Potential Hot Spots: January 28, 2005

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Kikuyu and Masai tribesmen have been fighter each other for the past week in northwestern Kenya. The battles have left at least sixteen dead, and local police have pulled out of the area, waiting for police and army reinforcements. The hostility between the tribes has been there for a long time, and the main reason for the violence is a shortage of water and land. Incidents of cattle rustling escalate into raids on villages by hundreds of armed men. In the past, the weapons were fairly primitive (bows, spears, machetes). But now there are a lot of AK-47s, which greatly increase the death toll. The combination of water and land shortages, and availability of AK-47s is common throughout the Sahel (the semi-arid area just south of the Sahara desert).

 

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