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Friday, March 14, 2008

Chaos in Mount Elgon: The Little Known Inside Story

Kumekucha Exclusive:
Yours truly managed to get somebody behind the scenes and deep inside the military operation that is going in right now in the Mount Elgon area. Our man ventured where no journalist or aid worker has reached. Here is their fascinating report complete with photographs
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Mt Elgon and IDPs


The Mount Elgon fighting is actually 2 battles in one. There is one tribal battle that spreads across from Uganda to Swam, Salama and Endebess on the Kenyan side and the Kapsakwony fighting that is about land and in particular the Chebeyuk settlement scheme that has been in contention since the early seventies.

The reason the Government is finding it so difficult to bring the fighting under control is that the real perpetrators are not in Kenya.

Lets clarify this. The Sabaot have 5 clans. The Bok clan. There are also the Bongowek, Ndorobo, Soy and Sebeii. The Sebeii are mainly in Uganda and lay claim to the Endebess, Swam, Salama region. This is the root cause of the fighting on this flank of the mountain. The main occupants from the Kenya side are the Bukusu. It is they that fill up most of the IDP camp in Endebess the enterprising Sebeii taking advantage of the the post election violence to launch their own offensive.

On the other side, a sub clan of the Bok, from which all the Mp’s and Councillors in Mt Elgon constituency come from is very powerful. This is the sub clan from which both the current and former MP come from. But the most dangerous thing about the Bok is their sheer capacity for violence and the fact that they have now moved from fighting for land to extortion of money. In fact the other clans are being held ransom by the Bok.

The real face behind the Mt Elgon killings is one ‘Liabon’ Jason Ngwoso Jason Ngwoso Psongoywo who lives in Uganda. This is the leader of the Sabaot Land Defence Forces. The fact that this man controls operations from outside Kenya is part of the reason why the army and police cannot control the violence. This man is described by the Provincial administration as a ‘devil’ and from the stories about him on the ground one understands why.

Official sources told Kumekucha that when one finds the bodies of some of the victims, even hardened soldiers are traumatized. Ngwoso makes the Bok youth perform ritualized killings to strengthen them and cheapen human life. They cut of hands, private parts and gouge out eyes. They also remove internal body parts such as liver. Another reason why army and police are not keen to engage these folk. These guys make Mungiki look like child's play.


They are bold enough to call Police and army commanders just to say hi. They even sometimes call and say ‘I can see you, you are walking along such and such street’ of course they have spies all over the place. They ‘see’ the police or army from way off. They can then evaluate the size and firepower and are gone long before the army can mobilize

The Provincial administration even have the Liabons mobile number but to touch him means to cross into Uganda and in the meantime the carnage that will be unleashed by his boys will be terrifying. They say they have identified many of the killers (Bok) and are now using the army to flush them (kill them) out.

Some staff from Medicins sans Frontier based in Endebess told Kumekucha how 10 days ago they went up the mountain on a medical programme and came across a household of 13 Bukusu that had been slaughtered by the Sebeii who also practice ritualized killings.. One, a pregnant woman had her womb slit open. The fetus had been removed and sliced into little pieces.


IDP’s

In most of the camps that is, Nakuru (Afraha and Showground), Showground Kitale and Endebess and Turbo the majority of the displaced do not want to risk going home yet.

The thing to remember about the camps is that despite the majority of IDP’s being Kikuyu, there are Kalenjin, Luo, Luhya, Turkana, Kisii and Maasai as well. For instance, Afraha in Nakuru (928) is mostly Luo and Luhya while showground is 99% Kikuyu (13,000)

Endebess is 95% Bukusu (4,000) while Kitale showground is a mix ( up to 20,000) and Turbo (2-3000) is mainly Kikuyu.

Conditions in the camp are very difficult and will be compounded by rain. The Kenya Red Cross have done a sterlinbg job in keeping these people alive. Also the UNHCR, Medicin sans frontiers, UNICEF who provide mobile schools and a number of other NGO’s.

Of course there are the usual anomalies such as jobless people who are not displaced register so they can get a place to stay and get free food. Amazingly enterprising Kenyas are taking advantage of the compensation programme (which is yet to officially kick off) and those doing badly (financially) have been known to set their own business and or homes alight and come to the camps then fill in compensation forms and claim far more than they had.

Ultimately the real problem with the IDP’s is where they will go. If they go back home to their farms they may be safe as long as the status quo holds. If Kibaki and Raila fall out, they will be killed the same day. The violence was planned in stages. Apparently what we witnessed was only phase one. Phase 2 was far worse had it come about. Major factories and government installations had been targeted. These would also include private firms owned by Asians and Somali businessmen. For instance, in Eldoret, Raiply and Brookside were phase 2.

The IDP from Western Kenya are more likely to go home sooner as the Luhya are not as hostile as the Kalenjin who have already started farming on IDPs land. In fact the feeling amongst the Kalenjin is that it's over. The Kikuyu have gone and we have our land back and life goes on. The Kalenjin militia can mobilize in hours and now they have guns (they have been buying them).

For instance, yesterday two IDPs went back to their homes in Nandi South. They were asked what they have come for and chased away with a warning never to return or they will be killed. Period.


More information from others on the ground in the Mount Elgon area.

Breaking News:

KTN did not air their usual 9 pm News today. A message flashing across the screen apologized and said that the station was having technical difficulties. Later the same flashing message said that even the 11 pm news would not be aired after all and news will resume tomorrow.

16 comments:

tnk said...

good job chris

pictures??

Anonymous said...

Yeah, thanks but where are the pics?

chris said...

Hi tnk,

I am working on it (i.e. the pictures).

Meanwhile please send me your email address. I somehow misplaced it even after sending you an email.

Use umissedthis at yahoo dot com

Sayra said...

Thanx Chris, this confirms what i had said here earlier. In my last article i wrote that in rift valley there would have been fights whether Raila won or not, and all i got were disses. Its widely believed that had Raila won things would have been cool in RV but that is not the case. The plans to get some of the communities out of the rift were planned along time ago. At that time the training of the militia was going on ... and serious blood oaths were taken right after Christmas ... that shows how serious these plans were, and that they had to be carried out.

Anonymous said...

Good work.

Kenya has been a country where looting and grabbing is a recognised and respected occupation.

All these killings are as a result of ungodly behaviour Kenyans have been practising. Go to High Court, go to Kenya Power Co, to Posta, etc looking for services. You will have to part with something. Why?

This beautiful country (in the world) has a weaked people. Kibaki proved to us how stealing can be rewarding.

We the small men and women, have to start a 3rd Liberation.

Anonymous said...

Well, nothing can be hidden under the sun. I am told the that the rug tag army is actually killing the kenya army serously. The truth is the sabaot land issue must be looked into. They cannot live on trees like birds they urgently need attention and more so land.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous comment no.5. ODM has sold out, plain and simple. They are sitting up there dividing the spoils of the land while the rest of us grassroots people are mourning the dead and rebuilding our lives from scrap if at all.

I hope nobody is planning to attend another mass rally for any politician especially ODM.

Anonymous said...

KUMEKUCHA thank you very much!! I new there was something happening when i received some of those gruesome pictures!! anyway let as see what happens our guys are still on ground!!
Museveni is connected some how i'm told!! Mt Elgon to my understanding there is lots of minerals and someone mention to me a study by Uganda lots of gold and copper?? could this be the problem?? i undeerstand there is already small scale artisian miners on the Uganda side of Mt. Elgon!!

Kumekucha as you know- examples Congo!what you were saying about the killings stryle!!!congo had the same problem- go google the story and it was blamed to museveni's soldors- they killed all those Congolese on the land they wanted to mine!! beheaded and sliced them into pieces!!
seems to be a repeat of the same!!

can you ask your sources?? mine says there are lots of minerals under mt elgon and Uganda did the feasibility studies and aerial mags in 2006?? please confirm

and thanks again for all your efforts!!

Anonymous said...

Kumekucha I'm a bit confused with the report on mt Elgon?? people on ground in Mt. Elgon who work and live there have totally different reports of what is happening on ground!!they also have photo's of kenya army actually destroying villages and after checking finding women and children dead!!
pictures speak for them selfs -so are this villagers and workers lying?? or is your guy a lair?? which is which?? and I beg to ask which area was he in exactly?? i know the whole area very well!!

let as put facts on this blog because is we don't then we are no better than the killing machine that kills and hides the truth! children and women dying is not acceptable! this should be stopped immediately- as we speak it is still happening! I ask you to report facts- what you have on here is not even near to what is happening on the ground!!
very disappointed-

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update on KTN Chris.

I hope KTN's problems are purely internal and technical and not due to mischief of the government type.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that such a crisis is going on.

There will be no true peace until we confront the land question with reforms.

The same goes for the constitution...

Shaddy said...

Chris, thanks for the fantabulous job.

Hellen Okello

Francis said...

Point of correction. The laibon is known as JASON PSONGOYWO. Things are terrible here men!.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris, how soon are we (kenyans) resolving this and according to you whats the way forward?

Oda

Anonymous said...

Please more explaination on KTN???yea i watched the news but i dont remember watching news..

A lot including me dont realy know what is realy happening and the problem in mt. elgon

Teddy said...

Hi,

Am Kind of addicted to our Blog men. Its fan-tas-tic.

Am also a reporter an o learn a lot from you guy.

Keep it up

Teddy

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