Unrest intensifies in Kenya
Kenya has been spiralling into violence since last December’s disputed presidential elections. Sitting President Mwai Kibaki claimed victory but opposition leader Raila Odinga and his followers say the vote was rigged and refuse to accept the result.
More than 900 people have died and what started out as political violence now seems to be developing into a brutal ethnic conflict. The vote was split largely along tribal lines and amid the political impasse a cycle of violent attacks and reprisals is emerging, with rival tribal gangs attacking with machetes in scenes eerily reminiscent of Rwanda.
Njeri Kabeberi, who is with the Kenyan branch of Dutch organisation The Institute for Multiparty Democracy, says the ethnic dimension is emerging because of the time it is taking to resolve political issues. She says, "Kenya’s problems are not ethnic problems, they are political problems, socio-economic problems which have plagued the country for a long time." Politicians have failed to deal with these issues and the danger now is that Kenya will turn into "Rwanda, Sudan, Somalia – any country that refuses to look at the political problems it is facing, but blames the ‘wrong people’ for the problem."