February 9 2008
Position of the Humanist Movement in Kenya regarding recent developments 18 January 2008
The continuing situation of social disturbance in Kenya is extremely worrying for humanists both within Kenya and around the world. A situation that has, in reality, been brewing ever since independence is now coming to a head. We are faced with the situation where the people of Kenya have been manipulated into the false game of tribe vs. tribe. The friends of the Kikuyus are supposedly on one side with the friends of the Luos supposedly on the other side.
But Humanists see this game for what it really is: a game of two men struggling for their own personal power. Two men who will stop at nothing to reach the top; from where they have access to all the contracts being signed; from where they can control where the aid goes and who can take the biggest percentage for their own pocket.
This situation is a disgusting legacy of colonization where favors were dished out to various important people in order to control the whole. Tribal divisions were deepened and intensified. Tribes became characterized using words like; thief, selfish, corrupt, vanity, promiscuous, etc.
Instead of trying to harmonize the people, decades of post colonial rule sought to deepen these divisions even further. Politicians knew well that a simple way to access power was to divide and rule.
Today the problem in Kenya is not tribe against tribe. It is about the vast majority of the population living in miserable conditions and a tiny majority living like kings in their wealthy suburbs.
Humanists around the world denounce the tribal politics being played in Kenya and want to shine the spotlight on those truly responsible.
We denounce the old colonial powers that created the system in the first place and who knew very well that by establishing a system that can be easily manipulated, the true issues of poverty, health, education, and a dignified life can be put to one side. In this system “neo-colonialism” can thrive; where Kenyans have access to political power, but where the banks and all the resources in the country—the economic power—are controlled by outside interests. It is well known that Africa repaid its debt many times over. Why is Africa still paying more?
The fact that the old colonial powers and the USA (currently all members of the rich west and members of organisations such as the EU and the G8) sit by and do nothing while Kenya burns shows their complicity in the events now taking place.
In this situation we see a wider strategy of genocide. This is the implicit strategy of the G8, EU and increasingly of China; a strategy that allows millions of human beings to die each year from malaria and AIDS when they are perfectly treatable and preventable; a strategy of fomenting civil wars in order to control mineral and oil resources and to sell weapons; a strategy that makes use of the never-ending source of cheap labour forced to work in undignified conditions without rights or protection.
We also denounce Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga —two men who could do so much to bring such change to Kenya—for allowing themselves to be manipulated like this, for allowing their supporters to go armed to the streets, to allow the police to fight with tear gas and live bullets, for not calling for, and insisting on, nonviolence to resolve this conflict. They know what they are doing and they are doing it from the worst of intentions – their own personal gain.
We pay tribute to Africans who are trying and have tried to help this situation. We pay tribute to Julius Nyerere, the late president of Tanzania, who, just over the border from Kenya helped form a Nation that considered human beings more important than the tribe they come from. We thank John Kufour and Kofi Annan, two Ghanaians who are taking a deep interest in finding a non-violent solution to this situation and we thank such people as Graca Machel of South Africa and Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania for their contribution also.
We also pay tribute to Nelson Mandela whose government led the way on truth and reconciliation; a process that we hope may find some use in Kenya in the times to come.
Humanists around the world—on all 5 continents—are watching the situation with great concern and are willing to support in whatever way they can.
We are calling on all Kenyans to form local grassroots committees of nonviolence , taking the path of nonviolence shown by Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Silo.
We call on all African Humanists to join the struggle to end neo-colonialism and demand an end to fraudulent and illegal 3rd world debt.
We call on all African Governments to not remain silent , to not allow that they be part of this neo-colonialism. Show solidarity to the Kenyan people. Refuse all requests for weapons to be exported to Kenya; don’t allow weapons to enter the country! Demand that outside interference in Africa’s affairs come to an end so that Africa can find the means to resolve its own problems, and only intervene based on resolutions of the UN!
We call on Western Governments and multinationals to end their exploitation of Africa which is only responding to their own selfish interests in oil and mineral resources.
We call upon the UN Security Council to follow up the situation in Kenya with great urgency and concern and to prepare all the necessary means to be able to intervene quickly if the situation demands a peacekeeping intervention.
Finally we call for the Mediation efforts to be allowed to happen and for both sides to fully comply with this process. If this results in the need for new elections, Kenyan Humanists and the Humanist International is ready to help in whatever capacity the international community may feel is useful.
Signed on behalf of the Humanist International by,
Spokesperson for New Humanism in Europe
Spokesperson for New Humanism in Latin America
Spokesperson for New Humanism in North America
Spokesperson for New Humanism in Asia-Pacific
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