U.S. Envoy: Kenyan Violence Is 'Ethnic Cleansing'

January 31, 2008 08:01 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Around 800 lives have been lost in the turmoil following Kenya's disputed election results. Ethnic and political grievances have become mixed.

30-Second Summary

Jendayi Frazer, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State responsible for Africa policy, said the United States will review the aid it is providing Kenya. She also stated that while she does not believe the violence in Kenya is genocidal, it can be classified as ethnic cleansing.

“The aim originally was not to kill, it was to cleanse, it was to push them out of the region,” Frazer said. She added, it “was clear ethnic cleansing in the Rift Valley.”

Much of the violence is aimed at the Kikuyus, the tribe of President Mwai Kibaki. The Kikuyus are perceived as being richer, politically dominant and better off than other ethnic groups.

The opposition leader and presidential candidate Raila Odinga is of the Luo tribe.

The Economist
writes, “What has happened is not a genocide, nor is Kenya anywhere close to being a failed state.”

Richard Dowden, director of the Royal African Society, concurred at least partially with Frazer. Dowden told the BBC that “it's a sort of ethnic-cleansing.”

The United Nations refers to ethnic cleansing as “rendering an area ethnically homogenous by using force or intimidation to remove persons of given groups from the area.”

Headline Link: 'U.S. Says Kenya Hit by “Ethnic Cleansing”'

Background: Kenya in crisis

Economic impact of violence hits Kenya

Analysis: Is Kenya facing ethnic cleansing?

Reference: A definition ethnic cleansing


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