Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ethnic Cleansing in Kenya

Well, this seems familiar.

And, by all accounts, it at least was orchestrated, political violence; though the devolution into raw tribalism that always seems to accompany these things is, apparently, in full force. It would appear the Kikuyu tribe, which according to the Times "have long been dominant in their country's politics and economy [and] resented for it" are largely the target. Hundreds are dead, hundreds of thousands are displaced after President Kibaki, a Kikuyu, claimed re-election despite widespread claims of vote-rigging.

So now the government finds itself in a hard place. Anger over the election isn't going to go away, and attempts to suppress this proto-genocide will likely inflame anger. Leaving it alone won't necessarily help either: look at what indifference caused in Rwanda. In fact, considering Rwanda, it's probably better that they DO step in. I worry, though, that it will turn this ethnic cleansing into a civil war.

(Edit: I claimed that the Kikuyu tribe was a majority. A reader said they were not. Correction made.)

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