Tuesday, January 01, 2008

kenya- anything learned?

(photo from 2001 ethnic fighting from bbc

from yahoo news
Kenya death toll near 250
By Daniel Wallis and Wangui Kanina 47 minutes ago
NAIROBI (Reuters) - A mob torched a Kenyan church on Tuesday, killing about 30 villagers cowering inside, as the death toll from ethnic riots triggered by President Mwai Kibaki's disputed re-election approached 250.
[editors note, the death toll has risen to 275 since this version of the srticle yesterday afternoon]
Fire engulfed a church near Eldoret town where hundreds of Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe had taken refuge in fear of their lives. Witnesses said charred bodies, including women and children, were strewn about the smoldering ruins.

"This is the first time in history that any group has attacked a church. We never expected the savagery to go so far," police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said.

Kibaki was sworn in on Sunday after official election results showed he narrowly beat opposition leader Raila Odinga. Both sides have accused the other of massive vote-rigging during the December 27 election.
The dispute ignited long-simmering tribal rivalries in one of Africa's most stable democracies and strongest economies.

did no one learn from rwanda?
World powers called for calm and urged the political opponents to "exercise restraint" and talk to each other.
certainly the world seems to have forgotten how little calls for restrain did
Police and a senior security official said the blaze at the Kenya Assemblies of God Pentecostal church in western Kenya was deliberately started by a gang of youths.

Television pictures shot from a helicopter showed plumes of white smoke pouring from burning homesteads in the area. Young men, some toting bows and arrows, manned roadblocks.
truly, rwanda all over again, with people running the streets with machettes
Residents and a security source said the victims had sought safety at the small church, about 8 km (5 miles) from Eldoret.
too bad the church wasnt owned by white people, they may have survived id that was the case (pleas ehear my sarcasm)

"Some youths came to the church," said a local reporter from the scene. "They fought with the boys who were guarding it, but they were overpowered and the youths set fire to the church."
they keep talking about boys, where are all the men? what role does hiv play in children being in charge, if any

Local media said 20 people suffered life-threatening burns.

The attack revived traumatic memories in east Africa of the slaughter in churches of tens of thousands of victims of Rwanda's 1994 genocide, and the mass suicide of hundreds of Ugandan cult members in a church fire in 2000.
well, i dont know about the cult thing, but im not the only one who sees rwanda in this
Police said more than 70,000 people had been displaced nationwide and about 170 killed. Reuters reporters around Kenya estimated the death toll at around 250.

Leading local newspaper, the Daily Nation, feared the country was on "the verge of a complete meltdown." Fuel prices rose sharply in Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi, all of which get petrol, diesel and other products from Kenyan ports.
and it will destabalize the entire region since it involves oil....


Police were out in force in the capital on New Year's Day and Nairobi's streets were initially quieter, before violence erupted in the slums again as dusk fell.

Ghana's President John Kufor, the chairman of the African Union (AU), is due in Kenya on Wednesday to meet Kibaki and "discuss the current crisis," an AU spokesman said.

Washington had first congratulated Kibaki, then switched to expressing "concerns about irregularities." Former colonial power Britain, the European Union and others pointedly avoided congratulating Kibaki. Instead, they expressed concern, urged reconciliation and a probe into suspected voting irregularities.
leave it to our president to speak before researching the situation

[snip] The Eldoret area where the church massacre took place is multi-ethnic but traditionally dominated by the Kalenjin tribe.

It suffered ethnic violence in 1992 and 1997 when hundreds of mainly Kikuyus were killed and thousands more displaced.

A senior security official in Rift Valley said that as many as 15,000 people were now sheltering from the violence in churches and police stations in Eldoret.

He blamed the opposition for incitement.

"We have lived together for years, we've intermarried, we have children, but now they've asked them to turn against them," the security official said. "We don't do this in Kenya. It is what happens in Yugoslavia and Sudan."
yes, blame the opposition, since it only takes one to tango, right


Michael W. Brewer Jr. said...

Well Molly,

You inspired a post and a link with this story.



molly said...

thats wonderful! i believe that the more people are put in a position to think about these things, the more likely change can happen

so thanks for taking interest

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