Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ugandan impacts from the Kenya crisis

Here's the latest that we've heard from our friends in Ruhiira, our village in SW Uganda - a region that relies almost completely on overland trucks coming from the port in Mombasa, Kenya for fuel supplies (among many other necessary goods) - and thus is very much tied to the fate of the unrest in Kenya.

The situation has mostly died down as far as fuel shortages in Uganda, but at this time last week in Mbarara - which is the town in which the Ruhiira project office is located - gasoline was going for prices as high as 10,000 Sh/L - the equivalent of about $21 USD/gallon! And we're complaining here about $3! As you can imagine, this basically shut the country down for several days until armed guards could accompany the fuel convoys through to the Uganda border.

In a sign of the larger effects of the situation in Kenya on the rest of East Africa, the East African Commission (which, yes, also includes Rwanda and Burundi) has officially called the recent Kenyan election flawed. I guess Museveni (the Ugandan president who is also currently president of the EAC) finally got a clue and realized that he couldn't gain any more political points by backing Kibaki. (Last week, he basically sold his support of Kibaki for about 24 fuel trucks worth of fuel... talk about desperation).

Pray for Peace.

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