Dozens of Women and Children Perish in Ethnic Clash in Kenya


At least 52 people have died in a serious ethnic attack in Kenya on Tuesday. AFP notes that most of the victims were women and children. The original toll of 48 casualties reported on Tuesday was raised to 52 after four more people perished from sustained injuries on Wednesday.

The tragedy was sparked by the long rivalry between Pokomo and Ormo people in a remote corner of Kenya near the Tana River district. Police chief Joseph Kitur said that 31 women perished, along with 11 children and six adult men. Kitur also told reporters that 34 of the victims were hacked to death and 14 were burnt.

The attack occurred in a rural corner of southeast Kenya, about 185 miles away from the capital of Nairobi. The New York Times notes that the gruesome incident was staged by numerous members of an armed militia from the Pokomo group who entered the Ormo village and began to slash residents before setting many of the homes on fire.

One member of Parliament, Danson Mungatana, thought the attacks were probably a backlash after an Ormo cattle raid that occurred last week. Battles for water and land resources between the two groups in this part of Kenya are reportedly very common. Another clash between the two groups back in 2001 caused around 130 deaths. The Pokomo reportedly practice subsistence farming, while the Ormo tend towards a pastoral livelihood. The Kenya Red Cross was at the scene and reported that they sent seven people to the hospital with severe injuries.

The most tragic aspect of the current episode is the high number of children lost in the conflict, along with women and unsuspecting male village members. Both the AFP and the New York Times note that this most recent attack is a reminder of the post-election ethnic violence of 2007, when there were contested election results between two candidates from different ethnic backgrounds, which pitted populations against each other, resulting in more than 1,000 deaths.

In January, the International Criminal Court charged four Kenyan officials with crimes related to the post-election deaths. The next set of elections are planned for next year, according to UPI. The most recent violence has sparked discomfort and is an unsettling reminder that elections could also pose more danger for Kenyans next year.


Act Now to End the Federal Judicial Crisis

AAUW Action Network

With all of the attention on the presidential and congressional elections right now, it can be easy to forget that there’s a third branch of government. But the judicial branch is just as important – and it needs our help.

Our constitutional rights and individual liberties are protected by a strong and effective judiciary. But our courts are in crisis because of the “judicial emergency” created by vacancies in courtrooms nationwide. Why? Because an average of 1 out of every 10 judicial seats is vacant nationwide.

Ask your senators to help protect our freedoms by moving forward with judicial confirmations!

A strong judiciary is critical to American women. Not only can the federal courts be a shield for civil rights laws like Title IX and the Equal Pay Act, but they’re also often the last, best hope for women who have experienced discrimination in education, employment, health care, and in other aspects of their lives. Yet with the Senate dragging its heels, we’ve got 32 federal courts in a state of “judicial emergency,” which means there are far too few judges to keep up with all the cases. Half of these courts have pending nominees – but the Senate still hasn’t acted to fill those vacancies.

Furthermore, the slow confirmation process is also affecting the diversity of the courts. While President Obama has nominated an impressive number of women and people of color for the bench, that’s only half the battle. The only way to increase the diversity of the judiciary is for the Senate to confirm qualified nominees. Of the 32 nominees pending before the Senate, 19 of them are women or people of color. This is not acceptable.

To be sure, President Obama has not been nominating people to fill the vacancies as quickly as he could – and AAUW has told him that. But the fact remains that there are 32 nominees, 22 of whom have already been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, that the Senate could confirm when it returns from recess next month.

So that’s why we need you to send a message to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Ask your senators to urge Sens. Reid and McConnell to quickly call for confirmation of the federal judicial nominees from your state and move all consensus nominations to the Senate floor immediately for confirmation.

The vacancy crisis can have an easy solution, but we need your help. To send a letter to your senators, click the “Take Action” link or visit AAUW’s Two-Minute Activist.

Get FREE Breastfeeding Resources info …

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7), HHS’s Office on Women’s Health and GSA’s Federal Citizen Information Center have created the FREE Breastfeeding Resources Action Kit. With it, you can:

  • Learn the physical and psychological benefits of breastfeeding for babies and moms.
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You can read, download, or print the publications, or order FREE, printed information.

YouTube …

Recently, President Obama met with some youth with disabilities. He wanted to hear their thoughts about the future of disability policy. So, he sat down with participants from the American Association of People with Disabilities internship program. These young people are passionate and strong representatives for millions of people with disabilities across the country. They represent a brighter future for America. President Obama is ready to stand with them each and every day.More

Sustainable living with Wildlife

just another rant …

One day while I was minding my own business, I received an email from the fish and wildlife department. I signed up to get them but not out of malice or some secret plan to track the actions but I gotta say reading it gave me chills sadness and great disappointment… and that was my first reaction then it made me remember the elk kill that happened in 12/11; for a little background. I was reading local online news when I saw an article about an elk kill that was going to happen the following Monday. It went on to say that there was a golf course built in the area and after two years the course was suffering from damage so a request for containment was obviously put in and approved. This story just gets worse as the silly and ugly of it all becomes known and the obnoxious takes over; I read for more information. The article says about 30 Elk are encroaching and that a schedule of Elk Kills would happen on Mondays…I am becoming more upset and decided it is time to call. The contact person was great but he said that there were only about three making life miserable for the owner of the golf corse owner. The dept. had arranged with the Owners of the golf course and between you and me, it did not sound kosher because it had not been announced so that the community might know and the area’s tribes seemed to be left out as well. I am not against sport fishing or hunting but this is not the definition of it…more like legalized poaching, which is wrong on so many levels.  My dad hunted and fished, but in the good way. Anyway, I decided to put the original article and my entry out into the airwaves to see what would happen. Thank goodness some in the community heard about the upcoming kill, demanded the kill be stopped. The area’s tribe stated they did not know about the kill, they also stated some of the land where the kills would take place were on sacred land, which made me relax unless or until a mutual agreement is made the Elk may just be safe. If they needed the meat, far be it from me to obstruct as long as the tribe and that area’s food banks are filled for the local communities. I cannot say that was on their minds though as one of the employee’s stated if they had just kept it quiet the commotion would be less…   the Elk kill was delayed and the story obviously is not over.

Now, in a different part of the Pacific NW, not only are they hiring to help with an elk kill they have a wait list of volunteers and paid for helpers to “round” up the elk which is sickening . Why? Because not too long ago the  Elk were reduced to questionable numbers and five years later WA state decides to thin them out again. My inquiry is below:


I just had to respond to an email, which I guess I subscribed to on a regular basis. First, I want to state that I have nothing against hunting but I really do not understand why these elk kills not hunts are put on if the elk are truly not harming anyone. If someone could explain to the public who decides the kills are needed why how many and what could be done other than the every 5yrplan or so. I have to ask because the available habitat seems to be shrinking. At one point, the number of elk was very low with humans building roads and or homes in wildlife land, I assure you that I am not the only Washington resident that misunderstands, and some object to the kills. I am no expert but who is invading whom. I received an email looking for volunteers, who included the following:  “The department’s management plan calls for reducing the herd size to bring the number of animals into balance with available habitat,” Jonker said.  This seems like a legal poach and bringing the number in balance with the available habitat is only as big as the next golf course or family center or housing development. I just do not understand who gets the meat, hopefully to ALL Native American Tribes … who, should be the “hunters” by the way or the areas food banks but the whole”Volunteers” needed to facilitate access for elk hunts” sounds the opposite of what hunting is all about.

Their response:

Thank you for contacting the Department of Fish and Wildlife. I am forwarding your e-mail to our Wildlife Management Program, so they can address your concerns.

If you have, any questions please feel free to contact us at360-902-2464 or email us at


Like I said, I have nothing against hunting and fishing, but what we have is nothing close and poaching on wildlife that already is dealing with humans that have decided to spread out at whatever cost just is wrong.  If that wasn’t enough, let us talk about the Puget Sound’s Orca. I know even less about them scientifically, but grew up hearing one side of the story of Namu’s capture and Ted Griffith and the stories aren’t good. Consequently, I have a lot opinions thougthts and feelings.  I feel that our Navy should cease and desist with all the sonar or at least tell the public what are the sonars being used against and why the grey whales washed up on our beaches. The organized elk kill, taking whales off the endangered list are all beyond sad but to hear that Wyoming has planned a massive wolf kill has us all gasping … Why? Because there is no announcement no explanation and leaves some of us wondering what new development is about to shrink the habitat even more.

To Be Continued … Hey, call your states Fishing & Wildlife dept.  and Ask Questions!