More than 70 thousand people have now been forced to flee, as Kenya’s post-election violence threatens to explode out of control. Gangs loyal to President Kibaki and his defeated opponent clashed in townships around Nairobi and across the country. Hundreds died as people vented their anger at what they see as the President’s stolen victory.
In the west, thousands of Kibaki supporters sought refuge in churches as vigilante gangs roamed the streets. 30 people were reported burned alive in the town of Eldoret. Western Kenya is the heartland of the opposition to the President. Most of the victims are thought to be from tribes loyal to him.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga pleaded for an end to the brutality: “This killing must stop. It must stop,” he said. “However illegitimate, President Kibaki is in power, and these people listen only to him. So he has the responsibility to protect the lives of the people of this country.”
All over Kenya the violence has forced people to pack up and leave. Their homes and their lives have been destroyed; they have nowhere to go. Despite international appeals for calm, Kenya seems to be marching inexorably towards all-out civil war.