Wednesday, October 08, 2008


THE HIGHLY RIDICULOUS article by Saturday Nation columnist Donald B. Kipkorir against the Somali nation deserves an appropriate response. His rhetoric is utterly offensive and fallacious. He opines that since they have strategic interests in the country, Kenya and Ethiopia should invade and divide Somalia equally.

His justification? That Somalia is ‘‘a failed state’’ with ‘‘no functioning government’’, and is also a ‘‘haven for terrorists and pirates’’ to boot.As a regular reader of his invariably warped opinions, I am not at all surprised by his disdain for the reality of the unfortunate situation in Somalia, the millions of people displaced, and the death of thousands of innocent women and children every month.

Ironically, it was only early this year that Mr Kipkorir wrote in the same column that Kenya is a failed state, and that we should beg Britain to come back and rule us, because ‘‘when we re-subordinate ourselves to Britain, the only thing we shall lose is our poverty and backward economy’’!
At the height of our crisis early this year, he espoused the balkanisation of the country into ethnic fiefdoms, arguing that we do not have a nation-state capable of nurturing development.

Somalis are our neighbours, and we have a moral duty to help them recover their footing. The country is a victim of its own political crisis and neglect — the same kind of ethnic crisis that almost hurled Kenya into anarchy had the world not thrown its weight around. When Somalia found a home-grown solution that led to peace and stability through the Islamic Courts Union, Kenya and Ethiopia joined the US in the ICU’s destruction.

Perhaps because of our submission to the US’s policy of labelling all resistance groups and liberators ‘‘terrorists’’, our Government supported the invasion. ANC liberators were branded terrorist and Nelson Mandela was only removed from the terror list by the US Congress in July. To them, the Palestinians are terrorists, and so are Iraqis, Chechens, Afghanis, Pakistanis, and Somalis.

According to Kipkorir, the ‘‘so-called Transitional Federal Government (TFG)’’ is confined to a shell-shocked presidential compound and is not functional. But lest he has forgotten, the TFG was a take-away administration our Government packaged in Nairobi, which revels in killing and maiming of its citizens. Had Kenya as Chair of Igad at the time pursued dialogue between ICU and TFG instead of hopping onto the anti-terrorism gravy train, the situation could have been different.

From the time TFG and its backers landed in Mogadishu last year, more than 10,000 innocent civilians have died while millions have been uprooted from their homes. Kenya sealed its borders to fleeing women and child refugees, closing its eyes to the ongoing slaughter.
MANY WERE PICKED UP AT THE border, including fellow Kenyans, and shamefully renditioned to Ethiopia on suspicion of terrorism. Driven by suffering, others have taken to piracy, a potent reminder of the consequences of our selfish actions. Rwanda’s genocide was also ethnic-driven, but the country’s resistance movement, RPF, was allowed by the international community to restore order, albeit belatedly. In Kenya, action was taken in January 2008 to bar several leaders from travelling to various countries due to their perceived involvement in violence. Yet, Somalia is the only country in the world where warlords who presided over death, destruction and anarchy since 1991 were helped back into leadership by Kenya, Ethiopia and the West, ostensibly because they were anti-terrorist.

Mr Kipkorir demeans himself when he gloats that Kenya is ‘‘an existential enemy of Arab countries as a Western ally’. In his camouflaged Arab-phobia, he opined on July 12 that Libya ‘‘did not deserve to be Kenya’s trading partner’’ because it is an Arab state.