Sunday, February 3, 2008
Kenya conflict continues
Today's calls by the opposition Orange Democratic Movement for the African Union to send peacekeepers to Kenya to calm street violence that erupted after the disputed Dec. 27 election seem more political than safety-oriented. ODM officials said the Kenyan security forces could not be trusted to be fair in policing a crisis that has apparently pushed the East African nation to the brink of anarchy. But police seemed to take a more restrained approach today to the ethnic violence that has killed over 800 and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan is expected to restart mediation efforts Monday. Annan's efforts resulted in an agreement last week on a negotiating framework for negotiators from the two main parties, the ODM and President Mwai Kibaki's Party of National Unity. Kenya erupted in violence after the election, in which Kibaki claimed re-election over the objections of ODM's Raila Odinga, who claimed he won the balloting. The violence has continued along tribal lines, as civil society disintegrates. International observers have said the ballot count was too disorganized to know who won, or to conduct a recount.