While Washington and Brussels have been scrambling to ensure a return to order in Kenya after the disputed presidential election, African leaders have been quiet, only issuing half-hearted statements condemning the violence that has gripped the country.
One would have thought that since Kenya was one of the remaining beacons of peace and stability on the continent, many leaders would come out to seek a speedy solution to its problems. But no. African leaders, in their characteristic style, would never be caught criticising each other. So even after one of them was believed to have rigged his way back to power, none of them had the spine to roundly condemn the rigging and call for dialogue.
Yar’Adua of Nigeria, Wade of Senegal and Mbeki of South Africa are nowhere to be seen. Kofuor attempted to be the mediator but later pulled back because the Kenyan government wasn’t too keen on getting his help. Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and South Africa, being the four countries that can credibly criticise/influence Kenya, should have acted fast in order to restore peace and order in the country by pushing for negotiations between the president and the opposition leader.
Because of the silence of these African leaders we have been left with a situation in which the US and the UK seem to be more interested in peace in Kenya than Kenya’s immediate neighbors and other countries on the continent. Next time any of these leaders complain of neo-colonialism they deserve to have rotten eggs land on their faces. They have failed the continent and by allowing outsiders “run the show” on the continent gravely dented Africans’ self confidence, again.
It is most deplorable that no single leader on the continent has come out in defense of democracy. It just shows how long Africa still has to go before it can be called a land of democrats.