AMANI SASA DAILY UPDATE: 6th February 2008

AMANI SASA DAILY UPDATE: 6th February 2008[1]

                                                                                                                                                                                

THE HUMAN COST: Over 1000 dead and over 350, 000 displaced

Direct Action and Community Level Mobilization, Sam Wachira

·         A community dialogue meeting was held in Kinamba, Laikipia on 4th Feb 2008 to enhance co – existing   amongst communities living in Laikipia. In attendance was the Laikipia District Officer. About 300 community leaders attended the meeting.

·         There is another meeting going on today Tuesday 5th Feb 2008 at Baringo district (will be getting details later)

·         A fact finding mission to Nanyuki revealed a normalized situation following earlier reports indicating that leaflets had been circulated threatening some communities to leave the area. The delegation comprising of Regional Chair and Regional Coordinator paid a courtesy call to the District Officer.

·         An initiative dubbed  ‘pyramid for peace’ involving the Voluntary Youth Philanthropist (VYP) has reached out to “Mungiki”, a militia group alleged to cause havoc and revenge missions. On 30th January, VYP held a meeting in Naivasha that addressed issues affecting the youth. Follow up meeting with leaders from the church and local head of police have been planned towards the end of the week (Thursday). They also plan to meet leaders from other communities for dialogue.

Concerned Youth For Peace

  • One stop Youth initiative in conjunction with the concerned youth for peace will visit the Mathare Chief’s camp on the 14th of February 2008 at 9 am. The CYP has agreed to supply 1,000 roses, which will be distributed to the IDP’s at the camp. All are welcome to attend the event.
  • The youth intend to partner with the Red Cross on ways in which they can volunteer at the camp. They further send an appeal to anyone who can help in terms of:

Ø      Transport for 50 youth to the camp,

Ø      PA system for mobilization at the camp,

Ø      Crayons and drawing material for the displaced children etc.

Ø      Assistance to guarantee security in the mentioned camp.

  • There will be a Youth talk show with the theme of ‘Post election violence: The underlying issues’ on the 16th of February 2008 at 11am, at the One stop youth centre located at Kenya Railways Traffic Superintendent Building on Haile Selassie Avenue, Next to Uchumi Railways of Easy Coach Bus Services. The youth are appealing for media coverage for the above-mentioned event. All are welcome to join us!!!!

Religious groups

·         The Redeemed Gospel church of Eldoret has organised a meeting on the 15th February 2008 to discuss relations between the Kalenjin and Kikuyu communities in the area.

·         Bishop Adoyo and Bishop Margaret Wanjiru have organised a meeting at KICC on the 9th February 2008 focusing on women.

TODAY’S MEETINGS

08.00 The  Peace Makers Update, Caana Room, Serena Hotel,                             OPEN

11.00 PEACENET offices, Maalim Juma road Opp Royal media, Hurlingham       OPEN

 

 

IN THE NEWS[2]

  • Mediator Kofi Annan has warned that a resolution of Kenya’s disputed presidential poll will not be about individuals as the parties begun discussing crucial political issues yesterday. He was speaking when he met company chief executives at a morning meeting before the mediation resumed yesterday. The CEOs Forum organised by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and sponsored by both Safaricom and General Motors worked on a draft document that was expected to be presented to the major political parties and their leaders as well as the Dialogue and Reconciliation team as the way forward.
  • The Government and ODM yesterday began hearing from ODM and PNU about the disputed election results. The team on Monday agreed on major steps aimed at resolving Kenya’s political crisis, among the key issues agreed upon were immediate measures to address the humanitarian crisis, assisting displaced persons, security and promoting healing and reconciliation.
  • Internal Security Minister, George Saitoti lifts the ban on live coverage.
  • Camps for IDPS in the North Rift region are faced with food and shelter shortage and possible health hazards as the numbers seeking assistance increase.
  • Special programmes Minister, Naomi Shaban on Monday assured displaced persons in various camps in Nairobi and central that they will resettle them in their ancestral homes at the Governments expense.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Peace is beauty.

Kenyan Proverb from African Wisdom on War and Peace, a compilation by Annette Miller.

 

INSPIRATIONAL FEATURE

A Small Glass of Sweetened Lime Juice by Anjali Saini

 “Come to my house” said the little boy. We’re in a village on the Indian side of the border between West Bengal and Bangladesh. The boy’s mother wears a tikki on her forehead and sindhoor in her hair. The adornments a Hindu woman wears to signal that she is married.

 Except that this is a Muslim family.

 In this part of the world it is difficult to tell the difference as outward symbols of both faiths are adopted unilaterally. People intermingle peacefully, live side by side.

 It was a very different story in 1947. Bengal, just like Punjab in the North East, was at the peak of Hindu-Muslim tensions following India’s partition.  Gandhi, deeply disturbed, travelled to Calcutta.  One night, as he was sleeping in the house of a Muslim friend, rioters broke in and as Gandhi put his palms together and bowed his head to try and calm the crowd, a brick was thrown at him and a club swung at his head.  Both narrowly missed.  The police had to move in, hustle the intruders out and disperse crowds outside with tear gas.

 Gandhi had failed to control the crowd.  It was a pivotal moment.

 The following day he commenced a fast, to end “only if and when sanity returns to Calcutta”.  Leaders, delegations and organisations from all sections of society, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, community and civic leaders and leaders of hooligan gangs visited Gandhi and, in tears, promised to do anything to save his life.  Gandhi told them all that this was the wrong approach, that saving his life was absolutely incidental to a fundamental “change of heart”. 

 They promised there would be no more trouble, and Gandhi, lawyer that he was, extracted a written, signed promise.  If it was broken, he told them, he would embark on an “irrevocable fast” to his death.  Within two days the city was quiet.  Five hundred policemen, more used to wielding weapons to violently quell violent riots, fasted whilst on duty, in empathy to the cause of communal peace.

 A small glass of sweetened lime juice, given to Gandhi, signalled the end to the deadly violence in Calcutta and Bengal itself.  The truce held even as other parts of India in the following months continued to be ripped apart with religious tensions and bloody violence.

Kenya, 2008.  A political stalemate.  Positions harden and as they do, reason appears to lose its way. The fallout: people die, people are displaced, rights are abused, women, children and men are raped.

 Not one of the presidential candidates has openly gone to the suffering people, particularly those who voted against them, cried with them, touched their hearts and, with sincerity, worked to reassure them.

Dare any of them walk the alleys of Kibera in the way that Gandhi, unarmed, without security and without fear, walked through the streets of Howrah to confront machetes and hatred?

 Some of the most admired leaders in history have not been afraid to spill their own blood for the betterment of others. The mediocre ones have sacrificed the blood of others, always the poor, in the most cynical manner, to better themselves and their own situations.

 I read a quote by British politician Tony Benn, that if one were to meet a leader or an aspirant, one ought to ask them five questions: What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable?

 And how can we get rid of you?

 These two men, these leaders of ours, and the people that surround them need to be able to answer those questions.

 Our responsibilities as Kenyans are now much bigger than ourselves. As an electorate Kenyans led.  It was their leaders that refused to follow.

 I would defend with all the strength I can muster, the rights of Kenyans to have each vote counted with the respect it deserved.

 And when that defence is won, I will toast it with a small glass of sweetened lime juice.


[1] This daily update is a service to all working for peace. It records the various independent initiatives currently underway to restore peace, assist the displaced and promote truth and justice. It does suggest that these actions are being centrally coordinated.

[2] Sourced from Daily Nation

Advertisements

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s