Kenya is Not the New Rwanda… And here’s why

Frank Furedi’s analysis of Kenya’s post-election violence has been posted on Spiked Online, and also published in today’s edition of The Standard. It’s probably the best description I’ve seen of what’s happening here, and is pretty damning of most of what’s been written so far. It avoids the analysis favoured by most liberal hacks here – that we are seeing political violence with an ethnic dimension – and suggests that access to resources is the key force driving violence in the Western Rift, just as it has always been.

Kenya was not a beacon of democracy or a model of economic stability before the December elections. And nor is it the dramatic setting for a Rwanda-to-be after the elections. All that has happened is that one group of corrupt politicians overplayed its hand, got a little bit too greedy, and forced its opponents to react on the streets.

But journalists and politicians have bought into the new, emotive language of the NGOs, describing Kenya as being on the brink of genocide when in fact we are probably seeing simply more of the same old story.

It’s the sort of new Marxist analysis you might expect of Furedi, but also the most compelling so far.


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