Chris Blattman

Kenya commentary

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A large number of blogs have begun to cover Kenyan event much better than I can. So I think this marks the end of my frequent posting on the crisis. But expect commentary and analysis a few times a week, especially as real possibilities for a political solution become apparent.

In the interim, to help cut through some of the vitriol and partisanship of much of the coverage, I’ll frequently point to the handful of things I think make essential reading or give remarkable insight. Today, there are a handful of must-reads.

First, virtually every good import consumed in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern DRC arrives overland. Among other things, Kenya’s instability is leading to a regional fuel crisis, and the World Bank has suggested that the unrest could threaten regional economies more seriously. As a result, my friends and colleagues running aid projects in the post-conflict area in northern Uganda don’t have the fuel to make deliveries and visits. This is just one example of the widespread humanitarian implications of this localized violence.

Meanwhile, four options for a political coalition solution to the crisis are suggested by a group of Kenyan academics based in the US. This is a terrific step. I hope the Kenyan papers pick these up. Moreover, there are indications that Kibaki is open to some form of coalition.

Details of the day’s events at Thinker’s Room. In particular, Raila Odinga is stepping up demands for new elections within three months.

Finally, Mental Acrobatics continues to give the most thoughtful and least shrill commentary on the crisis, especially here, here and here.