Focus on the Horn on the complexity of Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya:
Eastleigh is not just a Somali story. For example, conspicuous amongst its population are vast numbers of Meru from central Kenya: many have migrated to the estate to sell the khat grown in their home region, attracting other Meru in turn to either join the khat trade or start up cafes, salons and so forth. There is also an important connection to Eritrea and Ethiopia. More established Eritreans and Ethiopians have had a major stake in the matatus plying the Eastleigh route, some becoming involved in this business as far back as the 1970s. Ethiopian restaurants and businesses are easy to find in the estate, especially around 10th Street, an area that might be labelled ‘Little Addis’ if one were so inclined. Among these Ethiopians, Oromo form a large and increasing proportion as more and more flee persecution in Ethiopia. In appearance and dress they can often be mistaken for Somalis, but in fact operate a significant number of the stalls in the Eastleigh malls. Reporting on Eastleigh needs to recognise this diversity and most importantly, this interconnectedness – which in the end is what makes business and peace possible.
In another Kenya story, Lesley Anne Warner writes on a recent court ruling that called a ban on the Mombasa Republican Council unconstitutional.
James Gundun writes on northern Mali here – “bringing a U.S.-backed war to Mali could create a new quagmire in the heart of north Africa” – and leaves another insightful comment on the situation here: “ECOWAS, EU and UN rhetoric [regarding a potential military intervention in northern Mali] is meant to reassure ‘the market’ that is the Sahel: to bluff the MNLA and Islamic militants, and stem a confidence crisis during a regional emergency.”
Kal on Qatar, Algeria, and Mali.
Drawing on the recent shooting in Aurora, Colorado and the recent clashes in Jos, Nigeria, Andrew Walker discusses how the media covers violence.
Africa Is A Country on London, Africa, and the Olympics.
What are you reading today? Also, do you think it’s time for a purge of the blogroll? Some of those blogs haven’t been updated in months.