- Thousands of Kenyans displayed by the post-electoral violence on Monday returned home after spending more several months in camps.
Returned under a government family resettlement programme, a group of internally displaced persons left camps in Rift Valley towns to return to the countryside under police and military escort.
But those who had had their homes destroyed would remain in the camp for a while.
"The government is committed to the resettlement of all internally displaced Kenyans and the right of any Kenyan to settle and own property, own land, work and visit any part of this country regardless of where one was born or one's ethnic background," said the government spokesman Alfred Mutua.
Dubbed "Operation Return Home," the resettlement programme targets an initial 8,000 people. But Mutua said, "the government expects the momentum of the exercise to increase as days go by."
The operation's effectiveness will be assessed at the end of the week.
Even after police guaranteed security in the trouble regions, most displaced victims could not have the courage to return home. The signing of a grand coalition involving the rival sides did not save some returnees from being attacked.
The post-electoral violence over the disputed presidential election results in December also forced thousands of Kenyans to cross borders to the neighbouring countries. Efforts are also under way to either transfer or return Kenyan refugees.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has transferred 1,800 Kenyans in from Kiryandongo settlement in Masindi district, 600 km from the border. In this home of 7,000 refugees, each family will be allocated a plot of land for agricultural and residential purposes.
According to the UN refugee agency, Roberta Russo, "the refugees being relocated to Kiryandongo are reluctant to return to Kenya for now and have signed up for the relocation to Kiryandongo - a long established settlement."
Kenya's post-electoral violence quickly snowballed into "ethnic cleansing", resulting to the killing of more than 1,000 people and displacement of over 300,000.
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