My book and quotes of the day / week
I rarely publish what I’m reading / I’ve read….but here we go…someone gave me this today…and I loved it. Much of the info I’m sharing here is culled from the book itself as I generally won’t share my interpretation of stuff I read unless I really have to.
UNDERCURRENTS OF ETHNIC CONFLICT IN KENYA – By Dr. John O. Oucho
My best of quotes from the book:
1. “…ethnic conflict in Kenya was far from spontaneous, to say the least anyhing but spontaneous. All indications are that it was essentially political, politically charged while it was on, and unsuccesfully resolved by political means. (But) while the political tag is paramount, and a necessary stance, it is insufficient in unravelling the undercurrents of ethnic conflict in the country.” pp. 96.
2. “In sum, one does not need to be an accomplished political analyst to interpret accurately Kenya’s political barometer occasioned by ethnic clashes as a political move to maintain continuity and deny the opposition any chances of assuming leadership. Nor does one have to be a devil’s advocate to see the political mission of ethnic conflict, namely to place the country in a deceptive sense of emergency in order for those in power to get away with their designs, not least counter decency in the power game.” pp. 97.
This book (published by the University of Nairobi) analyses the ethnic conflict that engulfed Kenya’s Rift Valley Province at the turn of the nineties when multi-party democratic politics were being re-introduced in the country.
Its central thesis is that ethnic conflict in the country then was a function of several issues, among them ethnocentrism, politics, the land question and criminal behaviour in certain circles.
Both its determinants and consequences are demographic, economic, political and socio-cultural, implying the risks in oversimplifying issues.