Tuesday, October 08, 2013

evictions continue in the Kenyan capital

Amnesty International's report on forced evictions in Nairobi was largely lost in the coverage of the horror of the Westgate attack and follow-up reports detailing how Kenyan security forces looted stores in the damaged mall.

While that may be an understandable news judgement, it's worth noting that Amnesty has documented 9 cases of forced eviction in the Kenyan capital in the past two years. Eviction seems to be quasi-official government policy in Nairobi.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Death in Durban

A 17-year-old girl was shot dead by the police at a demonstration by Cato Manor squatters in Durban, South Africa. The Daily Maverick has the tragic story of the death of Nqobile Nzuza.

The squatters suggest that it was outright murder. The police contend they felt their lives were in danger and shot into the crowd. Either way, there's no defense for shooting people exercising their constitiutional rights.

According to the police, the officers involved used "necessary force." KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said, "We acknowledge and respect that the public has a constitution right to demonstrate but the police also has a constitutional mandate to maintain law and order. Violent protests are not acceptable and the police has responsibility to protect property and lives during these violent protests."

Apparently, the police in Durban think this gives them a license to kill the poor.

For more background on the awful history of violence on the part of the authorities in Durban and the ongoing dirty war being waged against the courageous squatter organizing group Abahlali baseMjondolo, read this article.