Some news and open thread.
The violence going on in Kenya is too horrible for words. After the presidential election, the opposition supporters accused the ruling party of stealing the vote. The Los Angeles Times surmises the Kenyan election thusly:
President Mwai Kibaki’s electoral victory, seen by the opposition as fraudulent, triggered days of ugly tribal violence from western Kenya to the coast. Mobs of opposition supporters have attacked Kibaki’s fellow Kikuyus, burned houses, looted shops, hacked people’s heads off or slashed them with machetes. Tribal fighting has raged around Eldoret and in some slum areas of Nairobi, the capital.
Yesterday, The Guardian reported that the European Union observers condemned the Kenyan election and called for investigation. “European Union observers issued a damning report on Kenya’s presidential poll yesterday, saying it had ‘fallen short of key international and regional standards for democratic elections’ and calling for a swift, independent investigation of the results. President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the election on Sunday evening, despite trailing opposition leader Raila Odinga in all the opinion polls and early counts after Thursday’s ballot.
While Kenya is not Rwanda, I believe the ethnically motivated killings are genocide. One of the more horrific accounts of violence comes from the town of Kiambaa. According to The Guardian, over the New Year, 50 children were murdered as they sough sanctuary in a church. The children and their mothers, a total of about 200 Kikuyus, “were sheltering from outbursts of ethnic violence”. Where Kalenjin youths armed with bows and arrows and machetes killed the men and then attacked the women and children. After they fled to the church, “mattresses soaked with paraffin were pushed through the windows and used to block the door. Matches were thrown in.” As the church burned, the Kikuyu women and children fled only to be killed by the waiting Kalenjin youth.
Today, BBC News reports President Kibaki ‘open to opposition talks’.
President Mwai Kibaki has broken his silence over the unrest gripping Kenya by making a televised appeal for calm. Mr Kibaki said that once the violence ended he would be prepared to speak to the opposition, who claim he was wrongly credited with election victory.
Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako has called for an independent investigation into the 27 December poll result.
More than 300 people have been killed and some 70,000 displaced since Sunday amid claims that the vote was rigged.”
Four at Four continues below the fold with stories about $200/barrel oil, drilling for oil in the last of the polar bears’ range, California suing the EPA, and the undecided Iowa Democratic caucus goers. Please follow the link and comment or something…