29
Jan
08

What can be done to stop the violence in Kenya?

Hello, it’s Leonardo. Ros is on the road in Ghana, from where he’ll present today’s show. Another day of violence in several parts of Kenya today.

That’s after a weekend when more than 100 people were killed.

We heard horrific accounts this morning, of random shoots on crowds of people, neighbours turning into old friends of different ethnic brackground. What can be done to stop the violence? What can be done to avoid Kenya descending into genocide?

RWANDA OR BOSNIA? 

Genocide is a strong word, recently associated with what happened in Rwanda.

Richard Dowden, Director of the Royal African Society, says the violence in Kenya is horrific, but we can’t talk about a new Rwanda. 

“Think Bosnia or Serbia, not Rwanda. This is going to be horrific and puts Kenya and the entire East African region at risk of economic collapse. But it’s not genocide”, he wrote in today’s Independent.

Richard Dowden will be with us in the programme for the full hour. We’ll also hear from people in Kenya about a day many will prefer to forget.

We’ll start with three Kenyans, in different parts of the country, Iain contacted this morning.

They’ve recorded an audio diary of this Tuesday and will join us live. That’s what they had to say earlier on:

Omar, in Naivasha: “Men are arming themselves to protect their families at night. If things don’t improve, I’m worried Kenya will end up like Rwanda.

Jane, in Turbo: “Neighbours I used to have dinner with have burnt down my family’s house”

Thomas Oloyo, a well know actor in Nairobi: “In my hometown, they burnt my house. I don’t know what to do.”

KOFI ANNAN

All this violence happens on the day the former Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, started talks aimed at coming to an agreement between the government and the opposition’s Raila Odinga camps.

Opening the talks, Mr Annan said: “There is only one Kenya. We all have multiple identities but I hope you see yourselves as Kenyans first.” 

Will Mr Annan succeed? Can the violence in Kenya be stopped? Can the different ethnic groups trust each other again?

Ros will be with you later, hosting the show from Ghana, where of course the African Cup of Nations is not the only talking point.

There’s a lot of concern there for what’s going on in Kenya. Join us live and post your comments here on the blog.


50 Responses to “What can be done to stop the violence in Kenya?”


  1. January 29, 2008 at 16:37

    What you didn’t hear up to now? what kind advice do you need? what kind mediator do you need? what lesson did you learn from Rwanda’s genocide?
    let me talk to you as an experimented person and let me remind you all what happened in Rwanda before genocide took place,
    it just started like its happening in your own country today, few opposition leaders were killed then later on the head of state followed and you know what
    happened afterwards.
    then what do think about? a child that doesn’t listen to advice of elders listens advice of cricket! a word to a wise!

    Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel
    Rwandan in Cameroon

  2. January 29, 2008 at 16:38

    IN ROOSEVELT’S TIME THERE WAS A POPULAR CAMPAIGN FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE USED: A THREE LITTLE MONKEYS WHO SAW NO EVIL (EYES CLOSED); HEAR NO EVIL (EARS CLOSED); SPOKE NO EVIL ( MOUTH CLOSED)
    WE HAVE SEEN KOFI ANNAN AND HIS TEAM TO KENYA AND THEY REACHED NO SUCCESS TO RESOLVE THE “ELECTION PROBLEM.” ANNAN HAS NOT DEALT WITH THE KENYAN PROBLEM ITS LIKE THEY WERE NOT COMING TO THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM. NOONE IS TELLING KIBAKI IN THE FACE THAT YOU HAVE TO STEP DOWN AND RERUN THE ELECTIONS BUT EVERYONE IS JUST SAYING YOU HAVE TO STOP THE VIOLENCE IN THE STREETS HOW CAN YOU SOLVE THE PROBLEM WHEN YOU ARE RUNNING AWAY FROM THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM.
    INDEED KENYA IS SLOWLY IF NOT HAS ALREADY ASCENDED INTO GENOICIDE.
    THERE IS A LOT THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO ALLEVIATE THIS SITUATION.
    TELL KIBAKI TO STEP DOWN AND ASK ODINGA AND HIS SUPPORTERS TO STOP THE VIOLENCE OR ASK THE KENYAN ARMY TO TAKE OVER THE GOVERNMENT AND HANDOVER POWER AFTER THE RERUN IN SIX MONTHS TIME.

    CHAWEZI PHIRI
    LILONGWE, MALAWI

  3. January 29, 2008 at 16:42

    Simple-

    Remove or exile the crook who stole the election.

    Hold a new election.

    George D Allen

  4. January 29, 2008 at 16:43

    The situation in Kenya is quite worrying. I fear that they are slowly approaching the point of no return. The longer these kinds of rifts last, the more difficult it is going to be to solve them. Kibaki is not a real statesman. Why can’t he just accept the fact that the election that returned him to power recently has been widely acclaimed as fraudulent. Being stiff neck over this issue is not helping his countrymen. Re-runing the presidential polls is only way out.

    Lamii Kpargoi
    Coordinator
    Initiative for Mobile Training of Community Radio (INFORMOTRAC)
    Liberia Media Center (LMC)
    Monrovia, Liberia

  5. January 29, 2008 at 16:43

    Hi, this Geoffrey. This is not really a planned or premeditated turn of events. Ethnic animosity is not something new in Kenya. It has been there long before independence but was further escalated after independence by land issue.

    Take for example the Gusii and Kipsigis communities who were engaged in a fierce ethnic instigated fight where many people lost their lives. Casualties were high in both sides but it is said the kipsigis suffered more in that were hit by severe periods of famine where they even had to sacrifice some of their children to be married off by the Gusii in exchange for food supply. Indeed out of the more than 20 Kipsigis clans only 4 are pure kipsigis while all they rest have some of Gusii mixed blood in them. I guess they have never forgiven them and over the years even long after the elders of both communities had come to terms and buried the hatchet, there has always been simmering tension and sense of resentment.In the recent past, the Gusii have been seen to encroach on Kipsigis land either by legal or illegal means this does not matter.

    The maasai and the kipsigis are both from ODM strongholds and should have been on the same side in this conflict, yet there has been reports of fighting among them with fatalities. Again traditionally long before independence both these communities had been arch rivals in the competition for natural resources which is a source of their livelihood. Since time immemorial they have engaged each other in acts of cattle rustling which has lasted more than a century.

    Lastly the conflict between the Kikuyu and the kalenjins is a post independence development issue which started by re-settlement of some members of the Kikuyu tribe in parts of the Rift Valley which the Kalenjin claims were their ancestral land and hence belonged to them. The rest is history.

    I am by no means an expert in this matters but this is my humble opinion. This is largely a land issue and hence has always been an semi-active volcano waiting to erupt given if the optimum provocation threshold is reached and this time it was.

  6. January 29, 2008 at 16:44

    In fact the current crisis in Kenya reminds me alot of the horrific sectarian violence that has broken out in Iraq after the terrible terrorist attack that targeted the Holy Golden Shrine in Sammara in Feb. 2006…. My dear brothers in Kenya, please take a lesson from what has happened to your Iraqi brothers… Your situation is like someone holding a knife in his hand and then stabbing himself in the eye with the very knife that he’s holding in his hands… Enough is enough ! With my love ! Yours forever…. Lubna !

  7. January 29, 2008 at 16:45

    The situation in Kenya is awful and it is get into genocide although Mr. Richard Dowden said that, it is not genocide, but it is going to develop.

    What would you say, if the tribes are killing themselves mercilessly without considering the live of the children and women, I think it is absolutely genocide.
    It remains only for kikuyu to identify the houses of Kalenjin, Luo tribe and then come during the night and kill the whole family, so the tribes are targeting themselves.

    And that is why some fathers in Naivasha are armed to protect their families during the night from the attached of the invading tribes

    In my opinion the right thing to be done is that the two leaders, Raila Odinga should cool down and Mwai Kibaki should step down from the presidency and elect the transitional government and after the six months the election should be resume with observation of international monitoring because the two parties doesn’t care for the life of Kenyan Citizens and they are greedy for the presidency. Imagine when the president Mwai Kibaki said that, my position is not negotiatable and Raila said that I can’t stop going to the demonstration if Kibaki does not step down. They don’t care about the flowing blood of the citzens

    Santo Akuei Akoon Kuc
    Juba, Southern Sudan

  8. January 29, 2008 at 17:11

    Kenya has a leadership vacuum. A re-run, recount or government of national unity cannot happen with the prevailing situation of blood-letting.

    The Kenya ARMY needs to take over just to bring KENYA to order, as a transparent electoral commission is set to conduct fresh elections after three months.

    Kenya Army has to accept that professionalism is not when they camp in barracks while where they call home is ruined.

    They (Army) should think of this drastic measure because soft diplomacy (by Kofi Annan) has failed to make the “leaders” decisive to erase chaos.

    No ONE loves Kenya as KENYANS…

  9. 9 Chernor Jalloh
    January 29, 2008 at 17:31

    Kenya is boiling over again!What have we Africans done that we have to pay with our own blood?I have always been thinking and rethinking of these deadly conflicts looming all over the African continent.
    Will there ever be reasonable people who will stop these infighting and instead promote peace?My heart is broken whenever I see on my television screen a mass exodus of jah people from their various towns and cities in fear of some bloody gangs.
    I feel upset to hear my brothers and sisters fighting for a cattle;a land;a tribe;a wicked politician.You kenyans that are behind those genocide,do you think that will have any positive impact on your daily lives?My answer is on the negative side.Kenyans! try to drive the devil that is making you very unconfortable in your beloved country,particularly your community.Kenyans give up this stupid thing called ethnicity.Your blood should never worth your ungrateful politicians.Mind you,none of your politicians really care about you.As the saying goes,who cares about the dead rats,it is only the vultures.We have got so many lessons to learn.If you donot agree with what your African brothers and sisters are telling you,you will regret it.
    Thank you.And a very concerned African brother.

  10. 10 Denise in Chicago
    January 29, 2008 at 17:55

    It saddens me greatly that the U.S. and other western governments turn a blind eye to these horrific conditions in Kenya (and other African countries). To my fellow Americans – take a stand with your vote!

  11. 11 Nathaniel
    January 29, 2008 at 17:57

    The trouble in Kenya reflect the heinous form of leadership across Africa. This violence clearly shows that both Mr Kibaki and Raila Odinga do not have the plight of the Kenyan people at heart. I think the opposition leader Raila Odinga should be pressured to stop fueling crisis that is killing the people. It is time for the international community to manifest their interest in protecting the lives of millions of people in this troubled East African country rather than making verbal statements that are not changing anything.
    I feel the unrest in Kenya raises a crucial question about the future of Africa as far as leadership is concerned. One other thing to note is that the African Union cannot succeed because Kenyan election is far better than what is obtainable from other parts of Africa where these leaders govern.
    Capetown, South Africa

  12. 12 VictorK
    January 29, 2008 at 18:00

    This is one of those subjects where people find it more important to prop up a rickety PC facade than to be truthful.

    Kofi Annan stated: “There is only one Kenya. We all have multiple identities but I hope you see yourselves as Kenyans first.” Yes, people love to hear this kind of optimistic take on things, even though the statement is disingenuous and evasive, and has only the barest connection with reality..

    First of all Kenya, like most other sub-Saharan African countries, is a real state but only a pretend-nation. It is an artificial creation of colonial times, with borders that brought together alien peoples who had and have nothing in common except their mutual loathing of each other. Almost every African country has a similar tale: different ethnic groups exist together in a fragile peace until some incident releases the bloodlust and ethnic racism that were always there beneath the surface.

    Is there a language called ‘Kenyan,’ a Kenyan history that pre-dates the British, a recognisably Kenyan culture? No? Then what meaning has the word ‘Kenyan’ that Annan can suppose that there is the slightest significance in exhorting people to think of themselves as ‘Kenyans’? His rhetoric is poltical fiction of the the most unconvining and dishonest kind. And its a fiction – the pretence that the unity of existing African states is a worthwhile and attainable ideal – that conceals the reality of racism that marks almost every African state.

    When talking about Africa the word ‘racism’ is only ever used to describe former white regimes. Yet the entire continent is cursed with the most virulent ethnic racism to be found in the world today, and this has been the case since its states were prematurely granted independence. The worst instance of South African apartheid era racism claimed some 76 lives at Sharpeville, and even that was largely on account of a heavy-handed police response to public disorder. but it is with the states of black Africa – and also with the ‘Arabs’ of northern Sudan – that you find yourself facing real, homicidal,Hitler-class racism. And the victims in this case number from the millions (genocides in Nigeria, the Sudan, the DR of the Congo), to the hundreds of thousands (genocides and mass murders in Uganda, Darfur, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia), to the lesser pogroms and slaughters of the rest of Africa (thousands and tens of thousands) under which last category Kenya’s current woes are to be placed.

    All of these massacres in Kenya and elsewhere have been driven by tribal racism. But where in Annan’s fatuous words is there any recognition of the root causes of what is happening in Kenya (and elsewhere)? Indeed, commentators on this subject are notorious for how they never ever use the ‘R’ word to explain what is going on, presumably because it refers to something that only Americans, British and Israelis can be guilty of (see yesterday’s WHYS), but not Africans engaged in their favourite hobby of massacre and pogrom against hated tribal others.

    Anybody trying to look at this situation honestly would be forced to conclusions along the following lines:
    *ethnic racism is pervasive across Africa and amongst Africans;
    *people whose elections are accompanied by mob violence, the destruction of property, and the murder of those whose politics they disagree with probably shouldn’t be holding elections
    *multicultural and multiethnic societies (Annan’s ‘multiple identities) are unworkable and are unavoidably conflict-ridden
    *Western political practices and institutions are pointless without Western habits and values to make them work – mass-democracy is simply un-African
    *all African politicians and parties cheat at election time, not just the winner
    *losing African politicians have adopted a tactic of always challenging the result of the election in which they were defeated as a negotiating tactic for forcing concessions from the victor. This means that African elections will always be followed by over-heated rhetoric, stirred passions amongst supporters, and bloodshed.
    *African elections are usually contests for power amongst competing ethnic groups. Elections only divide already fractured states.
    *Universal suffrage is an absurdity when a large proportion of the electorate is illiterate and lacking in the most basic sense of civic responsibility. In such a situation, if voting is to happen at all, it should only be after the electorate has been considerably thinned out – e.g. through the use of educational and property qualifications for voting
    *the political chaos in Kenya can only begin to be addressed when Kenyans devise political institutions that reflect their circumstances, instead of borrowing from the West practices and procedures that are rooted in Western history and culture. Paramount amongst those circumstances is the central role of ethnicity and tribal identity, which instead of being ignored, denied or wished away – as with Annan – should be explicitly incorporated into the country’s political arrangements. Kenya, like other African countries, needs a system that, amongst other things, guarantees representation by ethnicity (such as a tribal council), fills key posts by ethnic rotation, possesses checks and balances that are designed to prevent any ethnic group or combination of ethnic groups from monopolising and abusing power, etc. this will not guarantee good government, but is more likly to deliver something just as social stability, political order and a diminution of ethnic racism.

    But while a statesman is needed to deliver such a vision Africa has so far shown itself able to produce only politicians.

  13. January 29, 2008 at 18:12

    To kill or not to kill…that is the question. There is an animalistic, visceral bonding that occurs when men band together before the hunt. It happens all around the world in different ways – Gang violence – political protests – civil wars. It is almost impossible to control something that is embeded in the nature of men.

    Daniel
    KALW

  14. 14 Caleb via email
    January 29, 2008 at 18:20

    The tension in Kenya has been around for years but the rigging of the election sparked the reality that some things need to be addressed.
    At this time, the only hope is that the peace talks are successful and then the rest will be worked out smalteniously.
    The situation is terrible, It is not a fight for political Justice any more but fighting to survive.

    Caleb – Kenyan in Galverston Texas

  15. 15 Daniel via email
    January 29, 2008 at 18:22

    Nothing will stop the political turmoil in Kenya not to lead to genocide because Kibaki will
    not give up and Odinga will not accept him as president.
    Before, i used to think that the problem in Africa is caused by african but my journey in Europe
    make me to know that the problem in Africa was caused by the colonial masters.
    If the population of Holland is just 15 million why can’t the Luo be a country and Kikuye be one
    country for better understanding.
    How many tribes are there in France, England and Spain?
    The problem Nigeria is facing is just as a result of British amalgamations of the north and south
    same as Kenya.
    The people are killing themselves because they find themselves to be different from each other
    and each tribes is claiming superiority.
    Just in the less than 2 months, over 700 people have lost there lives and property worth millions
    has been damaged in the name of politics.
    The only solution now before is too late is for the UN, to send a strong signal to them in the name
    sanctions for Kibaki to step down for a new election for the sake of the children that will become
    childs soldiers.
    Daniel from China

  16. 16 Byaruhanga via email
    January 29, 2008 at 18:23

    hi Ros and every one listening to bbc right now. it just strikes me that the information am getting is that prsident museven is playing a great role in the distabilizing of kenya and that Kibaki visited Uganda secretly after “winning”. whats is this can anyone help me understand this. the information is from http://www.radiokatwe.com. that even kibaki visited museven secretly after swearing in, what is this to east africa really. can some one help me understand this?
    Byaruhanga, Alexandria Egypt

  17. January 29, 2008 at 18:26

    There can sometimes be little difference between a civil war and genocide when there is a large population or equipment advantage to one side. two things mark the difference. One is the existence of an armed organized resistance. The second is control of some real estate and resources. If a government sponsored group can walk in and hack an entire village down with machetes, then that is a genocide. Obviously nobody seems had a gun in that knife fight.

    to bring any halt to violence situation, both sides must appear to have an equal chance of loosing the most. So to “stop the violence” support needs to be committed to the weaker side until they are on equal ground. This must occur even if you don’t agree with the weaker sides case. Who is going to supply this support? Is there a organized resistance?

  18. January 29, 2008 at 18:31

    What’s the difference with Kenya and Ivory Coast? Odinga wants to divide and rule .
    Gego IowaYUJah
    Guide N Protect

  19. January 29, 2008 at 18:31

    Don’t you think that democracy came to them too early?Eevun.
    Ukraine.

  20. 20 James via email
    January 29, 2008 at 18:31

    It’s nonsensical for anybody to say Kikuyus have been favored. I have struggled all the time without government assistance. People only talk about how Kikuyus were “given” land by the late President Jomo Kenyatta. Rarely do they mention that during the era of former President Daniel arap Moi, he dished out public land to members of his tribe. Hypocrisy, hypocrisy, hypocrisy!
    James
    Seattle

  21. January 29, 2008 at 18:33

    Kibaki has no moral authority to lead Kenya, he blatanly rigged election & supported by arrogant thieves who plunder the economy with impunity. Martin

  22. January 29, 2008 at 18:34

    Does any of so called leaders know what they are doing to the children? They are dividing Kenya into tribal segments, and for what? Greed and power?
    Nixon, in Boston, USA

  23. 23 gary
    January 29, 2008 at 18:36

    Hello All,
    The violence in Kenya started and will continue because Kenya was never the pleasant democratic land some sought to picture it. The society is not sufficiently sophisticated to stop the violence. Some of its people will act upon long-standing ethnic or cultural hatreds, others will act to avenge personal slights and insults, and some will disguise simple larceny with acts of violence. None of this violence could have happened without a common belief in “personally administrated justice,” and correlated suspicion and mistrust of constitutional systems for governance and justice. It is very sad to see this country “melt-down;” but unless a large, well-trained (and very civilized) army occupies the land, the deaths will continue. No simple appeals to reason or logic will succeed.
    later,
    g

  24. 24 Anonymous text from Egypt
    January 29, 2008 at 18:42

    The conflict in Kenya brings up this question: can Democracy work in tribal societies?

  25. 25 Anonymous text from UK
    January 29, 2008 at 18:44

    The hatred in Rwanda didn’t start overnight. There was a war going on and both tribes were killing each other. The situation got worse when the president was killed. A question for Richard: what would happen to Kenya if today one of the leaders (Kibaki or Odinga) were to be killed?

  26. 26 Anonymous text from San Francisco
    January 29, 2008 at 18:46

    It’s a shame that Kibaki has brought Kenya to the state it’s in now. I’m hoping for a coup. He has not said anything in regard to the stolen votes. Why? He’s guilty.

  27. January 29, 2008 at 18:49

    My name is Christopher Saah,a Ghanian but now in Kuwait, I want to ask Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga that what will be their benefit when they become President, after the death of over eight hundred inocent souls.But they should remember that this earth belongs to the Almaigty God and they will one day account for all this mystery that they have cause to the people of Kenya.God have mercy on the people of Kenya

  28. January 29, 2008 at 18:53

    Chiuri, in the UK:
    It should be reported wright that Kenyatta never gave any land for free. People bought the land thru societies. Don’t mislead. And one more thing: Odinga is one oportunist who will stop at nothing but power.

  29. 29 Anonymous text from Pakistan
    January 29, 2008 at 19:01

    I just can’t undstand what the military is doing! We need a surgical coup from them and a call for fresh elections.

  30. 30 Pat via email
    January 29, 2008 at 19:17

    It’s unfortunate that while all these poor people are killing each other, their leaders are watching from a distance. They are allowing their leaders to use them for their own personal gains. Coming from the region myself, I know how tribalism has always been a big issue in Kenya since its independence. Kenyans should look up to their peaceful neighbors in the South.
    Pat,
    Philadelphia.

  31. 31 Peter via email
    January 29, 2008 at 19:18

    I am a Zimbabwean visiting UK and would like to comment on the situation in Kenya. Politically, Annan should pressure the two leaders to agree to an international audit of all the election papers to at least establish exactly what happened. Maybe the people will accept this and help stop the violence.

    Peter

  32. 32 Sombo via email
    January 29, 2008 at 19:20

    Richard,
    What do you think should be the panacea, to Kenya’s problems that can bring an end to this ethnic clashes to an end once and for all so that it is not repeated every four or five years?

    Sombo
    Malawian in Oregon

  33. 33 Felix via email
    January 29, 2008 at 19:21

    Following the debate from Berlin, Germany, I ask myself:
    What is the African Union doing to solve the problem?
    The European Union and the African Union after the elections agreed to let the Africans try to solve the problem, before European intervention. However, I see Kofi Annan going to Kenya. But what’s the AU doing?

  34. 34 James via email
    January 29, 2008 at 19:22

    No money was stolen in the Anglo-Leasing scandal as Richard would like to put it. Richard needs to remind listeners that some of the perpetrators of the Goldenberg Scandal are in the opposition. Mr. Odinga, himself, is a recipient of stolen land. Corruption is not only confined to the government side. We have awful people on the opposition side too.
    James
    Seattle

  35. 35 Thomas Murray
    January 29, 2008 at 21:51

    Unlike Kenya, the U.S. legislature is composed of two houses. The reason for our bicameral legislature — the real reason, as explaned by one founding father in the summer of 1787 — is more than a trifle inscrutable. It’s positively bizarre.

    Two houses (wrote John Jay, Alexander Hamilton or James Madison in “The Federalist” (nobody actually knows who wrote under the psuedonym Publius in that week’s newspaper column)) is that if two houses are charged with refining and ratifying any piece of legislation, they will be warring with each other so much, that they will present a weaker threat to the Chief Executive than a single body, of which history has far too many examples.

    This isn’t the official explanation, this isn’t the one you must parrot on your citizenship exam. I must make that clear here: The Official Reason: The House of Representatives represents the people proportionately; the Senate represents the States equally. That’s the explanation the government proctor wants.

    I was surprised in my research that Kenya’s legislature is unicameral — consisting of only one house. But given that datum, it came as no surprise that it was Kenya’s National Assembly that rose up in vociferous opposition to Mwai Kibaki’s win in the last presidential election, which sparked the ruinous insurgencies that have ravaged the nation in the month since.

    According to some accounts, tribal disaffection had been growning for some time. Some even said it was inevitable. Some say that machetes and clubs were being stockpiled even before the elections had begun. If this is true, there is nothing a living person can do save to declare marshal law, enforce a curfew, and let the whole ghastly matter blow itself out.

    It might be said now that the results of the general election must be observed.

    There has been more than a few times in U.S. history when questionable elections have elected questionable leaders. But we go on.

    This is perhaps one reason for the American apothegm that “the people always get the leaders they deserve,” a cynical if not downright treacherous squib of political invidiousness.

    But the harsh reality of this lesson, when projected onto the realpolitik of Kenya is that if they cannot hold an election — even a disputed one — without causing mass murder, then they do not deserve democracy, however messy, flawed and fragile.

    The solution to Kenya’s long term problems lies in the institution of a tribunal, or tribal council to complement the deliberations of the National Assembly and one in which all tribes are represented EQUALLY, perhaps with two elected members from each tribe, perhaps one tribal senator acting as a deputy to the other.

    I realize Kenya supports 10 to 30 separate tribes, some counting very few in number. But the current atrocity is tribal in nature, and each needs must be addressed.

    Besides, with a Tribunal and National Assembly knocking heads in Nairobi, perhaps it will allow the President some peace.

  36. 36 Joey
    January 30, 2008 at 02:38

    Listeners,

    Two words, CHINA…I think we should let China sort this mess out. I know that would scare me, if a bunch of chinese soldiers showed up with tanks, missiles and what not!
    Then surely the great country of China, which would be the dominant superpower in the region anyway through trade- can make it safe for everyone to progress in life.

    Joey
    Colorado, USA

  37. 37 CALEB ESSSAJEE
    January 30, 2008 at 10:37

    KENYANS ARE KNOWN TO BE PEACEFUL AND HOSPITAL PEOPLE!
    OUR TOURISIT INDUSTRY AND THE TOURISTS WHO HAVE PAID OUR MOTHER-LAND A VISIT CAN VOUCH FOR US!

    THEY CAN BE THE JUDGES,JURIES AND THE PROSECUTORS!

    BUT THIS WAVE OF VIOLENCE,WHICH IS WORST THAN THE “TSUNAMI”,IS THE CAUSE OF ECKS AND KIBAKIS SELF DECLARING PRESIDENCY!

    WE KNOW THE SYMPTOMS AND WE HAVE THE CURE!

    KIBAKI,WHO HAS NOT BEEN RECOGNISED AS THE PRESIDENT OF KENYA,MUST STEP DOWN AND DECLARE A NEW ELECTION DATE!

    ITS HIM CAUSING THE PROBLEMS BY WANTING THE PRESIDENCY BY FORCE!

    HE HAS FORGOTTEN THE RULES OF DEMOCRACY!

    WE THE ETHNIC GROUPS ARE NOT FIGHTING ONE ANOTHER BUT TAKING THE ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION!

  38. 38 Simeon in Malawi by email
    January 30, 2008 at 11:13

    The wave of violence has made Kenya not a safe place to live in and it seems citizens are resorting to wild brutality of the enemy ethnic group. One may say power is evil, it brings violence when results are disputed, especially of the winning camp. Were death means that Kenyans are not ready for reconciliation but only for revenge. Religions advocate forgiveness, especially christianity that l know better.
    From what l see, even if the country goes for re-voting, the split or division that has been created which has brought about untold violence, will not be sealed. anemic ethnic groups will be suspicious of each other for a long time. Kenya will need Reconciliation Commission starting from children of school age to adults of various groups. It will be difficult for them to use the same dormitories, same hospitals, same bus, same plane, same hall, same sport ground, same economic territory and intermarriages will be impossible. Was Africa really ready for Democracy? In Africa ethnic affiliations are too strong that no religion or political party can remove overnight. Hatred takes centuries to heal but religion can accelerate it when given chance by faith abide rs.
    People of Kenya resolve your differences through contact and dialogue. If your leaders fail you, use our African traditional way of settling disputes and allow the elders to ritualize it by shaking hands. If this violence continues and spills into your sons and daughters you will have created a hole in your nation that will never be sealed. Leaders feel the remorse of the dead and advocate peace. Listen to the voices of us who promote peace and dialogue are solutions to your people’s violent behaviour which claims innocent lives. You will answer before God for not reconciling your people. Peace, peace, peace.
    Simeon, Kasungu, Malawi.

  39. 39 Charles in Kenya by email
    January 30, 2008 at 11:15

    THere is some hope with Kofi Anan but I wonder if either party is prepared to stand down off their ‘high horse’ just for the sake of Kenya when their own fame and fortune is at stake!

  40. January 30, 2008 at 11:26

    What we are seeing in Kenya are the two leaders thirsty to serve themselves that our people.Both Raila and Kibaki should face charges at the hague for crimes against humanity.No matter how much we pretend we shall never get back the lives that we are losing.Therefore, let the two leader be arrested and chrarged for not providing leadership.
    We are tired of the violence in Africa.
    Regards,
    Kebby

  41. January 30, 2008 at 11:26

    Further to my submission, I would like to add that unlike previous conflicts which were resolved by elders of warring communities coming together, this conflict has been controlled largely by marauding unemployed idle youths.

    Democratic gains were made in the 2002 general elections and hence in this premise that ODM and even PNU campaigned with the knowledge that supporters numbers would win the day. This was never to be because just like any other young African democracy, the incumbents; and I should add incumbents henchmen do not have defeat in their vocabulary. Yes typical of a banana republic.

    The arrogance displayed in the decisions made by the government in the last five years (2002-2007) was evident in the handling of the electoral process and in the end their blatant attitude of “we have done and there is nothing you can do” was the last straw.

    This is very much a case of settling old scores as I early indicated, however for a true healing process to begin, a power sharing agreement has to be reached with both sides having equal stakes. Of course this is not possible with both sides insisting on their hard line stance.

    The solution: a jury style voting system where both sides get to pick participants of the talk.

    This is a dream of course but then I have a dream that Kenya will one day be rid of the power hungry corrupt leadership that we have today and that we will regain the confidence of our people and indeed the international community as a prosperous, industrious and peaceful nation with a people who are honest and hard working.

  42. 42 Sulayman in kaduna by email
    January 30, 2008 at 11:28

    Mr. Kibaki remain the source and Father of kenyan conflict. if he really love kenya then he should call for an immediate re election with himself excluded.

  43. 43 George T. Tarkpor
    January 30, 2008 at 13:06

    What makes a good mediator?
    A Good Mediator is a honest, understanding, brave, frank, speedy, gentle and flexible person like former UN Secretary Kofi Annan Violence will only be the order of the day in Kenya unless a Good Mediator cause Kenya Elections Commission to invalidate her declaration of the last month’s result; the move, if taken by Mr. Annan, will add another crown to his able leadership in making a Good Mediator. Broadly, the outcome was rigged in favor of the incumbent President. To end this bloodshed, Mr. Anna should be bold enough to tell both parties and Kenyans in general that re-run of the poll is necessary and the way forward, to get this Certificate of Good Mediator.

  44. 44 Charles Bakosi
    January 30, 2008 at 13:39

    Mr RAILA ODINGA should realise that he cannot be the kind of president the KENYANS will will want for he has planted the tribal wars by his constant call for violent demostrations and his kith and kin are busy murdering people what makes him so sure that even if he eventually becomes president that those other tribes his tribe has offended will not retaliate, KENYANS should forget Raila Odinga and look for another messiah.
    On the final say Both ODINGAS PARTY AND KIBARKI should disappear from the political scene forever

  45. 45 Charles Bakosi
    January 30, 2008 at 13:53

    Sure nature is beautiful and it’s resources will be of benefit to everyone if and only if we learn to we protect the environment properly

  46. 46 Kudus in Accra by email
    January 30, 2008 at 14:39

    Idealists’ solutions, mediations or conferences can not bring peace to the Kenyan people. Real peace in Kenya lie within the Kenyan people.

    Kudus
    Accra, Ghana.

  47. 47 ahmed yussuf soyan
    January 30, 2008 at 23:56

    my view is simple and clear,the president like to say my gorverment ,whenever he opens his mouth ,so what make me wounder is how can thugs block the national roads,where is the so called my gorvernent,lf there is gorverment why are the ordinary citizens are slaoughted on broad daylight,why are this thugs not brought to the book if there is a functional court of law?

  48. 48 George USA
    January 31, 2008 at 15:36

    US and UK diplomats might have a heart to heart talk with the President of Kenya

    stating his plug is pulled for all aid,

    now would be an ideal time to leave the country while he is ahead-

    genocide and anarchy are not going to be tolerated just to allow him to remain in power.

    But that is a policy decision for the US and UK to make.

  49. 49 rosatkins
    February 4, 2008 at 12:44

    FROM SUDAN:
    The situation in Kenya is awful and it is get into genocide although Mr. Richard Dowden said that, it is not genocide, but it is going to develop.

    What would you say, if the tribes are killing themselves mercilessly without considering the live of the children and women, I think it is absolutely genocide.
    It remains only for kikuyu to identify the houses of Kalenjin, Luo tribe and then come during the night and kill the whole family, so the tribes are targeting themselves.

    And that is why some fathers in Naivasha are armed to protect their families during the night from the attached of the invading tribes

    In my opinion the right thing to be done is that the two leaders, Raila Odinga should cool down and Mwai Kibaki should step down from the presidency and elect the transitional government and after the six months the election should be resume with observation of international monitoring because the two parties doesn’t care for the life of Kenyan Citizens and they are greedy for the presidency. Imagine when the president Mwai Kibaki said that, my position is not negotiatable and Raila said that I can’t stop going to the demonstration if Kibaki does not step down. They don’t care about the flowing blood of the citzens

    Santo Akuei Akoon Kuc
    Juba, Southern Sudan

  50. 50 Dennis
    May 11, 2008 at 22:19

    Have a repeated elections to see who is the rightful candidate.

    Dennis
    Madrid, United States of America


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