Saturday, February 2, 2008

Kenya: In Diplomatic Intensive Care

And that is from Time.

Give me talk, any time, over war. And it seems that it may work this time. I am surprised, and grateful. I have read the Time article, and find them well informed. Interesting thing for a truly African crisis. In the way it came about and the way it is playing out.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon jetted into Kenya on Friday for a round of talks aimed at easing Kenya's post-election crisis, traveling what has been a path well-trodden by high-profile diplomats as the world tries to keep the chaos here from mutating into all-out ethnic war. Already in Kenya was Ban's predecessor, Kofi Annan, who is mediating negotiations between President Mwai Kibaki's government and the opposition Orange Democratic Movement of Raila Odinga, who claims that Kibaki's associates stole the vote through massive vote rigging. Nelson Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, who is a U.N. expert on humanitarian issues as well as a former First Lady of Mozambique, has flown in to help bring the parties together. Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mpaka is here, Ghana's President John Kufuor came and went, and South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa, a businessman who helped negotiate an end to apartheid, is expected to arrive shortly.

And I must say that the good will of the international community is impressing me. Yeah, ulterior motives. But guess, even to me, this affects me more than the Darfur conflict, or the rebel advance in Chad. Purely selfish reasons.

Analysts say there are many reasons for Kenya to get so more attention: It is an economic hub whose port delivers supplies to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and South Sudan; and it is an important U.S. ally in the War on Terror. And the potential for even greater mayhem in Kenya remains high. Both Annan and former U.S. President Bill Clinton have acknowledged their failure to prevent or stop the Rwanda genocide. And while western pundits may dismiss the comparison, for Kenyans, the fear of a second Rwanda is very real.

A second Rwanda. That is a thought that chills me to the bone.

The diplomats are venturing into a country with a power vacuum. "I think Kibaki is getting very poor advice. He's showing no personal leadership in this crisis; I'm not quite sure who around him is making the decisions," says Richard Leakey, the world famous paleontologist and chairman of, who is active in Kenyan politics as an anti-corruption campaigner. "I think that's a large part of the problem — the country feels at sea without a captain. But ODM has made some pretty outrageous statements too. Everybody is playing bad guy on this and nobody is trying to play good guy."

Now, can someone tell those dastardly politicians in Kenya to ‘Get out of the Way’!!

Usikelele Afrika. God bless Africa


PS. Leakey was wondering who is making the decisions around Mr Kibaki. Well, I have a guess. His wife. The one who insists that she is the First and not the Second Wife, and slaps functionaries who dare mistake her for the first wife. err, my fingers are allowed to slip? After all, it is my blog!

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