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The Kenya Crisis: Instability Piles On in East Africa

Issue 316
Front Page
Index
Headlines

WFP Country Director Visits Somaliland

Somaliland Water & Minerals Ministry Confirms Contact With Lundin Oil Company

Frazer Made Off-Limits To The Independent Press During Somaliland visit

The Historic Meeting between the Somaliland Cross-parliamentary members and UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group

Somaliland Foreign Minister briefs the House of Representatives

Djibouti votes amid opposition boycott

Somalia: The World's forgotten catastrophe

'No Country Deserves to Go the Somalia Way'

Africa, China's new frontier

Somaliland Mission: Taiwan-Africa Progressive Partnership

The Demise of the American Middle Class

AU elections expose Kenya's lack of clear foreign policy

Regional Affairs

Blasts in Somalia's Puntland Region Kill 20

Major increase in UNDP resources for Somaliland in 2008

Somalia Violence and Displacement Worsen

Editorial
Special Report

International News

The Mediterranean Union: Dividing the Middle East and North Africa

Hijack accused remanded for psychiatric assessment

Chavez Says Exxon Suit May Lead to Oil Cutoff to U.S.

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

The practice—and the theory

Alfred Nobel: Controversial Man, Controversial Awards

My brush with Islamic justice in Mogadishu was swift and fair

Why black history matters to us all

Regeneration: The Iraq War and British-Arab Identity in a Historical Context

Muslim rapper talks of inner conflict

Islamist target Hirsi Ali seeks French protection

Gangsters go global

Food for thought

Opinions

A Reality Check on the Governor of Awdal

The Hygiene And Sanitation Corner

SNM is a monument reflecting the triumph of the human spirit

The Presidential trip: “The Most successful event”

In response To The Funny Kulmiye

Somaliland is at the critical junction

A tribute to Hassan Sheikh Mumin


Analysis

by Scott A Morgan

For what its worth the Kenyan Elections were nothing more than an excuse for extremists to go on a Rampage. There was one Group the Kikuyus which had such a stranglehold on Power in the Country that the other 22 Ethnic Groups became Disenfranchised. So when the violence began in the Western Part of Kenya resulting in the deaths of over a thousand people and having Hundreds of Thousands lose their homes and businesses It was felt that a resolution of this crisis was needed in a quick short of time.

During the Week of February 2nd a Mediation Effort was held in Kenya. Under the stewardship of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan it appears that a Coalition Government may soon take power in Nairobi. These talks were held as Hearings were Held in Washington to determine what course of action will be taken by the United States. There are reports of 10 Individuals that have been notified by the US Embassy in Nairobi that they cannot travel to the United States under any circumstance due to their role in the violence after the Elections.

Sadly however Kenya is not the only trouble spot in East Africa at this time. While Kenya has been the focus of most of the World's Journalists and Politicians there are ample enough reasons for concern in the whole region. The Situation in Somalia still remains in a state of flux as the flow of Peacekeepers in an African Union Force remains at a trickle at best. Ethiopian Forces intervened there in late 2006 and still remain in a Quagmire that reminds some people of the current efforts by the United States in Iraq. The Islamist Opposition remains defiant as it launches sporadic attacks across the country.

There is a situation developing once again along the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea. In an act that can be seen as nothing but Spiteful the Government of Eritrea halted all Fuel Supplies to the UN Force that patrols the Common Border. In recent days that force has relocated across the border into Ethiopia. The War of Words between the two Neighbors continues unabated at this time. There have been persistent Threats of an Ethiopian Invasion for several Months now amid Reports that Eritrea has been supporting the Islamist Insurgency in Somalia. In March the Members of the Eritrean Opposition will meet in Addis Ababa to form a Government in Exile. There are some reports that in case of another round of Hostilities between Ethiopia and Eritrea this Body could provide the forces to do the Bidding of Ethiopia.

Finally lets discuss Darfur. The Surprise Offensive by the Chadian Rebels was a masterstroke in delaying the Arrival of an EU Force to Chad. The timing was such that it prevented the Irish Contingent from actually leaving Ireland. To some people the situation in Chad is a microcosm of what is currently happening in Darfur. Also Khatoum continues to hinder any efforts to rein in the violence that is occurring in the Province. A recent offensive by the Sudanese Government killed at least 200 people in Darfur. Sadly this cycle of violence never seems to end in this part of Africa.

On the whole the region is volatile. If one adds the situations in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo then one can possibly consider the region to be a Powder- keg. There are a large number of Small Arms floating around the region. There are also a large number of Refugees as well that are literally living hand to mouth. There are a number of Rebel Groups and dissatisfied People as well and both of those facts add to the volatile Chemistry of the Region as a whole. And they need to be diffused as soon as it is not only Possible but Practical.

How can these situations be diffused? Timely Diplomatic Initiatives can work wonders if done efficiently. The Downside is that it is a Time Consuming Process that also tries Patience. Economic Assistance Programs by the Major Industrial Powers can alleviate some of the Economic Hardships as well as improving the Infrastructure as well. Some People will not react positively to or react well to Diplomacy so then threats of Intervention have to be used. At this time Most Americans probably would not react well to American Forces intervening in another Country to prop up a Faltering Government.

This region is the only part of Africa where there are actually US Forces is the Horn of Africa Region. US Forces did provide some assistance to Ethiopian Forces as they moved through and consolidated their hold on Somalia. US Planes have assisted Rwandan Forces deploy to Darfur as part of their efforts to be Peacekeepers in Darfur as well. So the US has some interests in the region as a whole. A Stable Kenya, A Functioning Somalia and an Ethiopian Government that does not act like a bully are instrumental for a positive US Policy outlook for the Region. Later on this year the US will elect a New President and then we will see how this policy shifts if it does at all.

The Author is the Editor of Confused Eagle (morganrights.tripod.com)


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