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Gay Kenyan In IDP Camp Recounts Violence: Part 1

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image Old Men at Eldoret IDP Camp

Over 1,300 killed, 650,000 displaced in 2007 PEV

‘When they came to attack us, I knew they would find me soon. I had been warned by some of the youths over the way I dress and walk and many called me names. To them, this was their chance to teach me a lesson’

So begins the account of James Kinyua* a 25 year old Kenyan who lives in the Eldoret IDP camp.

The town of Eldoret, Kenya, sits one mile above sea level and is considerably cooler temperature-wise than Nairobi.  The town is about a five hour’s drive from Nairobi and two hours from Nakuru. Most of Eldoret’s residents are from the Kalenjin tribe, while 99% of the IDPs in all of the camps are Kikuyus. 

James Kinyua studied at Rosemary Primary school in Eldoret town before entering Eldoret High school in 2003-2006. It was during this time that he discovered he was gay.

‘We were once caught in school by some students in bed with another male boy. We were first beaten and then reported to the school principal who expelled us. We only came later to do our KCSE.’

 At home his single mother worked as at Rivertex Textile Company, a former Government parastatal that is now a shadow of its former glory. His father died when he was in primary school.

‘My mother lost her job during the retrenchment period and she was forced to start selling charcoal and foods stuffs to sustain me and my siblings. I have one brother and one sister.’

Life continued until December 2007 when Kenya went for general elections. Soon after the announcement of the presidential results were made known that the incumbent, Mwai Kibaki, leader of the Party of National Unity (PNU) had defeated Raila Odinga, head of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), violence broke out.


Aerial view of Eldoret IDP Camp (photo, Manoocher Deghati/IRIN)

In early 2008, an estimated 650,000 Kenyans were displaced and a further 1,300 lost their lives during two months of intense communal violence after the announcement of presidential and parliamentary election results.

James Kinyua recalls the incident vividly.

‘Like everyone else we were shocked but what shocked us more was that now we felt insecure and not safe. Most of our neighbors were Kalenjins and we were Kikuyu and there was tension.’

His first recollection of skirmishes was on December 31 when a neighboring village was torched and members of the Kikuyu tribe killed. ‘We knew we were next.’

One day, a neighbor friend warned him of imminent danger. He told him that ‘Kikuyus will soon be wiped out of Rift Valley’ John recounts how his friends started to disassociate themselves. Amidst all this the Kikuyu families in his area met to discuss what they would do.

‘I can remember the men of our tribe meeting at a one of my friend’s houses late at night to discuss what was going on. Many were worried. We were there to keep watch and to look out for spies from the Kalenjins.’

At this planning meeting, it was agreed that children and wives and of all the Kikuyus would be moved to other areas or come to Nairobi where it was a bit safe. Old and sick men and women were also to be moved. The men would then arm themselves ready for attack.

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (3 posted):

senorita doroda on 26/08/2011 12:39:00
Evryt humanbeing has rights and should be respected.punishing our dear brothers is not a solution to the issue of homosexulity what we need is systems that are able to offer counseling to them.I feel strongly that all IDPS should be compensated.It is saddening that their ability to compensate the is diminishing by day because of the increasing numbers of fake IDPS who want to be compensated yet they were not affected.For ,more on fake
IDPS click onhttp://www.tusijisunde.com/2011/fake-idp-what-should-you-and-i-do/
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hosting on 10/09/2011 11:33:14
The post has been define the Gay Kenyan IDP camp recount that can be know that in this camp because basically it has arrangement in the camp for gay so that can be check health and give the all information.
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cole haan outlet on 20/09/2011 07:03:51
I would suggest a good place for you, there are fashion items
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