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Gavin: Kenya’s Political Mess

Interviewee: Michelle D. Gavin, International Affairs Fellow
Interviewer: Lee Hudson Teslik, Assistant Editor
January 2, 2008

The aftermath of Kenya’s December 27 presidential elections thrust the country into bouts of intense ethnic fighting. As of January 2, some 275 people were reported dead (BBC), and tens of thousands had fled their homes. Michelle Gavin, CFR’s international affairs fellow and an expert on Africa, says the violence comes as a major setback for a country that only began its democracy project in 2002. Gavin says some of the parties involved now seek a power-sharing agreement between the country’s incumbent president, Mwai Kibaki, and opposition leader, Raila Odinga. Gavin also discusses the impact of Kenya’s unrest on the Horn of Africa region, where Nairobi has served as a significant ally for the United States in its efforts to crack down on terrorist activity.

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