World View: U.S. Embarrassed by Results of Kenya Presidential Election
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Kenyatta is declared Kenya's controversial presidential election winner
- Kenyatta's criminal charges provide dilemma for Obama administration
- Violence continues in Egypt's canal city, Port Said
- Egypt's army on high alert in Sinai
- Report: Hizbullah has chemical weapons
Kenyatta is declared Kenya's controversial presidential election winner
Kenyatta supporters celebrate victory on Saturday (AFP)
Kenya's election commission on Saturday announced that last week the
deeply ethnically divided nation had elected Uhuru Kenyatta to be the
new president by a narrow margin. Everyone's mind is focus on the
fear of new violence similar to what happened after the December 27,
2007, elections, when inter-ethnic killings, rapes and amputations
triggered by dissatisfaction with election results killed thousands of
people. In his acceptance speech, Kenyatta said,
"I would especially like to acknowledge the Kenyans
who lost their lives on the eve of the elections. They made the
ultimate sacrifice, laying down their lives, in the name of
To the families of those who lost their loved ones- I offer my
sincere condolences and I assure you that I, and the people of
Kenya are standing with you in prayer.
The incidents that took the lives of our officers are a reminder
that security remains one of the biggest challenges to our
nation. It is unacceptable to see the lives of Kenyans lost so
As we move forward, I pledge to keep the issue of national
security high on our agenda."
However, Raila Odinga, the candidate who lost the election, is
not very happy with the results. In his speech, he listed
"massive irregularities" in the voting process. Billions of
dollars had been spent on new technology -- electronic voter identification
kits and electronic voter tallying systems -- that all failed completely,
forcing a count of the paper ballots, according to Odinga:
"Two days after the vote, the electronic tallying
process was discarded and counting began afresh, manually. That
too turned out to be flawed exercise in which, among other things,
there was massive tampering with the IEBC voter
Democracy is on trial in Kenya. It is clear that the process of
electing a new set of leaders has been thwarted by another tainted
Odinga's supporters believe that these failures were intentional
sabotage to give his opponent a victory. However, Odinga asked
his supporters to remain peaceful:
"Any violence now could destroy this nation. ...
Let the Supreme Court determine whether the result announced by
the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission [IEBC] is
lawful. We are confident the court will restore the faith of
Kenyans in the democratic rule if law."
The Supreme Court will then have 14 days to hear the dispute and make
a ruling whether to call for a new election. Odinga has made it clear
that he expects to win a victory in court. Whichever way the court
decision goes, it's going to make a lot of people very angry.
Standard Media (Nairobi) and All Africa
Kenyatta's criminal charges provide dilemma for Obama administration
The fact that Kenya is Barack Obama's ancestral homeland only
complicates the diplomatic dilemma over the fact that winning
candidate Uhuru Kenyatta is under indictment by the International
Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, stemming from his
alleged involvement in the bloodbath that occurred after the December
2007 elections. He's accused of organizing and funding the death
squads that killed more than 1200 people, and caused many atrocities.
Kenyatta's trial is scheduled to begin this summer, and many people
inside and outside of Kenya are wondering how he's going to be able to
govern the nation while he's standing trial in the Hague.
Western nations, including the United States, are going to be
reluctant to have ordinary diplomatic relations with a man who
allegedly committed such these atrocities. In fact, prior to the
election, the U.S. State Department’s top diplomat for Africa, Johnnie
Carson, issued a thinly veiled warning to Kenyans that "choices have
This remark caused a huge outcry in Kenya, where the U.S. was accused
of trying to interfere in Kenya's election process.
As it turned out, Carson's remark proved to be a big benefit to
Kenyatta. He portrayed himself as a victim of both the ICC
and the United States, and was able to rally his supporters with
those charges. In many ways, the election turned into a
referendum on the ICC itself.
Kenya is extremely important to US interests, according to the Council
on Foreign Relations:
"The fact that the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi is the
largest in all of sub-Saharan Africa reflects the country’s
centrality to a number of U.S. priorities. Kenya is a significant
counterterrorism partner and an important point of military and
humanitarian access in the region. Kenya has been a vital
diplomatic partner in efforts to bring stability to Sudan and
Somalia. The country is also a regional hub for U.S.,
international, and nongovernmental programs as well as the
linchpin for private sector activity in East Africa. Trouble in
Kenya can quickly infect neighboring countries, as the economic
spillover effects of the current crisis have already made
From the point of view of generational theory, Kenya's last
generational crisis war was the Mau-Mau rebellion that climaxed in
1956, and so a new round of violence has a moderate probability of
spiraling into a full-scale ethnic war. Toronto Star and Council on Foreign Relations (2008)
Violence continues in Egypt's canal city, Port Said
An Egyptian court on Saturday reaffirmed most of the death sentences
for 21 Port Said soccer fans, triggering off new rounds of violence in
Port Said and in Cairo.
Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi declared a state of emergency in Port
Said in January after days of violent anti-police riots followed the
sentencing by an Egyptian court of 21 people to death for
participating in a riot in Port Said on February 2 of last year, where
74 young people were killed, and over 1,000 injured at a football
(soccer) match. ( "27-Jan-13 World View -- Egypt in crisis after two days of violent clashes") Port Said residents claimed that the police had
sided with the supporters of the visiting Cairo team, and were furious
that the court had let the police go free. In this new ruling,
two senior police commanders were giving prison sentences.
On Saturday, angry crows targeted police offices and a police officers
club in both Port Said and Cairo. Evidence presented at the trial
showed that the police had locked the gates, allegedly to allow the
Cairo supporters to kill as many Port Said supporters as possible.
Violence and instability have been increasing in Egypt since the
election of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi. There are
increasing fault lines between the government and the army, between
the police and the army, between the Islamists and secularists, and
between the Muslim Brotherhood party and the Salafist al-Nour party.
Egypt's army on high alert in Sinai
Egypt's military commands have ordered troops to be on "high alert,"
after receiving information about plots for terrorist attacks in
Sinai. Violence in the Sinai has increased substantially in the two
years since the Egyptian Revolution began, and Hosni Mubarak was
deposed. Islamist militants have been stepping up attacks on Egyptian
securities forces near the Gaza and Israeli borders. Egypt Independent
Report: Hizbullah has chemical weapons
According to Israeli intelligence researchers, Hizbullah is already
in possession of chemical weapons from Syria. However, Syria
is afraid to use them against Israel because it fears the backlash.
The greater fear is that they'll fall into the hands of al-Qaeda linked
terror groups, who have no particular fear of a backlash.
With instability growing throughout the Mideast, there's a fear
that a Mideast war is just around the corner, and that Syria's
chemical weapons play a substantial role.
According to Debka, which sometimes gets things wrong, is quoting its
military intelligence sources as saying that al-Qaeda linked Syrian
rebel militants have laid hands on sufficient chemical bombs, shells
and warheads - together with missiles and other launching systems - to
conduct strikes against seven targets: Assad government centers,
Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq and Lebanon.
According Debka's report, U.S. officials say the following:
Whether or not Debka is right about the fact that Syria's chemical
weapons have already been dispersed to al-Qaeda linked terrorist
groups, there's little doubt that the Mideast is becoming more and
more unstable by the day, and al-linked terrorist groups believe that
the way to turn the Mideast in a region of strict adherence to the
most radical form of the Sunni Muslim faith is to trigger an all-out
war in the region, leaving them behind to pick up the pieces and forge
a new Sunni Islamic revolutionary nation. Israel National News and Debka and Debka
- Al Qaeda's affiliates may also be setting their sights on US
strategic and military targets in the region.
- They have transferred chemical weapons from Syria to armed Al
Qaeda bands lurking just 40 kilometers from the Iraqi capital of
- Al Qaeda is funneling poison chemicals to its armed groups on
Iraq's borders with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for strikes against those
- The trail of chemical weapons from Syria through Turkey has been
picked up in Jordan, where they have reached Islamist groups fighting
the monarchy. Some bands have infiltrated Amman, the capital, and
await orders to go on the offensive; others have fanned out across
northern Jordan and are poised to hit the US, British, French, Czech
and Polish special forces deployed there.
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