I suppose I would have never figured Kenya to devolve into these tactics. Maybe, no, especially, their neighboring countries. But not Kenya.
I knew it was a corrupt state. But I always thought that it was more, um... civilized, I suppose. I sound ignorant. And despite the fact that I once knew a good number of Kenyans, I am.
I wonder if, though, this had happened here in the US in 2000, after our hotly contested, and highly controversial presidential election (to put it nicely), how things would have turned out differently.
But rape and machetes and water cannons and banning of political marches and burning of villagers hiding in a church? There is a lot of desperation, and I suppose that I do not know nearly as much as I thought I knew about the state of the downtrodden and poor and ethnic conflicts (way to go, stupid imperialism!) in that nation.
Pray for Kenya. Pray for Kenyans.
By the way, from what I've read from the BBC: Focus on Africa magazine for this quarter, the two top contenders (incumbent Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga) are very similar - at least in terms of policies and political views. (Note: The Time article confirms this. Also worth a read for a brief recap and catch-up on the reasons behind the rioting and ethnic killings.) Odinga is calling himself a reformer, but apparently the only thing that will change if he's in power will be the temperament of the president - Kibaki is seen as laid-back and indifferent while Odinga is seen as a hot-head who does not suffer disagreements.