Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kenya is ... Hell

Kenya needs help. I just talked to my family not too long ago to find out how things are going. I had been refraining from doing that for fear of hearing the worst, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

Two Members of Parliament from the Opposition Party were killed within days of each other. One of them was caused by the police and the other, the police are calling it "murder," but the opposition is calling it an attempt by the government to reduce their number in the parliament.

The situation is so tense there. I remember when there was some tension in 1992 and 1997. Houses were burnt then and people were shot with arrows. There was not so much hacking and stoning since every tribe was against the other. Now, all the tribes are against the kikuyu, the president's tribe. The kikuyus are now retaliating against the kalenjin, the luo and the luhya who are the large supporters of the opposition.

A patient, with an arrow lodged in his head, awaits treatment at a hospital in Kenya. (Picture Courtesy of Reuters)

The one place that hasnt seen such chaos is Kitale. Thats where my parents live. I dont know how long this will last. It seems as though the calm there is due to the fact that there is a mixture of almost all the tribes. There is not a place with one-tribe concentration ... that is a stretch though because concentration is a relative term.

Eldoret is a different case. That is where one MP got killed today. My grandmother and my extended family live around there. I wasnt too far from the 1997 chaos. But I hear that was nothing compared to what is going on now.

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