Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Who Is Talking About The Violence in Kenya? by Akindele Akinyemi

I was reading an article written by my close friend Kenyatta Jackson on how the world is ignoring the situation in Kenya. Of course, most of the mainstream media here is not focused on Kenya because they see that the crisis over there is not important.

Even though I have Nigerian roots I connect with the African Diaspora as a whole. So the Kikuyu and Masai in Kenya are connected to me as well. Therefore, while we are focused on a Presidential election in this country that are full of tall tales and mishaps (watch Guilani Lose tonight in Florida) no one is paying attention to the situation in Kenya.

No presidential candidate has taken a position on the situation in Kenya on either side of the aisle (Democrat or Republican). I have not even heard Barack Obama in ANY of his speeches talk about Kenya. Not ONE grassroots Black Republican or Democrat I have talked to have not discussed it in public. When we are going to learn that we are connected to the world and not sit here on our island in America?

Since the president, Mwai Kibaki, claimed a disputed victory in elections late in December, political violence, shootings by police and clashes between rival ethnic groups have spread across the country, claiming hundreds of lives. The opposition leader, Raila Odinga, who says the election result was rigged, has given warning that Kenya is “drifting into a state of anarchy”. An opposition MP was shot dead in the capital, Nairobi, early today. Despite diplomatic efforts to resolve the political dispute, some observers fear that murders and reprisals by rival ethnic gangs could soon become unstoppable.

Over 850 people have been killed since late December and the crisis is not letting up.

Several weeks ago dozens of people seeking refuge in a church in Kenya were burned to death by a mob. Tribal militias squares off against each other in several slums in the inner cities, with gunshots ringing out and clouds of black smoke wafting over the shanties.

The European Union have stated that there was clear evidence of ballot rigging, and European officials called for an independent investigation. Kenya's president, Mwai Kibaki, who won the election by a razor-thin margin, has refused.

Are we facing another Rwanda? Remember how former President Bill Clinton did nothing to stop the violence in that country? Now we have President Bush and Kenya. Mr. President the world is watching. I am not waiting on Condoleeza Rice to make a public statement. We have to make a public statement. During the Presidential debates they talked about the situation in Darfur, Sudan but not Kenya.

I feel that this is not just the Bush Administration's role but what about all of these Black organizations and churches that talk about the injustices that goes on on 14th and Grand River here in Detroit but have been collectively silent on this issue in Kenya? It is the people in the Diaspora responsibility to collectively condemn these violent attacks and allow diplomacy to resume.

The issue that we are seeing in Kenya are decades of tyranny, manipulation of law, arrogance and theft has been set loose on people in Kenya.

What started as a legitimate quest to ensure fairness in the just concluded presidential elections in Kenya has unleashed a deadly force.

The middle class has their heads in the sands. If not urging for prayer for peace, concerts for peace, they are fundraising to erect billboards for peace at every residential area entrance. Nairobi is burning; tribal passions are being whipped up by the day. The middle class is busy checking in the dictionary for high sounding moralistic words while privately urging on their fellows to protect the supremacy of their tribes.

Brutish force without power will not bring peace in Kenya, neither will power without legal force. Therefore, our global community across the Diaspora must ban together to stop the violence in Kenya before it is too late.


Anonymous said...

Coopted ExProgressive - You are not telling the truth - Black Afrikan U.S. Senator Barack Obama Democratic Presidential Candidate - whose father is Kenyan urged both sides to stop the violence on behalf of the Kenyan people

Akindele F. Akinyemi said...

He has NOT discussed this openly during his Presidential run dumb ass.