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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Africa - Deja Vu

In 1994, about 1,000,000 people lost their lives in the Rwandan Genocide. Most of the dead were Tutsis butchered by the Hutu Interahamwe. It was ethnic cleansing reminiscent of the Jewish Holocaust [other groups were also targeted by the Nazis].

In 2008, Kenya faced it's less severe form of ethnic violence primarily pitting the Kikuyu vs the Kalenjin. What happened was wrong. From the first insult hurled to the last unnecessary death. Kenya, Kenyans, Kikuyus & Kalenjins have paid the price since. Of course, a few have gotten away with murder. Kenya's economic future was shattered in the medium term. The scars of 2008 remain in an economy that:
  • Faces food shortages [many killed & displaced were farmers]
  • Economically displaced persons [Uprooted businesses & dearth of tourists in 2008]
  • A gargantuan government [Huge money-guzzling cabinet]
  • Many, many more ills!
Now we have Nigeria which has experienced violence before the complete cycle of elections in 2011! The excuse ranges from religious to ethnic tensions but the dead are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters... whatever religion or tribe...

Churches and mosques were burnt, and mobs with machetes hunted for Christians in the northern city of Kano. Muslims were attacked in reprisal.

The excerpt below could be attributed to a Rwandan, Kenyan or Nigerian. It would not surprise me to hear the same happen in another African country. Take your pick of 50 odd countries because it seems most African countries never learn. A pity most do not follow the examples set by Botswana & Mauritius which have regular non-violent elections where power is transferred fairly & peacefully.

"The rioters used a sharp cutlass to cut his forehead," said insert name here younger brother as he sat by his bedside along with their mother. "They nearly sliced his skull into two."