Wednesday, February 13, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Raila's letter to Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General

H.E. Ban Ki Moon
UN Secretary General
Nairobi, Kenya

1 February 2008

Republic of Kenya

It is with utter sadness that I welcome you to Kenya. Our country, whose enduring stability made it a host for mediating conflicts in so many neighbouring countries, has now itself been plunged into chaos, bringing death and untold suffering to hundreds of thousands. Your presence here is an immense source of hope for our terrified people, and provides reassurance that the world is united in wanting the bloodshed to end and democracy restored in Kenya.

Your own concern over our crisis has been evident from the moment it erupted, when you issued a strong statement about the imperative need to end the violence that followed what every national and independent monitoring group termed as a deeply flawed election. Enclosed please find a dossier that summarises details of the fraud.

Excellency, you have now rightly warned that catastrophe looms, and that both leaders must act together to restore security for our people. I would like to assure you that my colleagues and I have repeatedly condemned the violence, asserting that no grievance, no matter how legitimate, can be justified, and that violence in any event is fruitless and counterproductive, since it only begets more violence. Mr. Kibaki has also condemned the violence.

But the fact remains that however categorical each side's commitment to restoring peace, it is only those who control the instruments of state who can end the murderous rampages and provide security for all our people. Indeed, there is ample evidence that sections of the security forces are themselves abetting this violence, including through supporting a much-feared militia which relentlessly pursues communities which supported ODM.

So insecurity, rather than being contained, is actually growing, with the murders of two elected ODM Members of Parliament heightening fears that others are targeted as well. Indeed, a number of international groups have asked that government ensures the security of Mr. Maina Kiai, the government appointed Chairman of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission. There have been death threats against journalists and other civil society actors, as well as other political leaders.

H.E. Kofi Anan's mission has given Kenyans great hope that violence will end and the political crisis, centred around the fraudulent presidential election, resolved rapidly. Your own presence to show full support for this mission and for Kenyans has further boosted the people's resolve.

But the fact remains that even since Mr. Anan's mission started, intense new violence has been initiated. These included last weekend's attacks in Naivasha, in which scores were killed, some in full view of the police and television cameras. One ghastly attack saw 19 people, mostly women and children, burned alive, with 11 members of one family wiped out. A similar horific incident took place in an Eldoret church nearly a month ago.

So even as we remain firmly focussed on ensuring success for the mediation mission, we clearly cannot await its successful conclusion before the attacks and assaults Kenyans are suffering are brought to an end. The security forces clearly are not capable of providing security to the people.

We therefore appeal to you to use your good offices to find a way to provide such protection to the people of Kenya, too many of whom live in dread of being attacked and murdered every night. We are pleased that this crisis has engaged not only you but the entire international community and world leaders. We particularly welcome the African Union's serious concern over the situation, and also the new proposal by France to engage the Security Council more fully in our crisis.

We sincerely hope that within these various international efforts, a way can be found to provide protection to threatened Kenyans.

We again thank you for your personal visit to Kenya, and assure that we will leave no stone unturned to reach a peaceful settlement.

Accept, Excellency, the assurance of our highest consideration.

Eng. Raila Amolo Odinga
Orange Democratic Party
Nairobi, Kenya


1 comment:

Daudi said...

I dislike politicians..but I have to agree with the premise of this letter..also the fact that it does not place blame squarely on one person's shoulder. In Africa..that is a positive. Maybe there is hope after all..