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‘Oasis of peace’ turned into a ‘theatre of death’

Editorial

‘Oasis of peace’ turned into a ‘theatre of death’

In difficult position; Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta

Our neighbouring Kenya has for many years been referred to as the Oasis of Peace in the Sea of Instability.

For many years when our country Uganda was synonymous with violence, > everyone scared for his or her life, would pack their bags and head for Kenya where they were always welcome.

And whenever government smelt a threat of instability, the leadership would use Uganda as a scarecrow – a scare that always worked because the Kenyans would shudder to imagine their stable, secure and peaceful country becoming ‘a Uganda’.

Because of that fear and love for a stable Kenya, no Kenyan wanted to be looked at as ‘an enemy of Kenya’ by engaging in any situation that would distabilise Kenya.

Today, sadly, Kenya has turned into something that borders on the theatre of death. Every so often we read and watch stories of violence and death on television every so often. And our region is really alarmed because no region was until recently more promising in terms of development, peace and security than ours.

Over twenty four hours in the last one week alone, over 60 Kenyans were killed in the same area. According to Kenyan media, nearly 50 people were massacred in Mpeketoni village in the Coastal county of Lamu.     

Mpeketoni is described as ‘a fast-growing town in Lamu County on which landless Kenyans (predominantly from the Kikuyu community) were settled around Lake Kenyatta by the first president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta. This created Mpeketoni Settlement Scheme.’

Hardly 24-hours later, it was reported that that 15 people have been killed in Pormoko village, not far from Mpeketoni town. Many people are reported still unaccounted for. And as people of Kenya and the region were wondering who is killing Kenyans, a message allegedly from Al Shabab was sent to local and international media claiming responsibility and warning foreigners to get out or ‘stay at their own peril’.

Soon after, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta informed the nation and the world: ‘The attack in Lamu was well-planned, orchestrated and politically-motivated ethnic violence against a Kenyan community with the intention of profiling and evicting them for political reasons.’ This televised address was immediately attacked by Opposition leaders in Kenya as irresponsible and dangerous.

Now we are learning from the survivors were being asked to declare their tribes and religion before they were killed. The Kenyan Daily Nation newspaper reported that ‘the victims were then lined up at a swampy Kaisare area and shot in the head at point-blank range’. We are also learning from the authorities that the person who was sending messages ‘from the Al Shabab’, has been arrested and his name has been given as Mr. Omondi.

Kenya’s NTV has now reported that the residents of Mpekoteni claimed that ‘some of the attackers were well known people in the village’.

If these findings and or revelations turn out to be true, why wouldn’t Kenyans say their president was right.

As neighbours, and as a country and a people who have known the dangers of instability,  insecurity, and their effects on the people and the country, we would not like Kenya to go through a similar experience. It is for this reason that we would like to advise against disunity and sectarian politics that we have been witnessing from a distance.

We hope and pray that the ordinary Kenyans realize in good time and they stand up to the toxic politics which will without doubt, destroy their beautiful country if not halted NOW.

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