BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 28 January 2008, 17:12 GMT
At a glance: Kenya flashpoints
Kikuyu men pull and jeer a Luo woman as she tries to flee

Kenya's police are struggling to restore order as ethnic gangs are rampaging across parts of the Rift Valley, attacking members of rival communities.

The violence began following last month's disputed presidential election but now seem to have descended into a vicious cycle of revenge attacks, leaving scores dead and thousands displaced.


Gangs of youths armed with crude weapons harassed their victims through out the night.

Resident Kenneth Aringo claimed that youths suspected to be members of the banned Mungiki sect, made up of ethnic Kikuyus, had been ferried into the town to cause chaos.

"They have been beating Luos and several women have been raped and property worth million of shillings destroyed," Mr Aringo told the BBC News website.

He said they have now moved north of Naivasha town where they have formed their own vigilante group to keep guard as the police seem to be overwhelmed.

By late Monday afternoon there was a stand-off between policemen and armed youths baying for the blood of people from the Luo community near the Naivasha country club where they had fled from their Kikuyu attackers.


The relative calm that had been experienced for the past week was shattered after youths took to the streets to retaliate after the weekend killing of people believed to be from the Kalenjin community in Nakuru and Naivasha.

Quick action by security personnel failed to save the life of a middle-aged man who was slashed and later on set on fire by angry youths.

In total, two people were killed during the violence in Eldoret.

The BBC's Wanyama Chebusiri says tension remains high in the city which saw the worst single incident of post-election violence when about 30 people, mostly women and children, were burned alive in a church.

Reports also say the angry youths have destroyed a bridge linking Eldoret town with western Kenya, causing a massive traffic jam up along the highway.

Leaders from the Kalenjin community who include the recently elected MPs are currently meeting in the hope of restoring peace between members of their community and the Kikuyu people.


An armed gang stormed into Lions primary school and chased out teachers and pupils who had reported for lessons.

Before they got out of the house, they met a crowd waiting for them
Antony, 35
Teacher, Naivasha

A guard was killed by what police say was a stray bullet, as he battled to disperse youths who had barricaded all roads leading into the town.

Drivers were flagged down at the road blocks, their passengers robbed and beaten up.

Youths chanting slogans in support of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement lit bonfires along the main streets leading to the suburbs and some residential houses were looted.

Some carried placards with slogans urging the mediation team led by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan to rule in their favour.

"Please Mr Annan, Kenyans voted for Raila," they read.

Calm has already been restored in the area but tension remains high, Kisumu is now a ghost town.


Violence also flared up in nearby Kakamega town, where angry youths flushed out residents of a hostel for students from the Masinde Muliro University and set it on fire.

The gang armed with crude weapons and petrol torched the buildings, they believed was owned by a Kikuyu businessman.

The BBC's Muliro Telewa in Kakamega says anti-riot police reached the gang in time to save other buildings that had been targeted.

"Gun shots rent the air most of the afternoon as police scared off the youths who engaged them in running battles," our correspondent said.

Map showing ethnic distribution in Kenya

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific