Kenya – a tragedy in the 21st century

The events unfolding during and after the elections of Kenya, have left many around the world full of remorse and shock whilst looking on helplessly as the tribal and political killings escalated.

Perhaps the current problems in Kenya can partially be placed at the feet of the fundamentalist Islamic movement on the coastline and the Northeast.   There is no doubt that Islamic fundamentalism has been creeping in at a steady pace through the eastern territories over the two decades. 

The international online defence magazine reports that “Kenya’s sudden spiral into chaos after years being regarded as a regional stability in the turbulent Black African continent, will no doubt strike a heavy blow on the economies of a wide swathe of neighbouring nations. But while the present scale of internecine violence came as quite a surprise, it was not the first time that this African nation became engulfed in chaos.

From October 1952 to December 1957 Kenya was under a state of emergency arising from the so-called “Mau Mau” rebellion against British colonial rule, over the deprivation of the Kikuyu majority. The official number of Kenyans killed was estimated at 11,503. Much fighting among the various tribes followed, until independence from Great Britain in December 1963, when Jomo Kenyatta, also a Kikuyu became first prime minister of the autonomous Kenyan government. Over the last decade or so, Kenya was regarded an African success story. Beginning to enjoy the fruits of its stability and openness, its economy has grown by more than 6 per cent annually in recent years. But now, in just a few bloody days, since a disputed election on December 27, Kenya has quickly slipped from democratic hopeful, escalating into uncontrollable chaos and brutal murder. From years of prosperity, it threatened to become the scene of just another regional, highly dangerous trouble spot, torn by ethnic bloodletting and prone to outside terrorist intervention”.  To read the full article, click here. 

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3 Responses to “Kenya – a tragedy in the 21st century”

  1. Samuel Hampton Says:

    I was wondering, what do you think the legacy of Mau Mau is for contemporary Kenya? What does the average Kenyan feel about this period of their history, and does popular sentiment regarding the decolonisation period have implications for the current crisis in the state?
    Sam

  2. shakila Says:

    Dear Sam,

    The legacy of Mau Mau for contemporary Kenya has in my view been one of self interest. In many ways, the patterns of governence in Kenya are very similar to that of Pakistan, where the British had put into place the Army as its baeurocratic system – except the systems in place in kenya were perhaps not as effective. Multi-national interests in Kenya has eroded much of any political awareness and memories of struggles against the British rule and perhaps in many ways, these multi-national interests have led to the status quo. I do believe though that there is a very strong Islamist agenda to destablise Kenya.

  3. Godfrey Kim Says:

    “Perhaps the current problems in Kenya can partially be placed at the feet of the fundamentalist Islamic movement on the coastline and the Northeast. There is no doubt that Islamic fundamentalism has been creeping in at a steady pace through the eastern territories over the two decades”

    My friend: you are hopelessly off the mark. Kenya’s problems had absolutely nothing to do with Islam or terrorism. Infact, the war on terror does not exist in the minds of Kenyans. The problems in Kenya were caused by bad politics, corruption, ethnic incitement, aristocracy and demagoguery.


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