Wednesday, January 9, 2008

After-effects of poll clashes hit northern Kenya

Fw: Your daily Selection of IRIN Africa English reports, 1/8/2008

1 - KENYA: After-effects of poll clashes hit northern Kenya

GARISSA, 8 January (IRIN) - Post-election violence has affected northeastern Kenya's vital livestock trade and resulted in increased food prices and shortages, local traders said. Abdullahi Haji Mohamed said the livestock sector had been effectively paralysed because transportation outfits, concerned about security, have been unwilling to risk hiring their vehicles to deliver animals. The problems have left many parents concerned they will be unable to sell their animals and raise money for school fees. ''We are really suffering. all the attention is now focused in the conflict areas but we area also suffering in silence,'' Mohamed said. Families who fled fighting in other areas of the country have continued to arrive in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera, the main towns in the remote region. An estimated 255,000 people have been displaced countrywide. Dekha Abdinoor, who lived in Kibera, Nairobi's largest slum and centre of much of the capital's fighting, said she was forced to move with her four children after arsonists torched their house. ''I was staying in a two-roomed rental house where I also operated my business selling clothes, but it was burnt down by a group of protesting youths,'' she said from Bulla Iftin in Garissa. ''I only managed to save my children but everything, I mean everything - all household goods and the clothes for sale - were burnt, '' she said. Abdisalan Issack, who was on a vehicle heading to Mandera, had a similar experience after his electronics shop was razed in Kisumu. ''I have lost everything and I am now moving my family to Mandera. the government must assist us to restart our lives after the situation calms down,'' he said. Most violence erupted soon after the Electoral Commission of Kenya on 30 December announced that incumbent President Mwai Kibaki had won the poll. His opposition challenger Raila Odinga immediately rejected the result, citing alleged rigging in Kibaki's favour. Fartun Omar, whose weighing machine was stolen at the Garissa market by rowdy youths protesting the presidential results, said food prices have increased sharply and the majority of people have experienced problems buying new stock. She said that women had been most affected as they were targetted by looters who invaded the market. ''I now operate outside the market because my stall was pulled down. Most of my colleagues have closed business as they are afraid and because vegetables prices are very expensive,'' she added. na/sr[ENDS]© IRIN. All rights reserved. More humanitarian news and analysis:

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