President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya has accused Raila Odinga’s party of unleashing genocide in Kenya as the death toll pushes past 300. Riots and street violence has gone on since the announcement of Kibaki’s reelection on this past Saturday.
“It is becoming clear that these well-organized acts of genocide and ethnic-cleansing were well-planned, financed and rehearsed by Orange Democratic Movement leaders prior to the general elections,” the statement read by Lands Minister Kivutha Kibwana on behalf of his colleagues said.
The opposition counters that the violence is from Kibaki’s side because he “stole” the vote from the December 27 election. The opposition now dominates parliament. Kibaki invited all members of the new parliament to a State House meeting in Nairobi on Wednesday. It is unclear if the opposition will attend.
The use of the word genocide has deep meaning in Kenya, a nation scarred by the 1994 Rwanda genocide. The Kenyan nation is normally considered to be the peacemaker in African war torn nations like Somalia and Sudan.
The Kikuyu tribe has dominated the political and business power in Kenya since gaining indecency from Britain in 1963.The nation has the fastest growing economy of East Africa. Western powers are requesting the African Union and Commonwealth to step in and try to ease tensions in the country that is on the brink of a civil war. Ghanaian President John Kufuor is expected to arrive on Wednesday in Nairobi to act as a mediator.
All of this comes on a day when the largest newspaper of the nation, The Herald announced that they do not know for sure who won the election. That type of comment could possibly spur even more violence. The official stance is that Kibaki was re-elected with 51.3 percent of the vote, to 48.7 percent for Odinga.
As the New Year was rang in Kibaki urged calm for his nation. The government said on Tuesday that rallies in the aftermath of the election are forbidden.
“If the tear gas doesn’t work then unfortunately they have to use live bullets,” Foreign Minister Raphael Tuju told CNN. “The president has been sworn in, the elections are over, the Kenyans have to accept the results, the opposition has to accept the results.”
And the violence wages on causing businesses to close in fear of their lives.
“As a reaction, some protesters are responsible for the assassination of Kikuyus,” added the Kenya Human Rights Commission and the International Federation for Human Rights.
There is new added fear that this in a election year for many of Africa’s nations is only the beginning. The continent needs for Kenya, the peacemaker nation to gain control of their nation as a sign of how to operate.
“There are elections in other parts of Africa over the next 18 months, in Angola, in Ghana, in Malawi. Kenya is very, very important in itself and is important for what it says about the rest of Africa and its approach to democracy,” Miliband said.
For the people of Kenya fear is not a common one. To have to seek refuge in churches and jails is not what they are used to. In the town of Naivasha the jail is exactly where the people have sought out for protection camping out at a police station and the prison.
“We had to seek refuge in the only safe place we know,” said Agnes Alouch, in the prison hall.
Something is wrong in the world when the innocents are forced to go to jail to be safe.