Saturday, July 16, 2005

Just what makes a community go berserk and hack their neighbours into pieces. We saw it in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide but the recent killings in northern Kenya need an explanation.
For those of us who have been to Rwanda and witnessed the attrocities in the killing fields of Ntarama should not be explained as simple isolated cases as it happened once in Nyamata where I found a village counting its dead ten years after the genocide.
Such things should not be allowed to happen as we watch.
We have just heard that this killings of more than 80 are basically informed by the recent elections in Ethiopia and that the Kenyan Boranas have joined hands with their cousins The Oromos of Ethiopia to try and curve out a territory. The Oromos number 25 million in Ethiopia and have been fighting to create a nation state. After failing to win power in Addis Ababa they have turned to their focus to the Oromia Republic which include parts of nothern Kenya.
Of course the Kenyan Boranas have not yet hinted at secession yet but their attack on the Gabras for the control of Huri Hills is not an ordinary cattle rustling story.
I do not believe in conspiracy theories but as a journalist we have to piece together information to explain some events.
And that was the gist of my article on the politics of this region and how it informs the current crisis.
We must look beyond the big print and scrutinise the small print too.There comes a time in the history of a nation when historical anomalies must be corrected. The so called Northern Frontier District was neglected by both colonial, Kenyatta, and Moi administrtaions and we are watching to see how the Kibaki government treats the region. Of course the region will not catch up with the rest but it must start to move otherwise we will be courting a disaster.


Ndesanjo Macha said...

John, I still remember that if you did not give "kitu kidogo" to "yule jamaa" pale Hilton hotel, I was not going to get my accreditation to attend the summit!!!
Hey, bro kazi nzuri sana. Forward ever...

Anawim said...

Hi John,

Thanks for your blogging. I'm particularly grateful for your refusal to accept the racist "ancient tribal animosities" topos.

In any case, I wanted to ask you something more specific: a few years back, I read somewhere that "cattle rustling" was actually an obscenely lucrative enterprise (with some powerful cabinet ministers implicated). If memory serves me right, the allegation concerned North-Western Kenya (Pokot, etc), not North-Eastern. The point here is that what was often disguised as "cattle rustling" by this or that ethnic group was actually part of a very modern, capitalist militia stealing cattle for nairobi/east african slaughter-houses.

I wonder, do you know if this could be part of the mix in the region, articulated of course with the separatist movements you talked about?