The New York Times story from a few days ago on the people who were burned to death inside a church in Kenya blames it all on tribal warfare. But there may be other factors involved also.
“Mob Sets Kenya Church on Fire, Killing Dozens,” by Jeffrey Gettleman for The New York Times:
NAIROBI, Kenya “” Dozens of people seeking refuge in a church in Kenya were burned to death by a mob on Tuesday in an explosion of ethnic violence that is threatening to engulf this country, which until last week was one of the most stable in Africa.
Government officials said Tuesday that they would crack down on anyone who threatened law and order, and they banned political rallies. Meanwhile, Raila Odinga, the opposition leader who lost the election, has vowed to hold a million-person march on Thursday, which many Kenyans fear could become a bloodbath.
On Monday night, several hundred Kikuyus barricaded themselves inside the Kenya Assemblies of God church in Kiambaa, a small village near the town of Eldoret. The next morning, a rowdy mob showed up.
According to witnesses, the mob was mostly Kalenjins, Luhyas and Luos, Mr. Odinga’s tribe, which makes up about 13 percent of the population. They overran Kikuyu guards in front of the church and then pulled out cans of gasoline. There were no police officers around, witnesses said, and no water to put the fire out.
Most people escaped. But in addition to those killed, dozens were hospitalized with severe burns. Witnesses said most of the people hiding inside had been women and children.
The Eldoret area has become a killing zone. Residents say dozens of Kikuyus have been hacked to death, including four who were beheaded on Monday.
In Nairobi, a much-feared Kikuyu street gang called the Mungiki seems to be taking revenge. According to residents in a Luo area, the Mungiki, who are said to take an oath in which they drink human blood, were sweeping through the slums and killing Luos.
The government is now blaming Mr. Odinga for the violence.
That they are blaming Odinga is significant. Here is some background, courtesy Jihad Watch reader JS:
2. Raila Odinga, the current frontrunner in the upcoming presidential election in Kenya, has promised that he will implement strict Islamic Sharia law if he receives the Muslim vote in the country and is elected president.
4. Muslim supporters want Muslim politician to counter Christian evangelism in northern Kenya. “The African Front,” by Joshua Hammer in the New York Times, December 23, 2007:
He supported Kura’s claim that Harugura was being financed by Somalis from the Northeastern Province. “They believe that Harugura is the person to bring back the Rendille tribe from Christianity,” Lesiantam said. “And he has promised that during the first five years, he will have mosques built in every urban center we have in this constituency.”
5. Islamic charities in Kenya are providing Al-Qaeda with operating funds. “Al Qaeda Skimming Charity Money: U.S., Saudi Crackdown Has Largely Failed To Stop Money Flow,” from CBS News, June 7, 2004.