we continue to miss the big picture at our own peril

When Oscar Foundation founder, Oscar King’ara, was killed ten days ago I expected that the government would be embarrassed enough to do something about the seemingly premeditated killings that have rocked the country in the last few months. There seems to be an elaborate plan by the security forces in Kenya to sidestep the judicial system and neutralize suspected criminals. This is wrong. This wrong precisely because as citizens of Kenya we are all entitled to a just trial in court before being punished if found guilty. If we let the politicians decide who is guilty or not what will stop them from using the security apparatus to eliminate political opponents? Commissioner Ali, WE ARE NOT A POLICE STATE. AND IF WE ARE, COME OUT CLEAN AND LET THE WORLD KNOW.

That not a single individual has been arrested and tried for the killing of Mr. Kang’aru or the hundreds of other young Kenyans killed by the mysterious death squad is a shame. It is a shame on the government of president Kibaki and premier Odinga. It is a shame on the Kenyan media who now are fixated on 2012 succession politics and have completely forgotten about the deteriorating condition of security in Kenya. It is a shame on the Kenyan civil society who seem to be willing to stop at issuing statements condemning the killings. Don’t we have investigative journalists who can expose exactly what is going on?

Who is behind these killings? The police commissioner must know. Can’t parliament summon him and have him testify under oath? And why is the attorney general still in office? Mr. Wako, please go home. Your EIGHTEEN years as our attorney general has brought nothing but shame to the Kenyan judiciary. Go home.

is it worth it?

Omar al-Bashir is a war criminal, no doutbt about that. Because of his genocidal tendencies hundreds of thousands of Sudanese in the East, West and South of the vast African country have lost their lives. Almost two million have been displaced from their homes and live lives not worth living. He deserves nothing but to be locked up in a tiny cell for the rest of his life.

Omar al-Bashir is also still the president of Sudan. He still has access to the security apparatus of Sudan. He can revoke aid licenses. He can bomb villages. He can jail aid workers. He has been doing a few of these things since his arrest warrant was issued by Moreno-Ocampo. He expelled aid workers in Darfur whom he accused of colluding with the ICC in gathering evidence against him. As the aid workers leave or downsize their involvement in Darfur hundreds of thousands of IDPs will be left without hope – the same people that institutions like the ICC are supposed to protect.

Justice is political. It is not some abstraction. It depends on realities on the ground. And for now the situation in Darfur is not conducive to the idea of arresting the commander in chief of the Sudanese Army. Omar al-Bashir is as guilty as charged. But it might do the Sudanese more good to engage him constructively than to demand for his immediate arrest.