Kenya Unrest Not Rwanda-Scale

Ethnic violence is serious, but not organized genocide of 1994
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2008 11:29 AM CST
A Lutheran church burns, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008 in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Riot police fired tear gas and water cannons Thursday to beat back crowds of opposition protesters in Kenya's capital,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Post-election violence in Kenya has taken on a nasty ethnic edge, as tribes across the country, particularly the Luo of opposition leader Raila Odinga, take their political frustrations out on sort-of President Mwai Kibaki’s powerful Kikuyu. But this isn’t quite Rwanda, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The 1994 genocide there was organized, whereas this smaller, spontaneous violence could be stopped by Kibaki and Odinga.

But getting Odinga and Kibaki to talk is a challenge. Kibaki’s election victory looks supremely shaky—Kenya’s chief election official admitted Tuesday he was pressured to declare Kibaki the winner, and didn’t know who won. Odinga’s party has refused to talk with Kibaki’s without an outside mediator, a role African Union chairman John Kufuor has agreed to play.