Thursday, January 03, 2008

Kenya

Right now it's the arcane machinations of the caucuses in Iowa that are center-stage. However, the fallout from Kenya's general elections last week have been absolutely sickening to follow.

It's kinda surreal: in the Christmas issue, the Economist had this leader, For all its flaws, an example to others, on the upcoming Kenyan election.

The events belied the hopes pinned on the election: President Kibaki pretty much seems to have stolen the election, and horrific violence, along ethnic and tribal lines, has set the country ablaze. Genocide on a grand scale, is the headline on CNN right now. As the leader in this week's Economist puts it, it's a depressingly familiar tale.
Initially, America, which sees Kenya as a front-line ally in a war against Islamist militias in neighbouring Somalia, made the mistake of endorsing the president's re-election. Now Britain, America and the African Union are urging Mr Odinga and Mr Kibaki to talk in an effort to stop the bloodletting. That lets Mr Kibaki off the hook far too easily. All the violence should certainly be condemned, but most of the diplomatic pressure should be exerted on Mr Kibaki's supposed new government to annul the results and organise a recount—or a new vote.

If Mr Kibaki will not do this, the rest of the world should suspend direct aid to his regime and impose a travel ban on his officials. That is the least the wretched people of Kenya have a right to expect from their friends abroad.
Let's pray that world leaders have the sense and the will to not ignore this latest mess in Kenya.

[The website of the Kenya Episcopal Conference doesn't have any updates or statements from the country's Catholic bishops. The "News" link isn't working.]

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