Amani Sasa Update – 25 April 2008

AMANI SASA DAILY UPDATE: 25th April 2008[1]

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

Updates and Upcoming Activities[2]

  • Slum TV in conjunction with Makutano junction invites you to their SCREENING FOR PEACE on Friday 25th April, 7pm at ‘Kwa Austin’ open space, Juja Road, Mathare. This is their first public screening since the post-election violence. During the tribal clashes and their aftermath Slum TV has documented the stories on the streets of Mathare. The screening will show the other side, telling stories of hope. Films include: Mr Onyango’s Neighbours, Tell Tale for Peace, Nancy’s Story and Dear Mama. The prize-winning film from the Mtaa film fest will then follow. The screening will end with a forthcoming episode of Makutano Junction. Slum TV trains young people in audiovisual skills enabling them to tell their story in their own words. For further information contact Emily Hughes on +254 711256177 or info@slum-tv.org
  • The youth of Mathare, Kariobangi, Korogocho, Dandora and Baba-dogo under the umbrella of Collaboration for Peace and Development (COPAD) are organising a National Peace festival/walk which will start in Nairobi and go through Naivasha, Nakuru, Molo, Timboroa, Burnt Forest, Kisumu and other towns. There are so far 75 participants comprising both men and women under the age of thirty. Activities to be undertaken in each town include sports, beauty pageants, inspirational talks, Cultural shows etc. They are appealing for assistance either financial or in kind in the form of inspirational speakers, security, PA systems, food and water, publicity etc. Contact Joshua on +254721706717
  • The refugee Studies Centre Department of International Development at Oxford University pioneered the study of forced migration 25 years ago. They would like to assist in terms of providing knowledge and understanding of issues relating to forced migration, specifically, or with contacts in the policy and humanitarian worlds generally, or with leveraging advocacy or tapping emergency or development funding. They also have an international summer school each year, which takes place in July for 3 weeks and fosters dialogue between academics, policy-makers and practitioners working to improve the situations of refugees and IDPs. A number of bursaries are offered. If interested please contact amelia.richards@qeh.ox.ac.uk
  • If you are looking for information about the peace process and initiatives that have been established towards this go to www.rescuekenya.org. This site has information on IDP’s, provides a resource to those who are assisting people on the ground and links up various peace initiatives. The site also has forums and blogs where people can post updates on any upcoming activities. See www.forums.rescuekenya.org/ccp to post a comment on the CCP forum.

    1. Kenya Veterans for peace site is up www.forums.rescuekenya.org/kvp.
    2. www.rescukenya.org have started mapping IDP data according to province/district/division and would like anyone with information on IDP’s in Tanzania or Uganda to send them this information
TODAY’S MEETINGS

08.30 The Peace Makers Update, Oxfam, shelter Afrique House, 1st Floor OPEN

QUOTE OF THE DAY

It is not the lamb who should go and ask the lion if it has had dinner.

Gambian proverb from African Wisdom on War and Peace compiled by Annetta Miller

INSPIRATIONAL FEATURE

Today’s Inspirational Feature is from JUSTIN N. KIMANI a consultant in Conflict Transmission specializing in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region Conflict Systems. Email; justinkimani@yahoo.com

ANNAN DID KENYA PROUD, IT IS NOW UPTO KENYANS TO ENSURE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGREEMENT.

Any agreement is only as good as it can be implemented, otherwise it becomes a potential for renewed and hardened conflict A mediator is neither an expert in conflict resolution or transformation, nor does he know any better than the parties, the nature or root causes of the conflict. He is a facilitator. Annan, in his statement on arrival in Kenya, said as much. The reason a mediator is engaged, in a conflict, therefore, is to bridge the communication gap that inhibits negotiations between the adversaries. He has, however, to posses characteristics essential for success of mediation. Annan exhibited attributes cited by international mediators as particularly important in mediation. The foremost characteristic is acceptability without reservations, whatsoever, by the parties to the conflict. Mediator acceptability, however, is not a single act decision at the start of negotiations. It is earned and recognized throughout the negotiations. The parties demonstrated full acceptability of Ann throughout the negotiations.

Impartiality of a mediator is another critical characteristic. However, mediation, being a reciprocal process of social interaction dictates that the mediator will be accepted by the contending parties, not only for his impartiality, but also for his ability to influence and protect either party’s’ interests. To do this, a mediator needs “leverage”, that is, his ability to diplomatically put pressure on one, or both parties to accept a proposed settlement. The pressure Annan brought to bear through the international community was the leverage that he needed for the parties to accept a shared power structure of government. The leverage was necessary since peace in the country is not only for our security, but for the international community citizens in Kenya, and for Kenyans living abroad, not to mention the protection of the foreigners’ business interests. The US and EU threats of imposition of sanctions, was, therefore, necessary. Imposition of sanctions would, without any doubts, hurt Kenya. Ignoring this fact is taking a holiday from reality. Our attempt to invoke state sovereignty to justify resistance to international pressure was, thus, an exercise in futility. Annan’s shuttle diplomacy must have left no doubts in the minds of the principals. The international community should, however, have sounded sympathetic rather than coercive. This would have retained the balance necessary to respect Kenya’s sovereignty while acknowledging its place as a member of the international community. No country in the world will be allowed to claim sovereignty at the expense of losses of lives, human displacements, destruction of property and the economy of that country while the world watches. We should remember that the initial value of state sovereignty represented by the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 has since been eroded, if not nearly eliminated through the development of democratic values and institutions with international accountability on the basis of human rights and humanitarian standards. This value has further been diminished by the governments’ domestic performance, which renders them vulnerable to international scrutiny. Kofi Annan’s predecessor, Boutros Boutros Ghali, in his book ‘An Agenda for Peace’, put it succinctly: “the time of absolute and exclusive sovereignty has passed” because “its theory was never matched by reality”. It is, therefore, necessary for leaders of states “to find a balance between the needs of good internal governance and the requirement of an ever more interdependent world”.

Ones a conflict is subjected to the so-called track one mediation process, it gets out of the confines of its domestic character. It becomes exposed to full international glare and is open to wide criticism and pressure, which the parties to the conflict must adjust to bear with. The status of a mediator, such as Annan has is also important. His intervention had authority and his efforts revered by the parties. As a result he prevailed upon the principals in person through his shuttle diplomacy. The leverage or resources available to Annan, enabled him to move the parties from their hard line positions to agreement. It is when a mediator possesses such resources which the parties value, not merely his impartiality that effort succeeds. Annan’s high-ranking profile and status gives him legitimacy. He was, therefore, able to command respect under an environment of credibility and trust, allowing the parties to back down from fixed positions and make concessions. The characteristics Annan displayed must now be replicated in the agreements interpretation and implementation. The agreement signed is only an outline framework of issues to be debated and legislated. Good will and commitment to the letter and spirit of the agreement is essential. We should maximize on the experiences gained from the world around us of abrogated and dishonored peace agreements, especially those signed under the international pressure necessary to end crisis in countries. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement, to give only one of many examples, took two and a half years to reach. It has taken the same time, to implement, and is still experiencing difficulties.

In order to minimize implementation difficulties, an overseer independent implementation team should be established. The team should comprise representatives of all stakeholders. The team should be independent of the legal draftsmen and the parliamentarians. It should impartially monitor implementation progress and explain to Kenyans, through the principals, the necessary delays resulting from the parliamentarian debates and legal draftsmen’s responsibility for the agreements soundness. This will ease anxiety and buy the patience Kenyans need to continue with their businesses peacefully and confidently, assured that their interests are fully represented. Public statements and opinions on the interpretations and implementation details of the agreement, which are bound to trigger controversies, should be left entirely to the principals, or their jointly delegated agents. Only this way will Kenya create history on record implementation time, reclaiming its ‘haven of peace’ status.


[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.

[2] If you would like to contribute any information please contact Linda Bore at citizenskenya@gmail.com, or on 0711-269482

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