Police burn squatters' market in Nairobi, Kenya land dispute FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Fri, 22 May 1998 01:06:29 -0700 (PDT)


http://www.infoseek.com/Content?arn=a2220LBY811reulb-19980424&qt=squatters&lk=lb
&col=NX&kt=A&ak=news1486


POLICE DEMOLISH MARKET IN NAIROBI LAND DISPUTE - Apr 24, 1998

NAIROBI, April 24 (Reuters) - Kenyan police backed by private
security men burned an outdoor market in a suburb of the capital
overnight on Thursday as part of a land dispute, market traders said
on Friday.

A total of 300 men arrived in lorries shortly after midnight and burned
the artisans' market in the Westlands suburb of Nairobi after firing
teargas to disperse 30 traders who were on guard.

Nairobi authorities said the traders were squatters who occupied the
land illegally.

``We just found every stall flattened and a lot of policemen guarding
the place so that nobody could enter,'' said Bernard Munyuki, who
arrived at work on Friday morning to find his food business
destroyed.

``We have just been rendered jobless,'' he added.

Market traders blocked roads leading to the market on Friday morning
in a protest.

Ownership of the market is the subject of a dispute between a
businessman who purchased the land from Nairobi council in 1995
and traders who say they have rights connected to their long tenure.

Land ownership is among the most hotly contested political issues in
Kenya.

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