Thursday, January 3, 2008

Keep your fingers crossed for Kenya

I don't know if it has gotten a lot of news coverage in the US, but there is bit of a disturbance going on in Kenya at the moment and I wanted you all to be aware of it. But first let me say, I am absolutely fine, please don't worry about me.

In the last weeks of December Kenya held it's parliamentary and presidential elections. Evidently the presidential race was very close, but they announced that the current president had won reelection. However, there were questions of corruption and the opposition party has called for an investigation. That is all relatively okay. The problem is that since the announcement of the President's election to a second term there has been significant violence erupting around Kenya. It is hard to be sure of the facts, as different news papers and radio stations give different reports, but death tolls have been estimated at around 300 people, so far. Some of the deaths have been caused by supporters of the opposition party attacking supporters of the President's party. Some deaths have been caused by opposition supporters attacking people of the President's tribe, which is the dominant tribe in Kenya. On the other hand, some deaths have been caused by police shootings at, reportedly, peaceful protests. It is a sad way to begin the new year.

The recent events in Kenya are also effecting Uganda. For one, a number of Kenyans fleeing the violence have crossed the border into Uganda. Uganda, as a land locked country, also depends on Kenya as it's connection to the coast (a.k.a trade). Gas prices in Uganda have skyrocketted as a result of Kenya's conflict. Right now gasoline is upwards of 3 times it's normal price in Uganda!!! Taxi rides are ex-pen-sive.

It is hard to tell what will happen in Kenya, as the disturbance is so recent. But keep an eye on the headlines and send all your peaceful thoughts and goodwill towards East Africa. Let's hope for the best.....

1 comment:

AlisonLK said...

I thought the point of the blog was to keep us updated! i check almost everyday and...nothing new. i miss you and I keep reading about Kenya...I hope you are doing well!! love you