Human Rights Watch is demanding that Kenyan authorities urgently investigate allegations of threats, coercion and intimidation between community members in Naivasha area.
In a report compiled after Human Rights Watch interviewed Naivasha residents, many of them described threats and intimidation between community members, “but said that police have failed to investigate the threats, prosecute the culprits or protect residents.”
Naivasha was among the areas with the worst 2007-2008 post-election violence, in which inter-ethnic rivalries over land and power, stoked by politicians, left over 1,100 people dead.
Some who claimed to be opposition supporters in Naivasha said that they have begun to pack up their belongings to flee the area out of fear of a return to ethnic conflict. As registered voters in Naivasha, they would not be able to vote in other parts of the country.
During the violence that followed the 2007 presidential election, more than 650,000 people were displaced across Kenya.
Naivasha sub-county in Nakuru county was hit hard, with supporters of the then-ruling party beating, killing, and forcefully circumcising opposition party supporters. The 2007 attacks and killings were never adequately investigated or prosecuted. One woman in the town of Nakuru told Human Rights Watch, “When elections come, old wounds are revived and people turn on each other when politicians incite them.”