So They Say

Violence in Kenya has only gotten worst in the past few weeks, leaving many to describe the situation as “ethnic cleansing” and even some to use the dreaded term “genocide.” The last time I checked, the conservative estimate of the dead was hovering between 800 to 850; nonetheless, the disputing parties are not making any progress toward a concrete solutions.

Many former and current African leaders have been to Kenya to mediate the dispute to no avail. So far only Kofi Anan have made a “slight” progress in the talks between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, but really, who are they kidding? “Four points of agreement towards peace” is what they announced after a week of “intense” negotiation – all nonsense to the people of Kenya.

Let’s keep in mind that five years ago, Odinga and Kibaki had an “agreement of understanding” between them in which Odinga put his support behind Kibaki’s bid for the presidency against Daniel arap Moi and in return, Kibaki was supposed to create a Prime Minister post for Odinga when he’s elected. Well, in a true African style, Mwai Kibaki screwed Odinga and skipped on the agreement (both signed) of understanding.  And that is how the Democratic Orange Movement opposition in Kenya started – a loose coalition dedicated to getting rid of Mwai Kibaki.

If the previous screw off is any indication, Odinga is not going to back off from his demand for a new election, and certainly Kibaki will not want to allow a new election because he is as certain as his death that he will be crushed like a grape. So what is the moral of this sad story? Unless Kibaki allows for a new presidential election (which I seriously doubt he will- sadly) Kenya will just become another failed state in Africa – a club that includes its illustrious neighbor Somalia,  Sudan (Darfur), Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo and so on.

Regardless of what Kofi Anan has achieved in his talks with Kibaki and Odinga, which has been erroneously reported as the end of the violence in Kenya by the International media, Kenya’s only hope for return to stability is a new presidential election and redistribution of land, the cause of so many displacements and civil unrest. Unless the first (a new presidential election) happens, the second cannot happen, and if the second (land distribution) cannot happen, then a true civil war is inevitable.

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Categories: Africa Related, Corruption, East Africa, Elections | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “So They Say

  1. Kenya has always been a failed state. Politics is war without bloodshed, war is politics with bloodshed. When the state isn’t institutionalized to have elections without hundreds of people subject to dying, then it is a failed state.

  2. Om

    That’s true. In fact, I pointed this out in my earlier post about the violence in Kenya when the Associated Press was continuously referring to Kenya as a “prosperous democracy” in every dispatch they did. It was frustrating for someone who has lived in Kenya to read that. Kenya was worst than failed state and I think this past election has highlighted all the frustrations and deep hatred between fellow citizens.

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