News / Africa

Kenya Tensions Ease Following Riots Over Cleric Assassination

Kenyan policemen watch over youths protesting against the killing of Sheikh Aboud Rogo Mohammed, Mombasa, August 31, 2012.
Kenyan policemen watch over youths protesting against the killing of Sheikh Aboud Rogo Mohammed, Mombasa, August 31, 2012.
Roopa Gogineni
NAIROBI — Security has been restored in the Kenyan city of Mombasa after heavy rioting early this week. On Monday, the assassination of Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo Mohamed triggered the protests, but analysts believe the perceived marginalization of coastal communities underlie the unrest.

The streets of Mombasa, patrolled by security forces, were calm on Friday after widespread rioting earlier in the week.
 
On Monday, the assassination of Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo Mohamed triggered two days of riots in the coastal Kenyan city, leaving at least four dead and dozens injured.  

Abdullahi Halakhe, the Kenya analyst with the International Crisis Group, believes the assassination provoked the unrest, but that there are deeper issues at hand.

Riots uncover deeper problems

“The entire coastal region feels extremely disenfranchised by the state," said Halakhe. "They feel like they are internally colonized by the Kenyan state. They can go through a list of issues that they feel like the state has done economically and otherwise to marginalize them.”  

These grievances include insecurity over land ownership and unemployment. In addition, human rights groups accuse the Kenyan police of committing several extrajudicial killings over past few years, in the name of counterterrorism.  

An unidentified gunman shot Mohamed, an alleged supporter of the Somali militant group al-Shabab, as he drove a van carrying his family.  

Halakhe said Kenya's government appears not to mind when violence in the name of counterterrorism takes place in the country.

Counterterrorism profitable?

“Over the last few years the Kenyan government has realized there is a lot of money to be made when they participate in counterterrorism activity," said Halakhe. "We have traded good governance and human rights for counterterrorism and that is a very dangerous road, particularly if we go towards the election.”

President Mwai Kibaki traveled to Mombasa on Thursday to attend an agricultural trade fair. He cautioned against sectarian violence, echoing statements made by Prime Minister Raila Odinga the day before in the same city.

An estimated 1,300 people were killed in riots and ethnic violence that followed Kenya's disputed 2007 presidential election.

Analysts and ordinary Kenyans alike have expressed worry that more violence could be triggered by the next elections, scheduled for March of next year.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid