2007–2008 Kenyan Crisis - Background

Background

The post-election demonstration and violence stemmed from a mixture of motives. Some included:

  • voting in elections has widely been along ethnic lines in many Kenyan communities
  • there is a widespread perception that the count of the presidential election was modified in favour of Kibaki
  • during colonial times Kikuyu people were displaced from their fertile highlands and after independence they were settled outside their traditional areas especially in the Rift Valley, where the ethnic Maasai had populated originally before Kenya's colonization by the British.
  • there is a belief among other tribes that the Kikuyu community in Kenya has dominated the country since independence

Reports by international observers about manipulations and admissions by members of the Electoral Commission that their staff provided them with incorrect figures have further fueled this anger. The violence has been directed mainly against Kikuyus, belonging to the same ethnic group as Kibaki.

The violence against Kikuyus occurred mainly in areas like the Nairobi Slums, Nyanza Province, the Rift Valley, and the Coast, where opposition against Kibaki is particularly strong. The ethnically diverse Nairobi slums have also seen violence by Kikuyu-dominated groups—amongst them the infamous Mungiki—against neighbours hailing from western parts of Kenya.

Read more about this topic:  2007–2008 Kenyan Crisis

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    Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not daub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality can disturb us.
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