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 Obama’s Kin Glued to the Radio in Kenya

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PostSubject: Obama’s Kin Glued to the Radio in Kenya   Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:46 pm

Obama’s Kin Glued to the Radio in Kenya
Published: January 4, 2008

NAIROBI, for the top Democratic spot in the caucuses, the formal opening of the American presidential election.
“The situation here is good,” Senator Obama’s uncle, Said Obama, said in a telephone interview from the village. Referring to the Iowa caucuses, he said: “we are following what is going on in the U.S., though we have to rely on the radio.”
Senator Obama’s father, a goat-herder-turned economist, grew up in Nyangoma-Kogelo and was buried there in 1982 following a fatal car crash. When Senator Obama, Democrat of Illinois, visited Kenya in August 2006, he got a hero’s welcome here by residents who consider him a role model and a symbol of American opportunity and multiculturalism (his mother is white and from Kansas). Many wore ironed Obama T-shirts for the occasion.
Nyangoma-Kogelo is in the homeland of the Luo tribe, which has largely escaped the trauma of ethnic fighting and atrocities that followed flawed presidential elections last week. Most of the violence has afflicted more ethnically mixed areas.
Nonetheless, Senator Obama’s uncle said, the village has not been totally immune, with residents afraid to venture too far. He said he had been stuck in the village since visiting last week from the nearby town of Kisumu, where he lives, because violence had flared in Kisumu.
“We have been grounded,” the uncle said. “We can’t go anywhere. There are no vehicles going to Kisumu town due to the fracas there. But the situation here is very calm. There is no problem here.”
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