Kenya Spirals Toward Ethnic War

Contested election result turns into tribal violence
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2008 9:58 PM CST
Kenyan riot police help a man that was attacked by machetes, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008 during riots in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya. The head of the African Union was traveling to Kenya Wednesday...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The tribal violence gripping Kenya could reach a bloody climax tomorrow, Time reports, when an opposition leader has urged supporters to converge on a park in Nairobi to protest the results of last month's general election. Raila Odinga blames a rigged vote-count for re-electing President Mwai Kibaki, igniting disarray that has left more than 300 dead in four days.

Kibaki belongs to the Kikuyu tribe, Kenya's largest with 22% of the population. Odinga is a Luo, Kenya's third-largest at 13%. The Kikuyu have wielded most of the country's political and economic power since independence in 1963, inspiring resentment among the smaller tribes. Many fear that escalating violence may lead to wide-scale ethnic warfare similar to Rwanda in 1994.