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Ethnic hate speech reveals roots of Kenya violence

Boys play July 28, 2014 in front of a mural that calls for youth to live in peace in the swahili language in Nairobi's sprawling Kibera slum , a hotspot of deadly ethnic violence following the disputed results of the 2007 general electionsKenya takes pride in being a union of “42 tribes”, but a string of attacks in towns on its volatile Indian Ocean coast has exposed bitter and explosive ethnic tensions linked to politics. The series of killings in which around 100 people have died in recent weeks have provoked warlike political speeches, alarmist headlines, and offensive and inflammatory messages on social media. “There has been a surge of dangerous speech,” said 26-year-old Nanjira Sambuli, a project leader of Umati, an online project monitoring hate speech, based in Nairobi’s sleek iHub offices. The gruesome massacres near the tourist island of Lamu in June were claimed by the Shebab, Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents, saying the murders were retaliation for Kenya’s military role in their country.

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