Violence from past Kenyan elections haunts victims

Victims of 2007-8 post-election violence refuse to take part in upcoming Kenyan elections this August

Violence from past Kenyan elections haunts victims

World Bulletin / News Desk

Kenya will head to the general elections in 38 days. But for victims of post-election violence from 2007-08 that took more than 1,000 lives, the upcoming elections will just open wounds that are yet to heal.

Jane from Mount Elgon area near the Kenyan border, sits alone in a corner, after attending a conference held by rights groups for rape survivors like her. She refuses to give her last name for fear of stigma attached.

Her hands are wrapped around a cup of warm water -- maybe because of the cold July Nairobi weather. She looks down the window of the 8-story hotel building where the conference was held, lost in thought. There is a scar on her left cheek running down to her chin – scars that I later learnt she had got from the post-election violence that rocked Kenya.

Violence that erupted after elections in 2007 included ethnic killings by the ruling and opposition parties, and the use of force by police in crackdown against protesters.

More than 1,000 people were killed, 600,000 displaced and at least 900 cases of sexual violence were reported, according to the Human Rights Watch.

Jane says she does not plan to vote in the upcoming elections, nor will she ever take part in any other elections. She is not alone.

“Together with the friends that I have made after my ordeal, we agreed never to take part in Kenyan elections if the same people who we vote will come and rape us and maim us. No I refuse,” she says as she agrees to tell her story.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Temmuz 2017, 11:30