Tuesday, February 5, 2008

African democracy

I haven't blogged in ages and I have a million reasons why. The end of last year was a bit of a roller-coaster ride for me and the elections sort of sealed the deal. I went through all sorts of emotional highs and lows and eventual numbness.

My country has been an embarrasment to me. In my previous post 'African Dictators' I wrote ' Kenyans have certainly grown politically despite the few tribal hitches here and there unlike a few of our African counterparts' I totally TAKE THAT BACK. Tribalism is clearly still a big issue in our country. I think we are hypocrites and the world has seen through our little facade, our democracy was a sham. However, I highly doubt the post-elections violence was tribal but rather social driven, quite frankly I think I don't care anymore....it got really complex and I was hearing (note the past tense) all sorts of rumors and allegations and itwas getting too much for my brain cells.

I only have a bone to pick with the international media who have been quick to compare the crisis to Rwanda using terms search as 'genocide' and 'ethnic cleansing'. Admittedly, there is a crisis, but naming it genocide and ethnic cleansing is premature and inflammatory portrayal.

International law defines genocide as any action committed "with intent to destroy" an ethnic or religious group. While the killing is horrendous, it does not remotely reach genocidal proportions. About 800,000 people died in Rwanda. The death toll in Kenya is probably about 500. I think it is important that we understand the distinctions in what is happening in Kenya today and what happened in Rwanda. Though we have seen violence committed by one tribe against another (in this case, multiple groups against one); rioting characterized by intense brutality and seemingly indiscriminate murder; unlike Rwanda it is not controlled or sponsored by the government which is trying to stop the killing, not promote it. Rwanda’s genocide was fostered over decades and was a manifestation of a state-sponsored attempt to wipe out an entire ethnic group. What we’re seeing here is not genocide, it is the disenfranchised acting out in the only way they can now that democratic elections have been stolen from them.

The media is wrong to equate Kenya with Rwanda–that’s completely off-base and even irresponsible

No comments:

Visitors from around the world