U.S. SUPPORT FOR UHURU INCREASING TENSIONS, DIMINISHING ITS FORMER STANDING AS CHAMPION OF KENYAN DEMOCRACY – Statement by Salim Lone
“The unrestrained and widening crackdown of the kind now unfolding in Kenya was last seen in 1982 and led to a bloody, but thankfully unsuccessful, coup.”
The editorials in a growing number of US papers strongly criticizing Uhuru’s lawless crackdown behoove the US State Dept to review its policy of full support for the seriously tainted Uhuru regime. Uhuru Kenyatta’s lack of both legitimacy and wide support in Kenya has left him incapable of meeting the democratic contest of ideas that NASA is engaged in, and has forced him resort to force-first policies in a bid to hold on to power.
This has significantly raised tensions in an already polarized Kenya and could lead to a disaster that could easily rival the one that almost broke the country into two after the rigged 2007 election.
At a minimum, the US State Department should strongly censure Uhuru and demand he cease his increasingly lawless crackdown. The refusal to do so by Ambassador Robert Godec has seriously undermined stability and no less important, substantially undone the historic high US standing in Kenya.
That respect for the U.S. began with its strong push for Kenyans demanding multiparty democracy in the early 1990s under a Republican administration, and was again forcefully seen in the decisive US involvement in the 2008 post election violence Kofi Annan Accord, with then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice travelling to Nairobi to ensure its acceptance by both parties. That support made possible our historic 2010 Constitution, again with strong US support.
The unrestrained and widening crackdown of the kind now unfolding in Kenya, which was last seen in 1982 and led to a bloody but thankfully unsuccessful coup attempt, is only seen in dictatorial societies, and fosters the tension, instability, insecurity and economic setbacks that democratic societies are geared for avoiding.
International political and economic support should only be offered to countries trying to improve democracy, not jettison it as Kenya is doing at breakneck speed.