Sunday, February 3, 2008

Kenya Violence in Perspective

News reports say that the number of deaths from the violence in Kenya in the month following the elections reached about 800. Data from the Political Instability Task Force (PITF) Worldwide Atrocities Databases, hosted at the University of Kansas (link here) suggests that this death toll is extraordinary and that there is good reason to be very concerned. Here is a link to a set of graphs showing non-combatant deaths from collective violence in select sub-Saharan African countries from 1995-2007. The graphs were made by aggregating death tolls recorded in the PITF by month for each country.

News agencies reported excess of 800 non-combatant deaths per month in sub-Saharan Africa the following cases: Burundi during the re-escalation of the civil war in the late 1990s, in Cote d'Ivoire as the political crisis in that country escalated in the early 2000s, in DRC (Congo-Kinshasa) during the "first Kabila war" and recently during the crisis in the east, in Nigeria at two point in the past decade, in Rwanda as the RPF pushed through the country, and in Sudan as the Darfur crisis escalated. (Countries not shown in these graphs were never reported to have experienced high levels of deadly violence, according to the data.)

No comments: