Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Elgon – stay away

One area of Kenya you don't want to be wandering around in at the moment is Mount Elgon. The Sabaot Land Defence Force are a particularly unpleasant gang of thugs – whose original grievances about land-grabbing and resettlement have been muddied by post-electoral reprisals and counter-reprisals – but the Kenyan military's clumsy intervention and clear evidence of abuses by legitimate government forces needs to be exposed. The Human Rights Watch report makes chilling reading: there's a sense that the armed forces think they'll get away with murder while the world is watching Kibaki and Odinga, and if anyone notices, the even worse atrocities committed by the SDLF will cover for them.

1 comment:

  1. Update: the second-in-command of the Sabaot Land Defence Force rebels has been killed in what sounds like a bloody shoot-out in the Elgon forest. The conflict may die down, but the whole thing is nightmarish mess and the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights wants an investigation into atrocities committed by the Kenyan armed forces. KNCHR has issued a graphically detailed
    report on the tortures inflicted on local residents picked up during the operation in the last few months.

    What the conflict means for any potential visitor to Mount Elgon National Park, and for the famous cave-visiting elephants and other wildlife up there, is anyone's guess.