Kenya: thousands to be left homeless in slum demolition

 Many of the nearly one million low-income residents of Africa's second largest slum, Kibera in Nairobi, will be thrown out into the cold when government bulldozers demolish their homes this Friday. Churches, mosques, schools and children's homes will also be pulled down. The evictees will not be compensated. The on-going drive to evict people living under electricity power lines, on road reserves and next to railway lines has raised a hue and cry from the residents, politicians and human rights groups. "The exercise must go on to restore the rule of law. There is no room to resettle those affected," the District Officer of Kibera, Omar Salat, told Christian and Muslim leaders from the area, who met him last Friday. He said the government issued a notice of the demolitions last July and would not extend the deadline. Christine Bodewes, the coordinator of human rights at Christ the King Catholic Parish in Kibera, called the demolitions "a forced eviction" that violated international human rights laws. "The notice is inadequate; there was not sufficient information and consultation with the residents; and the government has no plans to resettle them." Mr Salat said the government would upgrade all the slums and that the British charity Oxfam would build a new primary school in Kibera. Source: Catholic Information Service Africa

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