: 1 Feb 08
 Kenya dialogue agenda
Recent Reports

IDPs leave city for "ancestral homes"
Healthcare threatened by political crisis
University's re-opening a lesson in peace amid diversity
Crisis ripple effects felt across the region
Violence slowing down humanitarian effort
No place to call home
Officials grapple with implications of sending IDPs "home"
Insecurity leaves crops rotting
'Good Samaritans' chip in to help unrest victims
Jobs another casualty in post-election violence
IDP children falling through protection cracks
Campuses stay closed amid concern over student protests
Nakuru residents join displaced camp in their own town as violence erupts
Fears over rising IDP numbers in Mt Elgon
Mediation effort “fails to stem violence, tension”
Massive displacement hurting education in the Rift Valley
Concern over Molo IDPs as camp closures continue
IDPs face uncertain future as plan to close city camp gets under way
Police under fire over live rounds
Polls turned neighbours into enemies
Political unrest sparks food insecurity, livelihood losses
North feels pinch - after-effects of poll clashes hit northern Kenya
Homeless in the homelands - the perils of IDP evacuation
More Kenyans flee - to Uganda
Slums hit hard - Humanitarian needs and response in Nairobi's slums
Diaspora clicks in - Kenyan internet users abroad send phone credit to trapped family members
Diaspora clicks in - Kenyan internet users abroad send phone credit to trapped family members

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