Kenya Gov't Linked to Militia

Officials said to have tried to enlist violent Mungiki during turmoil
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2008 2:15 PM CST
A member of a feared Kikuyu criminal gang, the Mungiki , threatens a man with a machete as they arrive at a Red Cross food distribution point to protect people receiving food aid, in the Kibera slum in...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Kenya's government might have played a direct role in sanctioning recent ethnic violence. A source tells the BBC that senior officials met with the violent Mungiki militia, with the aim of recruiting the outlawed group as a "defense force" to help protect the ethnic Kikuyu population. In January, Mungiki thugs allegedly used machetes to attack non-Kikuyu in the Rift Valley.

The government denies the allegation, the BBC reports. "No such meetings took place at … any government office," says a spokesman, who also claims that the government took steps to stop the gang from making attacks. "The government stamped on them immediately," he said. A power-sharing deal was reached last week, and Kenya's parliament is set to reconvene tomorrow.