Posts Tagged ‘Kenya’

Another Country, Another Election

September 8, 2009

Well, there has been an election in Afghanistan and (surprise, surprise) tensions have risen about large-scale fraud. We have just been through an exercise in Iran whose repercussions are still being visited on the dissidents locked up in jails. And last year there was an election in Kenya in which thousands of people were made homeless in inter-tribal warfare.

Kenya? Really? Yes, and already forgotten. Time to move on to the next election. What’s going on folks? Is there really no need to figure out what happened in Kenya? What happened in Iran? No need to pay heed to the mud flying in Pakistan where tattletales are spilling the beans that virtually every election has been fixed (as if people did not know already)? Not only that; political parties have been manufactured and thieves bought and paid off to populate them. Should any of this cause someone to think that something might not be quite right in the Cuckooland of governance? (more…)

Ah, New York Times…

January 7, 2008

“Already, more than 300 Kenyans are dead, 70,000 have been driven from their homes and thousands have fled to neighboring countries.” This is part of an editorial in the New York Times entitled Ambition and Horror in Kenya (January 3, 2008).

First, some hand wringing: “It is particularly tragic to see this happening in a country that seemed finally to be on the path to a democratic and economically sound future.”

Then some advice: “Mr. Kibaki should renounce that official declaration and the embarrassingly swift swearing in that followed. He should then meet with his principal challenger, Raila Odinga, to discuss a possible vote recount, election re-run or other reasonable compromise.”

Followed by a suggestion for some “outside prodding.” “Urgent mediation by the leader of the African Union, John Kufuor, could help bring the two together before the violence gets worse.” 

And finally, a hopeful conclusion: “Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga cannot ignore the chaos around them. No matter their personal ambitions and resentments, they must be brought together and pushed to come up with a solution that will calm their followers and restore Kenyans’ faith in their democratic system — before the damage becomes irreversible.”

Just a nod in passing to a troublesome detail: “Tribal resentments have long played a role in Kenyan politics.”

But that is a minor inconvenience in the NYT’s view of the world from very far away. Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga are two bad boys who must be made to shake hands and persuaded to be reasonable by Mr. Kufuor before some more people die in the “vast and tribally mixed urban slums of Nairobi” where “rival militias have been waging open warfare.” 

Back to Main Page


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 163 other followers