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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.


Join The Conversation
CoconutPie CoconutPie 9 years
Janneth: People think that countries can't function normally if there are too many different cultures composing it. Just look at India. It is one of the most culturally varied countries in the world, and in the last decades, it's been quite stable compared to its neighbors. India has put the emphasis on democracy. Democracy doesn't exist in Africa (well in most countries). Just because you give people the right to vote doesn't mean you're a democracy. It takes so much more. And the leaders those countries have had since the independences have all been hungry for power and money. They're not going to give all that up for democracy. The colonial powers set a model. Also, someone blamed North Americans and Europeans for the current situation in Africa. Sure, they came, they mistreated, they killed, they stole, they hurt, and they left without setting any good infrastructures. But seriously, China is also to blame. And the situation is getting worse everyday. They're doing everything the colonial powers did, and it's getting ugly. Guess who's investing in Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Nigeria? The Chinese. They've been financing the major conflicts for their own profit.
janneth janneth 9 years
How can Kenya remain at peace with all its different tribes, different cultures?
minaminamina minaminamina 9 years
And citizensugar, I'm not attacking you - I'm just genuinely frustrated that eurocentrism has replaced journalistic ethics in our world.
minaminamina minaminamina 9 years
Really? War torn continent? Who is selling these weapons to people in Africa? Who has been pouring funding into illegal mining and neo-slavery in Africa? Other Africans? Oh no... there may be corrupt governments accepting dirty money, but the American and European governments are making billions off of Africa being war-torn and unorganized. What would the Western world do if Africa was whole again? They would lose BILLIONS - people would lose their jobs all over the world, economies would crash, and guess what - Africa would be one of the few areas in the world that is able to sustain itself. Want an example of how deep this goes? Every cell phone in the world has a chip in it made of a certain type of quartz only found in the Congo. An animal rights group was drawn into the Congo recently because dead gorilla carcasses were being found alarmingly frequently. In seeking out the predators of the gorillas, they came across a quartz mine where men, women, and children worked in order to pay the taxes of the French, British and American government funded businesses that produced these cell phones. They made nothing - in fact, so little could these people earn that they were forced to kill and eat gorillas because they could not afford grain. I'm sick of this Eurocentric reporting habit that embodies Africa as the land of poverty, disease, and war - the fact remains that Africa is NOT overpopulated (actually, Europe, which could fit into Africa 4 times, has 200 million MORE people on it), it is NOT inherently destructive to its people, and we might want to examine a little bit more of WHO controls it - because it's certainly not Africans.
misogi misogi 9 years
I completely agree with terryt18. :)
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
This upsets me greatly. Elections are such a source of problems in Africa. Kenya is an amazing country and I would hate to see it slide ito civil unrest.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
I am loving these current events topics Citizensugar. Although I have nothing intelligent to add to this subject, it's great that the site has expanded into real issues. We all should be more aware of the world outside our bubbles of lipgloss and celebrity spottings.
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