Tuesday, January 29, 2008
MESSAGE TO THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL
It is clear that the illegitimate government of Kenya led by Mwai Kibaki and people of Kenya all over the country have failed to prevent and halt the senseless killing of innocent civilians and they all share in the shame of the crimes that are being committed in Kenya right now. However, we do not want to fault the U.N. Security Council in future for failing to intervene in the Kenyan situation before it degenerated into another "Rwandan" genocide. This is the time for UN peace keepers to move into Kenya and stop the killings. It is very evident that the Kenyan police has been overpowered and they are "begging" for reinforcement from outside.
Let the Americans also not be accused of only being interested in saving money again and the British of only being interested in saving face. This happened in the Rwandan situation and it is bound to happen again.
It is clear that there is a deliberate choice by a a clique of political elites in Kenya who are inciting fear and hatred to keep themselves in power yet both African and Western leaders are reacting timidly and tardily while the killings are growing on a scale that is alarming each day.
http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/ … sid=115693
In the crisis, the buck stops with Kibaki
Publication Date: 1/30/2008
Whether the killing on Tuesday of Embakasi MP Melitus “Mugabe” Were was an assassination or — as the police put it — pure murder, it will certainly complicate the state of national insecurity, which threatens to turn Kenya into a failed state.
It comes as the country grapples with national unrest in which 350,000 people have been displaced, at least 800 have died and property worth billions of shillings has been destroyed.
Such is the cycle of violence that has poisoned ethnic relations that the fear of civil war is not far-fetched and the prospect of healing wounds and reconstruction is simply daunting.
Every image of a razed house, every shot of a drying patch of blood is a chilling reminder of the deep fissures which have turned Kenya’s fabled unity into a mirage. Eldoret, Kisumu, Nakuru, Naivasha — it’s all a tale of blood-letting and destruction on a scale never envisaged in our beloved country.
We have now reached a stage where we must wonder whether the Government has been absent or has been unable to function since President Kibaki was declared elected for a second term and sworn in under a cloud of controversy.
Yet we are nowhere near resolving the dispute: Opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga claims that the election was rigged and has refused to accept President Kibaki’s victory; The President insists he was fairly elected and duly took up office. The standoff has precipitated the worst crisis Kenya has faced since Independence.
This is not about who won or who did not win the presidential election. It is not about who is responsible for organising or fuelling the violence. This is about the simple and indisputable fact that, whatever the circumstances of his victory, President Kibaki now occupies State House and owes this country a responsibility. Granted, the legitimacy of his presidency is in question, but nobody is better placed than he to deal with the daily slaughter of innocent Kenyans and the rancid climate of ethnic distrust.
For now, he controls the instruments of State.
If then there is a government in place, why has the situation been allowed to get out of hand? The killings and evictions in northern Rift Valley, the revenge attacks in Nakuru and Naivasha and the ethnic fighting in Nairobi slums all indicate an abysmal failure of government.
The diplomatic effort
Yes, the formal mediation by Mr Annan’s team has started, but the public’s confidence in the diplomatic effort is continually dampened by jarring remarks — bordering on the insensitive — from Cabinet Ministers and Opposition hard-liners harping on the legitimacy of their cause. How, for instance, does Mr Amos Kimunya propose to push ahead with the Safaricom flotation with internal refugee camps full and some mortuaries overflowing with strife victims? How callous can one be, Mr Otieno Kajwang’, to dismiss the fate of innocent women and children burnt to death in a church as a “wake-up call”?
Then there are the politicians and businessmen who are fuelling a frightening new conflagration. Impatient with what they see as President Kibaki’s inability to handle violent dissent, they are reported to be raising funds and mobilising militias to counter what they see as the targeting of their community. The attacks in Naivasha and Nakuru may be part of this strategy, which may also include leaflets by a shadowy group containing a hit list of alleged tribal “traitors.” The list includes politicians, civil society activists and journalists.
Much of what has befallen Kenyan indicates an absence of leadership. No one can dispute the fact that in many of the worst hit areas, particularly in the Rift Valley, the government’s security and administrative organs fell flat on their faces.
In Nakuru and Naivasha, the world watched in horror as police stood by while armed mobs set up illegal roadblocks and killed innocent people.
Whereas in Kisumu and Nairobi police were accused of using excessive force against rioters and demonstrators, in Nakuru and Naivasha the force appears to have done exactly the opposite: It was ineffective against murderous mobs who killed and maimed in full view of television cameras. Mr Kibaki has at his command awesome powers that can be called upon to restore sanity before things get out of control.
This should not be about using the full might of the security forces against the opposition; this is about applying lawful force to counter all troublemakers, whatever their political or ethnic affiliations. It’s about defending the Constitution and protecting life and limb; it’s about enforcing peace; it’s about statesmanship.
While all sides in the political divide bear responsibility for what has happened to Kenya, it ultimately falls on the President to exercise his authority and do what needs to be done. He has to restore law and order and drive the pursuit of a just political settlement.
That is what occupying the Top Office is all about, Mr Kibaki, and there can be no evading that responsibility.
If Kenya disintegrates, history books will record that the collapse of a once great, united and prosperous country happened on your watch.