kenya slides into further chaos

At least ten people have been killed in Naivasha, Kenya following ethnic clashes that mostly pitted ethnic Kikuyus against ethnic Kalenjins and other ethnic groups that supported the ODM in last year’s general election. The attacks and counter-attacks seem to be turning into an uncontrollable monster as more and more jobless and bored youths join in the madness that has so far led to the death of more than 650 people.

The former UN boss, Kofi Annan, rightly observed that the chaos that followed the disputed elections have turned into something else. The attacks are no longer sporadic. They seem to be well planned and executed. The Kenyan government should move in quickly and arrest those who are organising these ghastly murders and destruction of both public and private property. Annan is scheduled to meet with Raila Odinga to further discuss the modalities of the desperately needed mediation effort between the latter’s party and the PNU of president Kibaki.

Kenyan leaders should act soon, in order to stop the violence from spreading into Nairobi and Mombasa – the country’s two largest cities. At the same time it should hasten the mediation effort in order to lower tensions and encourage reconciliation. The monster that is being created in these attacks and counter-attacks may mutate into something uglier if leaders continue to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that the ongoing killings are acts of hooliganism. The fact that the military is being used to police the Rift Valley means that the situation is bad. If the ODM and PNU really care about Kenyans they should realise that enough Kenyans have died for their greed and instead of being stubborn hammer out a deal that will bring peace soon and then proceed to address the fundamentals that are fueling the barbaric violence in the Rift Valley province and other areas.

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