Kenya, Spiraling to Hell

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Today, rioters have followed the displaced to where they’ve fled. Morgues are filled with those who have been burned alive, hatcheted and clubbed. The original focus of the violent conflict overflowed into indiscriminate attacks upon two tourists and the military cannot contain the situation. If I were inclined to believe in Hell, this would be it – right here on Earth.

Rival factions clash again in Kenya
Monday, January 28, 2008
By Reuters

Riots erupted in the western Kenyan cities of Nakuru, Kisumu and Naivasha on Monday, as machete-wielding protesters torched buildings and erected barricades while police forces fired shots in the air.

Did You Say “Tribe”

What’s wrong with using the word “tribe” in Western media? A lot more than meets the cultural divide, it seems.

AfricaFocus.org posted a fabulous argument about the particulars. I include the introduction here along with a link to the full length piece. This position has recently been brought to the attention of the New York Times’ Executive Editor, Bill Keller, in response to journalist Jeffrey Gettleman’s Kenyan election coverage. While Gettleman, after receiving letters of criticism, seems to have adapted his writing style, Keller was less than obliging. You can read his bitter response as posted at allAfrica.com below too.

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Because Murder isn’t Enough?

Not only must Kenya’s women and child survivors mourn great losses, their very identity must be violated as well???

Sexual Abuse of Children Increasing in Kenya
Voice of America – 3 hours ago
By Lisa Schlein The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, reports sexual violence against women and children in Kenya is increasing.

Sex attacks on the rise in Kenya: UNICEF
AFP – 4 hours ago
GENEVA (AFP) Sexual violence has soared in Kenya amid the country’s ethnic clashes and political turmoil, with young women in refugee camps particularly …

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Planned Attacks, Not Spontaneous Tribal Combustion

Violence continued in Kenya, where on Sunday the police and residents tried to quell a fire set in the Mathare slum in?Nairobi.

Violence continued in Kenya, where on Sunday the police and residents tried to quell a fire set in the Mathare slum in Nairobi. Photo: Evelyn Hockstein for The New York Times

While the idea that the post-election violence had been pre-planned is not new, Jeffrey Gettleman of the New York Times recently presented an evidential account of governmental and civilian preparations in Signs in Kenya That Killings Were Planned (21 January 2008):

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In My Own Defense

Twice yesterday I heard it voiced that I will likely have to change my volunteer trip from Kenya to Ghana in July. While it might well be true, I continue to reject lost hope for the success of Kenya to soon arrive on the other side of chaos.

When I last spoke with Village Volunteers executive director, Shana Greene, we gracefully wove the rhetoric of possibility into a conversation filled with concern. On 14 Jan 2008, two volunteers decided to stay behind while the rest had been transported safely to the airport with the help of the village coordinators and hired police guards. Understandably, Village Volunteers cannot send people to the Rift Valley if the violence continues, but Shana reassured me that we still have time before making a solid decision and that continuing VV’s sustainable programs was of the utmost importance for the re-stabilization of the village. The decision to send more volunteers would likely hinge on either a re-election or the formation of unity government. Then, two days after we spoke, Kenyan protests began and more violence broke out for another three days.

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