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Kenya anger over massacre burial

ICC Note

Churches were burned down and people who sought refuge in the churches were also killed due to election-related violence in Kenya . Though the killings took place in December 2007, the people are yet to be buried.

01/7/2009 Kenya (BBC News)-Relatives want the victims buried on their ancestral lands

There is confusion in Kenya over how to deal with bodies piled in the town of Eldoret ‘s morgue for more than a year.

The deceased died in a church burnt down by a mob during ethnic violence after elections in December 2007.

Thirty-seven bodies were to have been buried on Wednesday but after the first 10 were interred they had to be dug up amid furious protests from relatives.

Families want their loved ones laid to rest on ancestral lands but some bodies remain unidentified a year on.

Tense stand-off

After a tense hour-long stand-off with armed police, the authorities agreed to disinter the bodies and take them back to the morgue.

“We got the shock of our lives this morning when we came to discover that bodies have been removed from the hospital mortuary,” he said.

The victims were among people from President Mwai Kibaki’s Kikuyu ethnic group who were seeking shelter in Kiambaa Pentecostal church when the building was torched by a mob.

Mortuary full

Local district commissioner Leonard Ngaluma said they would consult with the families to ensure any decisions made “should confirm with our African traditions as Kenyans and also accord them the best burial agreed by all”.

Dr Moses Njue, at Eldoret’s Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital , said the hospital mortuary could hardly cope with the bodies.

“The equipments are breaking down because our refrigerators can only keep a certain kind of load,” he told the BBC.

“Some of the bodies are burned and some of them are skeletonised… and once a body starts rotting it continues rotting no matter what you can do.”

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