Kenya Political Crisis

Oxfam continues to be extremely concerned about the outbreak of violence in Kenya following the disputed elections of 27 December.

The violence has left an estimated 500 people dead, and the Kenya Red Cross says around 250,000 people have been forced from their homes. Many others are sheltering in their homes with dwindling supplies of food and water.

Kenya has a highly developed network of local civil society groups which have quickly launched a range of relief and peacemaking initiatives. Oxfam staff there are working in coalition with national and international organizations, as well as church groups and cultural figures, all pushing for a peaceful solution to this crisis.

As an independent humanitarian and development organization, Oxfam is supporting these initiatives by Kenyan citizens which are aimed at helping those affected and bringing a peaceful outcome, independent of any party political affiliation.

To this end, Oxfam is giving financial support to a network of organizations called Peacenet which is campaigning for peaceful negotiations. We have also given a grant to the Kenya Red Cross to help them deliver aid to those affected by the crisis.

At the grass roots level, Oxfam staff are carrying out community reconciliation efforts. Oxfam's Peace and Reconciliation Officer Daniel Kiptugen is leading peace building initiatives in the western town of Eldoret.

While much of the violence has fallen along ethnic lines, Daniel and other staff say it is as much about extreme poverty and inequality as it is about tribal identity.

Read an interview with Oxfam's Peace and Reconciliation Officer Daniel Kiptugen.

4 January 2008