This issue’s contents:

COVER: Kenya: Is the crisis really over?

Class and kinship in Kenya's killing fields
By Oduor Ong‘wen

Kenya's post-election mayhem, which erupted after the presidential contender Raila Odinga charged the incumbent Mwai Kibaki with rigging the 27 December vote, resulted in more than 1,000 deaths and the displacement of 300,000 people. While the violence followed tribal patterns, Oduor Ong'wen says it is essential to bear in mind that Kenyan society is polarised not because Kenyans belong to different ethnic groups but because they relate differently to the country's resources. The roots of the current conflict are to be found in the unresolved grievances over land ownership centred on historical injustices traceable to the colonial occupation.

'Tribalism' and land: The continuing colonial past in Kenya's current crisis
By T Rajamoorthy

It is difficult to make sense of the current situation in Kenya without an understanding of the role played by British colonialism in respect of the twin issues of 'tribalism' and land, says T Rajamoorthy.

Ethnic woes a legacy of colonialists' power game
By Caroline Elkins

If you're looking for the origins of Kenya's ethnic tensions, look to its colonial past, says Caroline Elkins.

The roots of Kenya's crisis
By Mildred Ngesa

Kenya's crisis is a reminder that if democracy is to solve Africa's problems, many historical, socio-political, cultural and economic woes must be dealt with.

Kenya and the myth of 'African barbarism'
By Julie Hearn

It is the everyday heroic and pragmatic humanism of ordinary Kenyans which has acted as a countervailing force throughout Kenya's history to the powder keg of politically manipulated ethnicity, says Julie Hearn.

Power-sharing and the implications for state restructuring in Kenya
By  Antony Otieno Ong’ayo

While the move brokered by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for a coalition government under which the contending parties will share power has brought peace to Kenya, and has been widely welcomed, the initiative is not without its problems, especially in terms of governance. Antony Otieno Ong'ayo examines some of these.


Are transgenic trees on the way?
By Ricardo Carrere

Large-scale industrial tree monocultures have already proven to have serious social and environmental impacts. These impacts could be even further aggravated by the introduction of transgenic trees, which at the same time could affect natural forests themselves. This article offers information on this relatively unknown issue as a means of creating awareness about this new threat.


Mass society and mass depression
By Bruce E Levine

There is now an epidemic of depression in consumer societies and, says Bruce E Levine, most psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals have been looking in the wrong places for its root cause.


As turmoil continues, West considers major subsidies
By Martin Khor

As the financial crisis which has its origins in the US subprime housing loan mess continues to wreak havoc in the US and Europe, Western governments are thinking the unthinkable - extending subsidies to ailing financial institutions.

Subprime mortgage crisis metastasizes
By Michael Lim Mah Hui

As the US subprime crisis worsens, the debate on whether it will result in a recession has quickened. Michael Lim Mah Hui explains why a recession, or more likely a stagflation - a recession beset with inflation - will be the probable outcome.

The bad news at the pump
By Michael T Klare

World oil prices recently broke through the critical US$100-per-barrel 'barrier'. This article, though addressed to US consumers, analyses the broader political and economic implications of this historic price hike.


India launches a Pandora's Box
By Praful Bidwai 

India's space-launch of an Israeli satellite in late January to spy on Iran further advances the India-Israel political and strategic relationship, signifies growing deviation from India's non-aligned policy, and casts a shadow over New Delhi's relations with Tehran as well as the Arab world.

Multiple crises rising in Middle East
By Phyllis Bennis

The Middle East, the epicentre of the world's political turmoil, is beset not by a single crisis but by multiple crises. This article, written before the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War, Phyllis Bennis considers how these various crises located in different countries of the region are being accentuated by US political manoeuvres.

View from Gaza: 'The Holocaust! The Holocaust!'
By Haidar Eid

From 27 February- 2 March, the Israeli army killed some 110 Palestinians in Gaza, about half of them civilians and nearly a quarter children. As the carnage began, Israel's Deputy Defence Minister, Matan Vilnai, threatened the Palestinians with a 'greater holocaust' if they stepped up rocket attacks on Israel. Haidar Eid comments.


Root cause of Palestinian violence is Israeli occupation
By Kanaga Raja

Israel must address the occupation and its violation of human rights and not invoke the justification of terrorism as 'a pretext for failure to confront the root cause of Palestinian violence - the occupation', says UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard in his latest report.


Women, commitments and inaction
By Roberto Bissio

Musing on the recent finding by the UN Commission on the Status of Women that the commitments to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment have not been honoured, Roberto Bissio asks: are there not enough men in power ashamed by their lack of action?

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