Monday, January 28, 2008

Kenya 2008 (english version...)

Until December 27th Kenya was one of the most popular destinations in Africa. it was an exception of the "bad rule" that chases most of the African countries. A rule that wants most of the countries to suffer from civil wars, hunger, poverty, injustice and exploitation of human labor... A rule that makes us often wonder if the Africans choose it themselves or some other "well-wishers" enforce it.

Let’s not analyze this last one for the moment and let’s go to the significant date of Dec 27th...

Elections day for the democratic Kenya and we listen to the news that the defeated party protests about adulteration.... suddenly riots begin and are "painted" with innocent people's blood at once... over 700 people have been killed until today in lots of Kenya’s regions, and over 300.0000 have been expatriated, with the opposition party of Raila, and some humanitarian organizations speaking about violent behavior of the government’s "tools".

A representative of the ODM (Orange Democratic Movement) declares that the clamors will not stop until they manage to achieve their purpose, which is none other than the annulment of the elections’ result. Because I happen to have some relatives living in Kenya, I have obtained information from them on the current situation.

So let’s start from the basics...

The Republic of Kenya is a country in Eastern Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the east, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, and Sudan to the northwest, with the Indian Ocean running along the southeast border.

Since December 12th 1963 Kenya, is an independent nation after the British left and until today, the country managed to keep things peaceful in the internal in opposition with the neighbor nations... That lead makes Kenya the "peacemaker" of the region and also an economic power that could help all the others around...

The natural environment and the physical geomorphology of the area gave Kenyan tourism a great impulse... Kenya is a country with so many different environments and wildlife...

The 2 great wildlife parks of the country the Maasai Mara and the Amboseli Park located near the border of Tanzania, the coasts of the Indian Ocean and the deserts of the north, Lake Victoria and the savannahs on the roots of Mount Kenya are just some of the tourist attractions in Kenya.

(A look at this official site will convince you).

It’s also a country chosen by the United Nations to headquarter the UNEP (United Nations Environmental Project) and also by many Hollywood directors to film their “African” movies because of the safety the country provides unlike the other countries around.

Problems exist though, like every other country worldwide, that have to do mainly with social inequalities. But the general “image” shows a nation that has found itself- or at least tries to- in the general “chaotic” situation that dominates, unfortunately, in Africa. Maybe all these things were well-hidden from the “eyes” of a simple spectator of the facts, but special analysts of the region foresaw this upcoming crisis. And so it happened.

The opposition tribes

Like every African country that “respects” herself, unfortunately, Kenya stands through the mercy of two opponent tribes, and their differences, which personally I don’t completely understand….

The first tribe, the Kikuyu, is the one that President Mwai Kibaki comes from. They form about 22% of the total population. From the very first president since the independence, until today they literally hold the control of the country in their hands, when the opposition party had never managed to govern.

The second tribe, the Luo, is the one that the president of the opposition party Raila Odinga comes from. We meet them especially in the regions of western Kenya and they’re equal to about 13% of the total population. Some Luo peasants claim that President Kibaki has an “extermination plan” for their tribe and that‘s how they explain the current atrociousness the military shows against their people.

But I could say this is something no one can prove and also adopt as an opinion because it will lead to a tenser situation which is something everyone now deprecates.

It’s worth saying at this point that the Luo tribe is the origin of the U.S.A. Democratic Party candidate’s father, Barrack Obama, something that may make the Luos wish Obama’s election against Hilary, and why not his election as the president of the United States.

This situation, as Kenya is the largest economic power of the region, except turbulence and riots in the internal of the country has provoked many problems to the other nations around the borders. The port of Mombassa and the road network that crosses the country almost totally supplies other countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Tanzania with imports. It’s also a base for aid missions to Somalia and Sudan. As a result of the crisis, the fuel pipes to Uganda and Burundi have stopped working and we can all see that the balance has already started disrupting.

The saddest thing in the whole situation, though, is that the country has fallen behind in economic development by more than 20 years in this short space of time. Let’s hope it will end sooner in the less painful way…

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