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UPDATE from the BBC: Kenya ‘turned into killing field’

According to UNICEF: More than 100,000 people have been displaced because of the violence spreading after the December election in Kenya.

Here is an excerpt from the UNICEF website:

Kenya has been plunged into what is being described as the worst crisis it has faced since Independence after results of the December 27 elections in the country were announced on December 30. Widespread unrest, civil strife and vigilantism erupted almost immediately in many parts of the country.

The most seriously affected areas are the large slum settlements in Nairobi (including Kibera and Mathare Valley) and sections of the Rift Valley and Nyanza provinces. The Kenya Red Cross Society carried out a limited rapid assessment in parts of the Rift Valley and Nyanza and is estimating that up to 500,000 people in Kenya may need humanitarian assistance. Estimates of those displaced continue to rise, with the latest figures standing at over 100,000. Many of those affected and displaced are children and women.

Food shortages (exacerbated by a lack of fuel in the country as tankers are immobilized by the insecurity), medical provisions and care, water and sanitation facilities, protection and shelter are the gravest concerns and needs. The most needed medical supplies are those to treat victims of shootings, burnings, beatings, slashing and trampling.

This is happening right now. It is not some distant issue. Lives matter. The office of President is about more than domestic political platitudes. It is about more than pushing the agenda of a lobbyist, the Iraq war, or foreign policy at large. The President of the United States represents the heart and soul of the American People. The President has the power to effect change – positive or negative – on the world around us.

We have a responsibility to reinforce the the heart and soul of America as well. With our checkbooks, with our time, and with our unrestrained intellectual and entrepreneurial abilities. The crisis in Kenya begs two questions: who are you as an American? And will you hold our presidential candidates to account for the entire portfolio, not just the one piece that makes you feel good?

— Media Lizzy