Kenya: Flaws in the Showcase

A revolt reveals dangerous tensions in black Africa's model state

The sense of strain and anxiety lingered ominously. Banks and government offices were open, but workers and shoppers who normally thronged the downtown streets of Nairobi (pop. about 970,000) were rushing for home by midafternoon to observe a dusk-to-dawn curfew, leaving the city center a ghost town. Blocks of shops in the downtown area were boarded up, concealing the shattered windows and vacant shelves left behind by an orgy of looting. Occasionally, sprawled corpses could be seen on city streets, evidence that a tough government crackdown was still in progress in...

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