Herbert E. Douglass, Th.D.

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Caesar Wamilika's Report on Kenya

From: Herb Douglass <herbdouglass@sbcglobal.net>
Sent: Saturday, January 5, 2008 9:29:41 PM
Subject: FW: Kenya -- The Nightmare of Ethnic War
 

This late report on the mess in Kenya, a relatively quiet country, tells the inside scoop. Sad to think this is 2008 and not the tragedies of some decades ago typical of surrounding countries as well.  

 

Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2008 11:35 AM

 

Dear Talkback Forum,

I wish to share with you the terror and nightmare we are going through
of Ethnic War. I am emailing from Baraton and the situation is bad! It
all began soon after lection results were announced! Then several
groups of community around broke into war songs. They broke into the
shopping center next to the university and looted all the shops that
belong to Kikuyus and Kisiis. Then they broke into rented off campus
houses of students.

A crowd of about 1,000 people surged to the university gate and wanted
to storm the university. They demanded that all Kikuyus, Kambas, Meru,
and Kisii people leave the university within two hours. That was the
only way to save the university from being stormed. They remained at
the gate until it would be seen done. About three armed policemen
arrived and spent time negotiating with the crowd. Finally the police
advised us to evacuate the named ethnic groups. We put the faculty and
students numbering about 250 into three university vehicles and were
taken to Kapsabet Police station under police escort.  They are still
there as at now. A few of us are on campus!

The Division tried to evacuate those from Kapsabet Police Station to
Eldoret international Airport but the next road block was a
no-go-zone. In spite of the police escort, the university buses had to
return to Kapsabet. The is no way anyone can get out. One baraton
group is holed up at Kapsabet police station while faculty members
from Luo and Luhyia community, international workers and students are
holed up within the campus. Those at Kapsabet have no food or water
The worst fear is not so much of food but possibility of police
station being stormed. The police are few and overstretched.

We have been having threats a almost daily at campus. On one occasion,
we had to give out a bull for them to slaughter and guarantee us
peace. Then they came and demanded milk which we also gave. Then we
succeed in pleading with the militia to allow us transport food to
those at police station. They allowed us first day and we transported
it on varsity tractor. It took three hours to go through road blocks
to reach Kapsabet which is only 15 kilometers away.

I attended a meeting yesterday with commanders and militia leaders who
came to meet university administration. We confirmed that Militia had
had their own meeting and resolved that on humanitarian ground,
faculty with kids and pregnant mothers be allowed to return to campus.
They also told us students of other communities should come back. It
sounded good news. We shock hands. We asked them to transport food to
Kapsabet. They agreed and used their own vehicles. But the food never
arrived. The militia who were escorting the food we beaten and
vehicles destroyed. The fact that you negotiate with one militia
group, remember the next and several others groups have their own
policy. It is like you need visa to cross several of them. We have
about 130 Kisii students and workers stranded at police station but
cant leave for home. I know of Mr Obuchi whose wife is pregnant! I
know of Pr Elijah Njagi and wife, Nyarangi and wife, etcThey are
sleeping in the grass and some in university bus parked at the police
station. There is no food and I have never witnessed this.

As I write this email, have just been informed that a crowd came to
university gate 15 min ago and demanded that we go out and join them
in mass demonstration in the street. That means we shall be put on
front line to meet the armed police. University PRO has negotiated
with them and the crowd has now chained the university main gate,
locked it and gone with the key. No vehicle an come in or go out. We
pray that they don't come to force us out.

It is a nightmare to meet them. All of them are armed with machetes,
rungus, arrows and bows. Some are drunk and others baying for blood. I
have never seen this! We  are fear frozen and prayer takes a new
meaning! My home is 100 km from here but how do you pass those road
blocks? We have Luo workers who want to get out but we hear the Kisii
are grouping to fight Luos on Kisii/Luo border. We are boxed in. The
road blocks are manned by not less than 500 people. The road block at
Cheptrit has a thousand youth manning it. Police told us that Mosoriot
has ten thousand worriers camping there. It is a no-go-zone.

We have no where to buy food, no calling cards available, no fuel! But
we are finding a new meaning in prayer. I hope I can keep updating you
of what is happening at Baraton. You can get from internet what could
be happening in other parts like Eldoret, Kakamega and Kisumu.

I have to leave for a crisis meeting to try and avert any attack on
the campus. I hope internet access will remain open so that I can keep
updating you. I can see helicopter flying over us but seems to be
passing again! American Embassy called yesterday for the sake of their
citizens. This is a no-go-zone! We need to be evacuated from here!
Promises of safety from some militia groups cannot be trusted. You
need to be here to feel it. Whatever the political argument, it is a
nightmare! The ground issue is not how you voted but ethnic
affiliation. Some are using it to settle personal scores! There were
some leaflets from one group saying that all non-Nandis get ready to
leave. Other Militia groups say no. But God still keeps us safe!

Caesar Wamalika
 University of Eastern Africa, Baraton
 14 Mwalimu Drive
 P.O. Box 2500, ELDORET 30100,
 KENYA, EAST AFRICA.
 Tel.: 254-734-429- 326 (Mobile

 



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