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Need to Know: Unrest in Kenya

Unrest and violence have plagued Kenya, one of Africa's most stable nations, since the disputed December 27 presidential election. Since then, more than 600 people have been killed and 250,000 have been displaced.

Many Kenyans, along with much of the international community, believe the election was rigged to give the ruling party an unexpected victory. This outrage may have been enough to turn long standing tribal tensions into violence.

Right now, both promising and frustrating news is coming out of Kenya. Last week, mediation by the US and the African Union failed. Unfortunately, a Kenyan minister rejected former UN chief Kofi Annan's offer to mediate. Annan is expected to arrive today. On a positive note, many Kenyan children were back in the classroom on Monday, as some schools reopened.

Currently, Kenya is braced for a new wave of violence. This week, newly elected Members of Parliament will take their seats, just as opposition leaders plan three days of protests. I hope that the political crisis will be resolved quickly, as a peaceful, prosperous, and diverse Kenya could serve as a ray of hope on the war-torn continent.


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