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Why ghosts of post-election violence could return to haunt Kenya

As the country prepares for the August 8 General Election, the so-called integrated internally displaced persons (IDPs) are pushing to have their voices heard almost a decade after the worst political violence in the country.

The 30-minute documentary, Remember Me, tells of harrowing experiences the integrated IDPs went through and the decade-long wait for assistance from the government.

The Nation has learnt of plans to release the documentary to the public and screen it around Kenya in the run-up to this year’s General Election.

The ghosts of the 2007-2008 post-election violence could return to haunt Kenya following a plan to air a documentary featuring testimonies of the victims.

“I am a victim. We were given Sh10,000. After the Sh10,000 there is nothing else we received because people from Nyanza have not been paid,” a Mr Simon from Kisii says in a clip.

Simon’s both hands were chopped off at the wrists.

A fellow integrated IDP from Kisumu, William, who lost his tailoring business, says that even though they were given Sh10,000, says “it was actually Sh9,800 because we had to pay Sh200 in order to get the Sh10,000”.

‘INTEGRATED IDPs’

Andrew from Nyamira says: “There is a name they call us: integrated IDPs. Those who did not go to the camps. Even though we were integrated the truth is that we lost our property”.

There are also video clips of President Uhuru Kenyatta, one of the former suspects alleged to have been involved in organising the violence but was later cleared by the International Criminal Court (ICC), promising the integrated IDPs that they would not be forgotten.

“We will make sure we take care of them so that they can also get on with their lives,” President Kenyatta says in a video clip captured at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru in April, 2016.

The Afraha Stadium event was a celebration after all the Kenyan ICC cases collapsed, some because of lack of sufficient evidence, alleged witness interference as well as obstruction of justice by the Kenyan Government in the ICC investigation, the latter for which Kenya has been referred to the ICC Assembly of State Parties by the court.

In the documentary, InformAction, interviewed alleged IDPs are mainly from Kisumu, Nyamira and Siaya counties. Also interviewed for the documentary was Fergal Gaynor who was the counsel for the victims in the case ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda brought against President Kenyatta at the ICC.

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Why ghosts of post-election violence could return