Region feels blows of Kenyan crisis

Region feels blows of Kenyan crisis


Written by Mary Kimani

Nairobi: Kenya’s post-election violence, which claimed an estimated 1,000 lives and displaced 350,000 people, appears to have abated. An agreement at the end of February to share power between government and opposition leaders has raised hopes of a return to stability. Because of Kenya’s role as an economic powerhouse in the East African region, the seemingly brief crisis has already had significant economic and social repercussions well beyond the country’s borders, and many worry that a resumption of conflict could have truly devastating consequences.

Violence broke out in Kenya on 30 December after Mwai Kibaki, the incumbent, was declared winner of the presidential election over Raila Odinga, despite objections by the opposition and election observers that the vote tally was seriously flawed. In addition to attacks by armed groups from the two sides, protesters’ roadblocks along the main highways between Kenya and neighbouring countries curtailed trade and manufacturing in the region.

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