Kenya: Ethnic violence and displacement in Tana River district; a sign of worse to come?
While the violence that erupted between the Pokomo and Orma tribes on 13 August in Tana River district, where at least 116 people have been killed and more than 12,000 displaced, is widely seen as a dispute over water and land, some analysts are concerned that it is also linked to the upcoming general elections in March next year.
The previous conflict that arose following the 2007 elections resulted in one thousand people being killed and 600,000 internally displaced, and there are now fears that the recent violence in Tana River is a forerunner for worse things to come. Tensions are thought to be further fuelled by recent boundary changes where many villages and locations have been shifted into different constituencies.
In response to the recent killings and displacement, the Kenyan government belatedly sent in paramilitary reinforcement and introduced a night curfew. The Assistant Minister for Development and Livestock, Dhadho Godhana, has further been sacked for allegedly inciting the violence.
The Kenyan Red Cross is responding by offering much needed food and non-food items, shelter, relief and health services to people affected by the conflict, most of who have settled in temporary camps. However, there are real concerns over the scarcity of medical supplies and staff.
For more information, visit the IDMC Kenya page
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Philippines: more clashes in Maguindanao as 47,000 people remain displaced
More displacements have taken place in the Philippines' troubled Mindanao region following clashes between the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the breakaway group the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). It is believed that the fighting may have been caused by a land dispute near the town of Datu Saudi, forcing dozens of families to flee their homes for safety.
These events follow a wave of displacements in early August when up to 60,000 people were forced to flee their homes in the wake of attacks by the BIFF on the Philippines Armed Forces (AFP) in Maguindanao and North Cotabato province. In total, some 47,000 people are still believed to be displaced in both provinces, the majority living with host families.
Seven other municipalities in Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces continue to record high numbers of IDPs . Assistance to the displaced has primarily been provided by local and provincial governments with support from aid agencies, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Food Programme. According to the UN Protection Cluster, as of early September the main assistance needs concerned drinking water, toilets, food, shelter and protection. IDPs in host families, and the host families themselves, remained largely un-assisted.
For more information, visit the IDMC Philippines page