Feb 3, 2008

News from Africa and me

The world as we know it will soon be an image of the past...

Moritz, fellow student of Sinology and Philosophy, and me are having acute plans on collaborating for the sake of a better world.
Lucas came up with the idea of naming our baby "Jay & Silent Mo", and, whether you believe it or not, I tend to like it.
Anyway, we have much to tell...


As for Africa... What the hell is happening in Kenya?!

What is happening bears alarming similarities to the situation in Rwanda, when it all started off. Thank God, nothing in the like of Rwandan genocide was prepared before the elections in Kenya held in the end of December.
Afterwards, obviously dummying everyone with some understanding of democratic procedures, Kibaki claimed to have won the presidency by popular vote. That his rival Odinga didn´t succumb to that dumb maneuver is only understandable. But how and why turned in the aftermath the elections out to be drawn along ethic lines?
Why are now Kikuyu (Kibaki's ethnic tribe) killing Luo (Odinga's people) and Kalenjin (which have territorial feuds with the Kikuyu), why do Luo and Kalenjin slaughter Kikuyu?
Where are the reactions from Kenyan politicians, from the African Union, UN, US, and EU? Why does it take so long?

No one seems to be prepared for a war in a country that was a stabilisator in the region. However, what happens if a formerly stable country experiences disorder and civil war, can be easily seen in Darfur, Sudan. As long as that conflict is not peacefully resolved (by making Darfur a new nation state), disorder will spread in the entire region.
These last days, one hears alarming news from the Chad, where rebells are marching towards the capitol.
Uganda has a most brutal rebel movement in the north of the nation that simply won't disappear, making it impossible for the government to control the country's north. In East-Congo, an agreement was reached, but no one can tell for sure when and how efficient disarmement will start. So long, none of the local leaders is giving in. There are plenty of ressources to plunder.

Once there is peace, another huge question is waiting. These societies must try to integrate Thousands of former rebels, bush fighters, war children, rapers and killers. How can we forgive? How can we start over, when you have gone through atrocities like these?
It is women and children who suffer most from civil war.
HIV infection rates in Kenya are rising with all the more rapings that came along with the outbreak of violence.

How can we sit still and watch?
What can we do?
A newspaper in Kenya suggested fractioning the country. My thoughts here come back to an earlier post in which I wondered whether dissolving the current system of nation states was a possibility. Politics in Africa had to be begun anew from the start. Ceasing exterior interest in its ressources were a crucial pre-condition to this.

Where can you go for more information?

Andrea Böhm
is blogging from Kenya for "Die Zeit" in German.

The Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala has some information about the situation.
Aside from these, you will surely find more information than you can possibly digest, once you start looking around.

A few students from Germany started a German school in Uganda. You can read about their attempt to give something back here and here in "Die Zeit".

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