In Kenya, the biggest election winner is peace

GlobalPost
Nairobi, Kenya

Acceptance, conciliatory speeches and promises of legal action marked the end of a hard-fought election in Kenya on Saturday, amid hopes the peaceful polls might draw a line under the ethnic violence that has defined Kenyan politics for two decades.

Uhuru Kenyatta was declared president elect, scraping over the threshold for an outright win by just a few thousand votes. His defeated opponent, Raila Odinga, rejected the results but said he would take his fight to the courts, not the streets.

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Kenya’s coast feels a sea away from national elections

GlobalPost
Mombasa, Kenya

The ties that bind Kenyans to their state are frequently stretched but in few places are they so close to breaking point as the coast.

Long-standing grievances over land ownership, state neglect and economic marginalization have given rise to voter apathy and secessionist tendencies that critics say shed light on the Kenyan government’s failure to work for its people.

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Witness Projection: How Ushahidi is mapping crises around the world

Harper’s
Nairobi, Kenya

In the final days of 2007, a tense election in Kenya led to widespread violence. After a disputed count, the incumbent, Mwai Kibaki, a member of the Kikuyu ethnic group, was declared president in a hurried ceremony. Within hours, attacks began in the Rift Valley. Continue reading Witness Projection: How Ushahidi is mapping crises around the world

In Kenya, tribes vote with bloodshed before elections

GlobalPost
Tana River Delta, Kenya

The first attacks began a year ago, pitting semi-nomadic Orma cattle herders against Pokomo maize farmers. There were a handful of deaths but nothing out of the ordinary in this baking hot corner of Kenya, where competition for that most precious resource — water — is fierce.

The government did nothing as the ferocity and body counts of the tit-for-tat raids escalated: six dead in August, 54 a few weeks later, then 11, then 39 (including nine police officers). Finally the authorities stepped in, a curfew was imposed and the raids stopped, for a while.

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