January 2, 2012 |
When Yon Meakchan isn't converting publications into electronic form for customers such as Stanford University, he pedals his bicycle 10 miles south from his office to the rural edges of this city of 2 million people to help his family, pulling weeds in rice paddies, tending to banana trees and wading into a murky river to bathe oxen. "Poor people work very hard," said Yon, the eldest of eight children who grew up in a bamboo and thatched-roof house. "If they want to buy nice clothes or a motorbike, they can't.
December 4, 2011 |
You Will See Fire A Search for Justice in Kenya Christopher Goffard W.W. Norton: 317 pp., $27.95 The body of John Kaiser, an American Catholic priest, was found in a ditch outside the Kenyan market town of Naivasha on Aug. 24, 2000. A gunshot had blown off the back of Kaiser's head. He was 67, and for years he'd been a thorn in the side of Kenya's violent and corrupt ruling regime. A supposedly thorough FBI investigation concluded that Kaiser, with a history of manic depression, had killed himself.
November 27, 2011 |
Its name means "multitude," and it may be the biggest and most dangerous gang in the world, a thuggish army terrorizing Kenya with extortion rackets and gruesome punishments. Much about the organization called Mungiki is cloaked in myth and speculation, not least the estimate of sworn members -- some say 100,000, others say millions. Those claiming to be defectors, however, say the gang relies on strict discipline and tolerates no dissent. "If a member disobeys, they would cut that member's head off and put the head in public view at the place where they had a problem with the member," an alleged former member said in a statement to prosecutors at the International Criminal Court.
November 18, 2011 |
In the month since Kenya invaded southern Somalia, one government official has urged negotiations with Al Qaeda-linked militants the army is attacking there. Another ruled out talks. A spokesman said the incursion was months in the planning. The army commander said the decision took just days. There is greater accord among officials that the country's first foreign war in its nearly 50-year history is likely to be a long slog, and among critics that Operation Linda Nchi, or Protect the Nation, is a risky venture of more value to the U.S. than to Kenya.
November 17, 2011 |
Kenya's government has made an urgent appeal to the Obama administration for the Pentagon to provide intelligence and logistical support to Kenya's faltering month-old military operation in Somalia against the Shabab, a powerful Al Qaeda-linked militia. Administration officials are considering the request, which came through the State Department, to provide military surveillance and reconnaissance that could include imagery from drone aircraft. Such aid would represent a significant expansion of U.S. involvement in the chaotic East African nation.
November 4, 2011 |
In Nairobi's "Little Mogadishu" neighborhood, paranoia drifts in the air, mingling with cooking smells and the stink of open drains. "I'm living in a world of fear," says Ahmed Ali Ibrahim, a tall, skinny 35-year-old Somali refugee with a shrapnel scar under his skull cap. "I can't walk about freely. " Ibrahim says he fled his homeland for Kenya, seeking safety after being wounded last year in a grenade attack on African Union peacekeepers by the Shabab, the Somali militant group linked to Al Qaeda.
October 30, 2011 |
The commander of Kenya's defense forces declared Saturday that his troops would remain in neighboring Somalia until the threat from the militant Islamist militia Shabab is eliminated and Kenyans feel safe. Given the messiness of other countries' incursions in Somalia, the vow by defense forces chief Gen. Julius Karangi suggests that Kenya's first military adventure since independence nearly half a century ago could be a long one. In 1992, U.S.-led forces launched Operation Restore Hope, which led to the "Black Hawk Down" catastrophe of October 1993, in which 18 U.S. troops were killed and the bodies of some of them dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, the Somali capital.
October 25, 2011 |
The Kenyan capital was hit Monday by two blasts apparently aimed at civilians a little more than a week after government troops were sent into the country's war-torn neighbor, Somalia. One person was reported dead and more than 20 were injured in the attacks. No one immediately claimed responsibility. But a spokesman for insurgents with the Shabab group last week warned that the group would cause violence in Nairobi if Kenyan troops were not withdrawn. In the first attack, a grenade strike at a bar in downtown Nairobi early Monday injured about 12, with most suffering cuts and scratches.
October 19, 2011 |
A 66-year-old Frenchwoman who was abducted by a band of Somali gunmen at the beginning of the month has died in captivity, French authorities announced Wednesday. Marie Dedieu, who used a wheelchair, lived in a modest beachfront house on Manda Island in the Lamu resort archipelago on Kenya's northern coast. She was seized by gunmen, thrown into a speedboat and taken to Somalia, a war-torn country that has become a base for piracy. Kenyan authorities unsuccessfully pursued the kidnappers.
September 13, 2011 |
More than 60 people died Monday in a densely populated Nairobi slum after an explosion and fire caused by gasoline from a leaking pipe. At least 116 badly burned people, many of them children, were taken to hospitals. Many were not expected to survive, as medical staff struggled with shortages of blood for transfusions. Witnesses described a scene from hell: charred bodies strewn around the area and floating in a nearby river, where burning people had jumped into the water to extinguish flames.