(Washington, DC) – Africa Faith and Justice Network is both saddened and incensed by the news reports and stories coming out of Kenya. As an Africa advocacy organization, we feel it is important to address the issue and to engage in some serious analysis about the situation there and how it affects the democratic process in Africa. However, as our primary mission is to influence US policy toward Africa, we have struggled to determine a proper course of action. In many ways, we feel it is the Kenyan people and the Kenyan political parties who must procure peace for themselves. We also hope that the US heeds the warning from Kenya and commits to a more comprehensive development policy toward Africa in the long-run – one that de-emphasizes defense and boosts diplomacy and civilian engagement.
As such, we call on:
—The people of Kenya to halt all violent acts in order to allow incumbent Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga to come to an agreement. The violence that has pervaded the post-election process is only further ethnicizing the political process in Kenya.
—President Kibaki to include Luo people and other Kenyan tribes in his government. The Kenyan people must accept Kibaki as the President but it is in Kenya’s best interest that Kibaki bring all parties into the government.
—The United States to recognize that peace is the end goal and to encourage it among Kenya’s political parties.
Updated Feb 28, 2008