This is no time to ‘stand still, look pretty.’ It is time for action.
Amnesty International is calling for an “International Day of Action” today in response to the unrest in Kenya.
Kenya is an ethnically-diverse country, with its political lines largely split among the Kikuyu and the Luo peoples. Mwai Kibaki, current president and the incumbent, is Kikuyu, while Raila Odinga (whose father was Oginga Odinga – no joke – the first Vice President of Kenya following its independence) is of Luo descent. The highly-contested Kenyan Presidential and Parliamentary elections of 2007 exacerbated racial tensions after Kibaki was declared the winner, and Odinga claimed the results were skewed. This led to rioting and other violence throughout the country, which has resulted in the deaths of over 1000 people. Ethnic violence has also occurred in the run-up to other elections.
Kenya is seen as one of the most stable of the East African countries, and the unrest there has serious consequences for neighboring countries, which rely on Kenya for various resources.
For more information on Amnesty’s campaign, click here.
And the Globe and Mail has an interesting article here about possible international intervention.