Kenya violence flare up, no cause for major concern, yet


(eTN) – After reaching a landmark political agreement under the guidance of former UN supremo Kofi Annan, the two main protagonists in Kenyan politics seemed well on the way towards a joint government. However, presidential election loser, former detainee and alleged coup supporter of 1982, Raila Odinga, seems to have welshed on his consensus on the composition of a new government, reached some days ago after a meeting with President Mwai Kibaki.

This appears to be due to complaints from Odinga’s own camp for not being “firm enough.” Yet this attitude, after the late December elections, had driven Kenya to the very brink of a major ethnically-inspired civil war.

Not getting further concessions from President Kibaki, Odinga swiftly brought his goons out again in one of the main Nairobi slums, a sharp reminder of his true ilk and the ongoing potential for incited violence. No tourists were affected, however, and international pressure is said to be piling up again on Odinga to get real, settle down and get on with rebuilding Kenya’s economy and community relations hand in hand with President Kibaki.

In a related development, rioters also damaged the main railway line to Uganda again, which passes through the slums, just weeks after it was repaired at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars. This and, some sources say, deliberate disruption of the railway, will again cause concern in Uganda and the African hinterland nations depending on the railway from the Mombasa harbor functioning at all times.

Odinga supporters are said to be incensed about alleged support from the Uganda government to President Kibaki, reportedly that was never proven and for which no shred of evidence was found in the past, when the same Odinga loyalist crowds claimed that Ugandan security forces were deployed in Kenya against them.

Meanwhile, the Ugandan tourism fraternity has once again expressed their support for their Kenyan counterparts along the way to recover from the post-election violence business slump.