Don’t Call It Cattle Rustling

While the love-in between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga continues, so too does the killing. Another 25 deaths in “cattle rustling” incidents in the Rift Valley this week underlining the fact that a political deal between Kenya’s rivals for president has had little impact on long-standing tribal resentments over land and power.
As François Grignon, Africa director of the International Crisis Group, said…

“What we are seeing is the same conflict continuing in areas like the Rift Valley. A month after peace was signed, we have had more than 100 casualties,” he said. “It may be called cattle rustling but it’s the same thing and a manifestation of the collapse of state authority and its ability to resolve disputes in the area.”

Kofi Annan said it would take a lot longer to address Kenya’s underlying tribal issues than to find a short-term political solution. But I can’t help feeling that with no opposition left in the Kenyan parliament MPs are going to spend all their time jostling for government jobs, rather than trying to find peace in their country.