Divide and Rule

State-Sponsored Ethnic Violence in Kenya

President Daniel arap Moi of Kenya confidently predicted that the return of his country to a multiparty system would result in an outbreak of tribal violence that would destroy the nation. His prediction has been alarmingly fulfilled. One of the most disturbing developments in Kenya over the last two years has been the eruption of violent clashes between different ethnic groups. However, far from being the spontaneous result of a return to political pluralism, there is clear evidence that the government was involved in provoking this ethnic violence for political purposes and has taken no adequate steps to prevent it from spiralling out of control. So far, we estimate that the clashes have left at least 1,500 people dead and 300,000 displaced. If action is not swiftly taken, there is a real danger that Kenya could descend into civil war.

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