Kenya: violence continues, end in sight??

The problems in Kenya have by no means gone away. Some of the latest violence has been in the large town of Nakuru. Nakuru, was once the centre of the “White Highlands”, important during the Mau Mau uprising and is still an important market town for agriculture and a part of the tourist industry. Again the violence seems to have assumed something of an ethnic nature, though again it must be stressed that simply defining this as an ethnic conflict between the Kikuyu on one side and the Luo and Kalenjin on the other is a gross over simplification. Much of this violence is born out of poverty and stoked by politicians for their own ends.

The role of the police has been heavily criticised both for heavy handed tactics and for excessive support of the government, though I am unsure whether or not the last linked commentator has a party political axe to grind.

Former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan has toured the Rift Valley area and appealed for calm and the President Mwai Kibaki and the opposition leader Raila Odinga held their first meeting since the election on Thursday 24th and both (online report) called for an end to violence. Any possible end of these problems is still, however, some way off and the root causes of the violence remain completely unresolved.