World View: Kenya's Presidential Candidate Threatens Violence if He Loses

This morning's key headlines from

  • Kenya: Presidential candidate threatens violence if he loses
  • Chad says it killed two al-Qaeda linked terrorist leaders in Mali
  • Gun control talk increases public interest in 3D Printing
  • 7 year old schoolboy is suspended for shaping pastry into a gun

Kenya: Presidential candidate threatens violence if he loses

Odinga supporters rally on Saturday (AP)
Odinga supporters rally on Saturday (AP)

Kenya's current prime minister, Raila Odinga, on Saturday accused his opponents of planning to rig the vote in Monday's presidential election, and said that if he loses, it will be because of "blackmail and intimidation":

"I have warned them the consequences may be worse than last time round. The people will not stomach another rigging."

The "last time around" that he's referring to was the last election, in late December 2007, which was followed by massive ethnic violence between Odinga's Luo tribe, and his opponent's Kikuyu tribe. (See "Post-election massacre in Kenya raises concerns of tribal war")

For Monday's presidential election, the two leading candidates are Odinga once again, facing another Kikuyu candidate, Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's first president, Jomo Kenyatta, the "founding father" of Kenya as a nation. Kenyatta called Odinga's threat "dangerous and inflammatory," and demanded a rejection. Odinga issued a statement saying that he had been misquoted.

The Luo and Kikuyu tribes have had many ethnic wars in the past, and a new one would not be a surprise. Kenya's last generational crisis war was the Mau-Mau rebellion, which climaxed in 1956, so enough time has passed, and a new generational crisis war is a possibility.

However, there are 8 candidates in Monday's election, and the rules require a vote over 50% to be a winner. Odinga and Kenyatta are each expected to get a plurality and lead the vote, but neither is expected to gain a majority, so some analysts believe that this outcome will mean no violence this time. However, this outcome will force a run-off election in April, and tensions may be higher than ever at that time. ABC News and AP

Chad says it killed two al-Qaeda linked terrorist leaders in Mali

Chad's army claims to have killed terrorist leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who led January's attack on an Algerian gas plant where at least 37 hostages were killed. (See "18-Jan-13 World View -- Did France kick a hornet's nest with military intervention in Mali?".)

Belmokhtar began a two-decade career of Islamic militancy, first as a member of Algeria's Islamic Armed Group in the country's civil war, then as a joint founder of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (SGPC), which later evolved into Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). However, after an AQIM leadership split, Belmokhtar formed his own terrorist group, the Khaled Abu al-Abbas Brigade, which claimed responsibility for the attack on the gas plant.

Chad's army also claims to have killed another AQIM leader, Adelhamid Abou Zeid, in Mali on Friday. The deaths cannot be confirmed until DNA tests have been completed, but if the claims are true, then it will al-Qaeda terrorists in Mali back for a couple of months, until they can regroup. Guardian (London) and Reuters

Gun control talk increases public interest in 3D Printing

Talk of gun control, which is one of Washington's stupidest ideas, in a city where extreme stupidity is the hallmark of everyone from the president on down, is having more unintended consequences. It's already been reported that gun owners and would-be gun owners are buying up all the guns and ammunition they can find, for fear of losing the opportunity.

When I wrote about gun control in December, I pointed out that there's no evidence that prohibitions in the past -- of alcohol, drugs, abortion and prostitution -- had any actual effect, but they had a large negative effect of creating bootleggers, organized crime, drug cartels and prostitution rings.

I particularly mentioned that 3D printing would, within a couple of years, allow anyone to manufacture guns in his garage or basement. That day is arriving much more quickly as another unintended consequence of the talk of gun control. Media attention has increased, including a great deal of coverage by al-Jazeera on how 3D printing would effectively end gun control in the UK.

A Texas gunsmith, Cody Wilson, last year demonstrated a 3D-printed AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, but his work was ridiculed because the fell apart after firing six rounds. However, Wilson has fixed the design flaws, and has now demonstrated an AR-15 that can shoot 600 rounds without failing. He's put his entire design template on the internet for anyone to download and use with their own 3D printers.

Manufacturing an AR-15 with a 3D printer is still an expensive affair. The printer itself costs several thousand dollars, and then each gun takes 9-12 hours of print time and costs $150 in materials. But within a couple of years, those prices will have come down, and there will be even more advanced templates available on the internet available for anyone with a 3D printer to use. Al-Jazeera and Ars Technica

7 year old schoolboy is suspended for shaping pastry into a gun

Josh Welsh, a second grader with attention deficit disorder in Baltimore, was suspended for "manufacturing" his own gun. He was eating a strawberry tart, and decided to shape it into a mountain, but apparently the result looked like a gun. The teacher became furious, and Josh was suspended for two days. Fox News

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