Mungiki vs. “Taliban” in Kenya’s “Kosovo”

Kenyan police sealed Nairobi and broke up protests with water cannons and baton charges Jan. 3, barring supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga from holding a planned rally in Nairobi’s Uhuru Park. Odinga made his own accusations of “genocide” against supporters of President Mwai Kibaki. Attorney General Amos Wako called for an independent investigation into the contested vote. (BBC, Bloomberg, Jan. 3) Three people were reported dead, a church and two petrol stations set ablaze, and five cars torched. (Daily Nation, Nairobi, Jan. 3) Reuters reports from the ethnically-mixed, impoverished Nairobi district of Mathare which residents have renamed “Kosovo”—violently contested by Kikuyu gangs such as the Mungiki and a Luo militia calling itself the “Taliban.” (Reuters, Jan. 3)

Police also violently dispersed a planned protest in Kisumu, hurling tear gas and firing shots in the air. Among those arrested were two MPs-elect. (Daily Nation, Nairobi, Jan. 4) In an editorial entitled “Save Our Beloved Country,” Nairobi’s The Standard issued a call for immediate unconditional talks between Odinga and Kibaki.

See our last post on Kenya.