All entries for January 2007
January 31, 2007
Paul Kagame's choice of words during an interview with the BBC will come as a shock to say the least as the world once again watches Rwanda from a distance. The genocide will not be forgotten for another 100 years however hard we try - it will infact become a huge situation in the coming years. (Kenyans investing in Rwanda know this but only listen to one side of the story)
The allegations by the French judge, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, that the current president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame was the mastermind behind the shooting down of President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane are nothing new. The judge has gone on to say that Kagame also used the shooting down of the plane to spark the genocide and subsequently cease control of the poorly African country. This isn't the first time I've heard these allegations - there are many articles out in cyberspace that implicate the leader of the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) who spent much of his time in the Ugandan military before plotting to overthrow the Habyarimana government.
Why would Paul Kagame say the following in response to such allegations?
"Would I care that bloody Habyarimana died? I don't give a damn."
These comments are surrounded by the claims of discrimination of the minority Tutsi's by the Hutu's during the Habyarimana presidency.
If Kagame's choice of words were different I would probably still be on the fence about the allegations against him but suddenly he's convinced me he was behind the genocide that the world quite simply sat and watched. His angered response to any such allegation whenever they surface is stubborn denial of any wrongdoing akin to the unskilled liar.
A certain blame should be put on the Belgians for leaving the country divided when they granted independence and the French are no better for supplying arms and fueling the tensions. But, Hon President Kagame, you deserve to be taken into custody, held in the cells of the International Criminal Tribunal Court in Arusha and tried hopefully before 2010.
January 16, 2007
Writing about web page http://obama.senate.gov/
The son of an African may just be the man that the likes of Gordon Brown, Nouri Al-Maliki and Ban Ki-Moon will be dealing with come 2008.
Democrat Senator Barack Obama is the son of a Kenyan man (from Nyanza Province) and an American woman (from Kansas). He will be making his announcement of whether he will be formally seeking the presidency on February 10th.
Obama gained widespread recognition after becoming the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review and his popularity has grown since his 2004 keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.
Kenyans have watched this man quietly as he has fought for gun control and stood firmly against the war on Iraq. He has a particular charm and ability to bring coalitions together to work towards a common cause. Kenyans have also looked up to him and secretly wished that he was indeed the messiah that would rout the rotten clowns in the Kenyan Government.
In 2006 he proudly ignored his celebrity status as he took his family to visit his paternal mother in Kisumu, Kenya. He voluntarily, with his wife, took an HIV test to create AIDS awareness and encourage more Kenyans to take the tests. At the end of the trip he ruthlessly tore apart the political situation that remains in Kenya, criticising the leaders of using tribal differences to fuel ethnic tension and hence gain authority with ease.
While he has African roots he maintains his pride of being an American. He is Black, African American. But he does not have Africa at the top of his agenda. or does he? and how does it matter anyway?
January 13, 2007
So the Ethiopian military has helped the transitional Somali government force out the Islamists who brought calm in a country that had anarchy for approximately 15 years (?). While Ethiopia gets itself into a Catch-22 situation in that if they leave Somalia, the UIC will be back, and if they don’t they’ll be the main target of insurgency attacks, Kenya remains as the one to take the burden yet again.
Kenya has been helpful in providing shelter for Somali refugees and allowing, rather enabling, NGOs to deliver aid to those camps. Kenya has also benefited from the huge demand of khat that many Somalis cannot live without. The (illegal) daily flights are well known about yet little is done to stop it – why bother.
But let’s not talk about Somalia. Let’s talk about the impact of what the war has on Kenya – especially this year being election year.
The build-up to elections in Kenya is always signified by the vicious rise in crime and general insecurity. Bank robberies for the hard cash that is distributed to buy votes becomes common. Terrorising of the people is also on the increase. This is all entangled in the all too complex web of supply and demand of money, votes, support, morale and ultimately power. And we all know that power in Africa means the licence to plunder the vast resources a government is trusted to control with its people’s interests at heart.
Lets analyse the situations. If the transitional government in Somalia maintains control and no insurgency attacks escalate then the campaigns will be on improving the economy of Kenya and sustaining the reputation of the country and increasing tourism etc.
If Somalia falls into full out civil war, then Kenya has no choice but to get dragged into it. The aid agencies, US navy, military and AU will have to use Kenya if they try to bring about any sort of hope for the Horn of Africa. That could mean two things. The US will press (read: force)into power somebody they can twist for access to who knows what as they look to get involved in the oil rich lands of Somalia.
The other situation that I’m thinking of is the need for a leader who is tactful in the art of war incase the need to defend the Kenyan nation itself arises.
Not too far from all this lies the genocide in Souther Sudan. Once again an economy driven by a neighbouring country’s demands could be explosive. Oil is certainly what everyone wants in Darfur. Apart from Uganda, only Kenya has the ability to build the infrastructure to support the growth of Juba and beyond.
The next few months are crucial for Kenya. The campaigning strategies of each political party and candidate will hopefully result from their analysis of the situations across the Kenyan borders. The one candidate who forgets the implications of whatever happens in Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and possibly Ethiopia as well should also forget about the licence to plunder.