Friday, January 11, 2008

Pastoral Letter from Friends Church in Kenya (FCK)


“You are my Friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:14)

P.O. BOX 465

8th January 2008


“Righteousness exalts a Nation, but Sin is a disgrace to any People” (Proverbs 14: 34)


His Excellency the President Hon. Mwai Kibaki
Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga

Receive Greetings in the Name of Christ Jesus.

At this time, of pain, horror, sorrow, suffering, insecurity in our beloved country, We as Friends Church in Kenya, being a PEACE church, are deeply concerned for the safety of ALL Kenyans and friends visiting Kenya during this time of Political and Social Instability. May we start by referring to our Quaker values which have guided us over the past four centuries.

Quaker Peace Testimony
“We actively oppose all that leads to violence among people and nations, …. Refusal to fight with weapons is not surrender. We are not passive when threatened by the greedy, the cruel, the tyrant, and the unjust. We will struggle to remove the causes of impasse and confrontation by every means of non-violent resistance available. We must start with our own Hearts and Minds. Together, let us reject the clamor of fear and listen to the whisperings of hope.

Our Principle is, and our practices have always been: ”to follow after righteousness and the knowledge of God, seeking the Good and welfare of humanity and doing that which tends to the peace of all”

As Friends Church, our Goal is to have a Peaceful Society anchored in and as a consequence of the process Truth, Righteousness and Justice (Ps.89v14).
Our Basic Principles and Values that under-gird our concerns compel us to make this call to you, our political leaders.

These include:-

· Truth:
o Truth is critical to the establishment of legitimacy for the political class, that is, presidency and the opposition, if they are to enjoy the loyalty and respect of all Kenyans. This can only be achieved if the objective truth is that the Elections were “Free, Fair and Transparent”. For us, “the Spirit of Christ, which leads us into all TRUTH, will never move us to Fight and War against any person with outward weapons, neither for the Kingdom of Christ nor for the kingdoms of this world”. (Luke 22:49-51), (2nd Corinthians. 10:4)

· Peace and Justice:
o Kenyans are sad, angry and disillusioned today. We call on all parties to look back to 30th December 2002, when all Kenyans collectively celebrated the “hope” of a united democratic and prosperous society.

o We call on all people “to object to everything which leads in the direction of war, preparation for it or supporting it! Our faith challenges us as to whether we are now ourselves to become a divided people, swept along by the streams of mistrust and fear, arrogance and hatred which produce tensions in the world; or whether by our own decision, confidence, and courage, we can become a bridge linking those elements which promote truth, justice and peace.”

o This battle is not about ethnicity per se, rather it is about economic injustice, and the youth across the board bear the brunt of it. There is an icy gap between them and the older age. There was hope and expectation that this nation would be steered towards a more democratic, united, just and prosperous society, where development would be experienced by ALL hardworking Kenyans. That hope was rekindled, with their participation in the just ended elections and the youth in particular saw the possibility of moving forward for the betterment of their lives. They feel “cheated. They are expressing anger that the rich are getting richer, while the majority are living on less than one dollar a day. “A hungry person is an angry person”. Justice is what they long for.

· Simplicity:
o Quakers believe in modesty, serving humanity in love and harmony. In Kenya, there are gross inequalities in terms of sharing the scarce opportunities and resources. The rich are “Very Rich”, while the Poor are “Very Poor” and the gap is widening. From the looting that has been witnessed across the board, it’s clear that the present up-rising is not per-se ethnic, but rather, to a greater extent, “a Class-Struggle”. “Money bags” “Rich-ness”. “Quick money-making” e.g. pyramid schemes, have been glorified. The affluent conspicuous consumption and obnoxious display of wealth of the upper class, in a sea of poverty, have not helped.

o The hopes and opportunities for the poor (have-nots) for upward mobility have been frustrated by continuing “joblessness” and false promises by politicians. The underlying perceived injustices of our economic disparities must be urgently addressed. A genuine honest and sustainable commitment to redressing the imbalances should be made. Otherwise we warn that the class “battles” will continue in one form or other. The youth are desperate, angry and impatient. The ordinary Kenyan does not feel or see the effect of the purported 6.5% annual growth of the economy or the benefits of the foreign investors.

o The unsatisfactory manner in which corruption cases (Anglo-leasing/Goldenberg scandals) have been handled are seen as unjust and discriminatory against the poor who get heavy sentences for petty theft, yet the greedy rich go scot-free. This impunity, lack of accountability and arrogance of the corrupt rich, has fostered a deep-rooted anger that has exploded and must be addressed meaningfully, openly and fairly.

· Life is Sacred. “Stop the Bloodshed”
o As Quakers we value every person. We believe that “there is that of God in every person”. “Our central faith requires that we should proclaim, in deed as well as in word that war,…. is contrary to the Spirit of God, whose name is Love. The same spirit must animate our business and social relations and make us eager to remove oppression and injustice in every form”.
o As such, we renounce these senseless killings and urge the government, to take responsibility and restrain the security forces from using violent means of handling the “demonstrators”. We urge all parties to give a listening ear to the people. Through their violence they are communicating a serious message. Please listen respectfully.
o Politicians should avoid using youths in their schemes to create mayhem in society.
o Supporters should stop being misused and abused by politicians
o Party leaders must restrain their supporters from engaging in unlawful acts but should engage in peace building.
o The older people should be encouraged to counsel and dissuade the youth from violence.
o Faith-based institutions should continue sending clear non-partisan, non-inflammatory messages that resonate the life affirming, faith-filled, truth and justice-guided, peace-building, comfort-giving, reconciliation-oriented, repentance-seeking, confession-based messages of their faith.

In view of the above, we make the following proposals:

1. An independent audit should be done.
a. Tallies from the polling stations for each of the 210 constituencies should be obtained and at least one agent for each candidate from each polling station be brought to Nairobi to verify the count and entries on Form 16A.
b. All Forms 16 should be verified with Forms 16A to establish accuracy of entries.
c. An independent group, possibly made of church leaders, local observers, international observers, representatives of the two parties and international leaders should be charged to verify the tallying and report their findings to the chairman of the reconstituted ECK and to the Kenyan people.
d. Whatever the outcome of the verification, the two parties should abide by the verdict under the guidance of the international arbitrators.

2. Re-run
Following the gazzettement of the MPs elect, parliament should convene and elect the Speaker so that business can be conducted to facilitate a mechanism for the urgent re-run of the Presidential elections.

3. Interim arrangements
· Hon. Mwai Kibaki should step down from the seat of the presidency to pave way for the interim arrangements suggested below.
· The ODM and the PNU affiliated parties must enter into meaningful dialogue for the sake of national interest.
· Establishment of an interim government comprising of all the parties proportionate to their Membership in parliament with the Speaker heading it for a period of three months.
· Electoral Commission
The interim government is advised to source expertise from recognized international institutions such as A.U, Commonwealth, European Union and others to assist in supervising the re-run. Due to the failure of ECK, the commissioners should immediately step aside to pave way for the re-constitution of the ECK, along the Principles of IPPG, to organize presidential re-run within the three months.
Commissioners of credibility with integrity should be sourced from LSK, ICJ, eminent persons from professionals, civil society and religious groups.

4. Activities during interim period and thereafter
Peaceful rallies must be allowed and organized to facilitate the healing process
Civil society and religious organizations should have forums to enhance reconciliation through dialogue, counseling and conflict resolution
Losers of Parliamentary elections on both sides and former ministers should desist from giving inflammatory statements motivated by their personal vested interests.
All God fearing people should acknowledge and repent their sins (such as bribery, false witness, murder, rape, pride, arrogance, dishonesty and others) of commission and omission. “If my people ,who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land”. (2nd Chronicles 7:14)

5. New Constitution
All presidential candidates have affirmed the need for a new constitution. We Kenyans are in dire need of a new God-centred and people based constitution. All constitutional institutions have failed us: the presidency, parliament, ECK, Anti Corruption, Political Parties, Civil Society, Civil Service, Constitutional Commissions and especially the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. The only institution that is still functioning faithfully is the people: they voted peacefully and in earnest, now they are in disarray because the existing constitution does not address the people’s needs.

In conclusion, we as a Peace Church are committed to the process of national healing. Already we have institutions and programs in place such as: Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP); Trauma Healing; Change Agents for Peace International (CAPI); the Quaker Peace Network, all with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to help bring about healing and transform relationships.

We call upon the wider Body of Christ and other faith based institutions to share in the restoration of a healthy, peaceful and just Society.

God bless Kenya.

On Behalf of Friends Church in Kenya (FCK)

Midikira Churchill Kibisu
Friends Church (Quakers)
Nairobi Yearly Meeting

cc. - Chairman ODM
- Chairman ODM Kenya
- Attorney General
- ECK Chairman
- All Other Parties with Presidential Candidates
- Transparency International
- Kenya National Commission for Human Rights Chairman
- Citizen coalition for constitution
- Hon. Musalia Mudavadi

Action Aid reports from Kenya

NB: Action Aid provided assistance for rainwater catchment at Friends Theological College.

Kenya Crisis - Action Aid

Current situation

Terrible violence in Kenya following the recent presidential election has forced over 250,000 people to flee their homes.

Innocent civilians have been caught up in the tension, with women and children bearing the brunt. So far at least 450 people have died - unofficial figures put the total at over 1,000.

In an attempt to escape the violence, tens of thousands of people have taken refuge in public buildings and churches, where they are urgently in need of safe clean water, food and medical supplies. Roughly two thirds of those affected are women and children.

Thousands of people have been forced across the border to take shelter in neighbouring Uganda.

Tourists have left and people's livelihoods have been destroyed.

For daily updates from ActionAid representatives in Kenya, read our special blog.

Our response on the ground

ActionAid responded immediately by providing safe clean water for 2,000 people in Nairobi and Mombassa, as well as distributing dry food, blankets and mosquito nets. We are setting up four crisis centres in slum areas to provide medical and psychological support to people caught up in the crisis.

But we urgently need to reach more people in the affected regions and provide them with essential supplies like food, medicine and shelter.

As well as immediate relief, our work will continue over the coming months. Most importantly, we will work closely with local communities to help put an end to the violence and promote the message of peace.

We will also help families who have fled get back home and restart their lives

View Action Aid blog:

Concerned Citizens for Peace in Kenya - 1/8/2008

During the past week, Kenya has featured as a top news item in the international news media. The reason for this prominent coverage is located in the contested results of Kenya’s general elections held on the 27th of Dec. 2007 and in the tragic aftermath.

During the weeks and months prior to the elections, polling agencies were predicting an exceedingly close electoral race between the two main contending parties. In this contest, Hon. Mwai Kibaki, the incumbent President and leader of Party of National Unity, was standing for a second term of office in competition with his chief opponent, the Hon. Raila Odinga, leader of the Orange Democratic Movement.

In the event, the elections attracted a record number of enthusiastic voters. According to local and international monitors, the election of members of parliament and civic officers was well organized and produced generally credible results. [Difficulties arose in the subsequent tallying process.] In this regard, a record number of incumbent members of parliament, including cabinet ministers, lost their seats.

In the late afternoon of December 30, 2007, the Hon. Mwai Kibaki was declared by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission to be the newly elected President of Kenya. This declaration was immediately and vigorously contested by the Orange Democratic Movement. On the same day, only hours after the presidential inaugural ceremony at State House was concluded, violence, disruption and killings began to sweep across the country resulting in the deaths of hundreds and the displacement of multiple thousands of Kenyans.

According to observers, the intensity of this conflagration has been exceeded only by the pre-independence Mau Mau upheaval of the 1950s.
Thanks to strong public pressure, including calls from peace groups and interventions by representatives of the international community, the current political impasse will be broached on Jan. 11, 2007 in the form of exploratory face to face talks between President Kibaki and his contesting opponent, the Hon. Rail Odinga, mediated by President Kufour of Ghana, current Chairman of the African Union. Overt violence has meanwhile diminished and relief supplies are becoming available to the thousands of internally displaced Kenyans.

On Monday, December 31, 2007, a forum called the ‘Concerned Citizens for Peace’ was launched at the Serena Hotel, located strategically next to Nairobi’s famous Uhuru Park. This forum is sponsored jointly by the Nairobi Peace Initiative-Africa and the Africa Peace Forum.

Five experienced Kenyan peace practitioners serve as its core group:
  • Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat of the Africa Peace Forum
  • Mr. George Wachira, senior research and policy advisor with the Nairobi Peace Initiative-Africa
  • retired Gen. Lazarus Sumbeiywo, mediator of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement negotiated between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement
  • retired Gen. Daniel Opande, a senior officer with the United Nations peacekeepers in Namibia, Sierra Leone, and Liberia and
  • Mrs. Dekka Ibrahim Abdi, a peace consultant who was awarded the alternative Nobel Peace Prize.
While Kenya was burning with violence and mayhem, the Concerned Citizens for Peace addressed the public with peace messages through the electronic and print media; invited and received from the public more than 250, 000 ‘sms’ messages of concern and solidarity;

held public forums with concerned people; facilitated the mediation visit to Kenya by Archbishop Desmond Tutu; launched six committees focused on peace action at community level, through initiatives by women, on sms-blog sites, by youth for peace, and with the mass media.

By means of this initiative, the Concerned Citizens for Peace have tapped into a large, diverse Kenyan constituency for peace. In addition to immediate ‘emergency peace action’ already undertaken, the group is identifying issues and strategies for peace to be launched in the medium to long term.

Kenya’s week of violence has given vent to many social, spiritual and political fissures which need to be addressed, healed and reconciled.

Harold Miller
Formerly Country Director for Mennonite Central Committee
Jan. 8, 2008
Nairobi, Kenya

Today's Headlines - Opposition calls more protests and Annan expected to broker talks - 1/11/2008

Kenya opposition calls 3 days of protest

By ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY, Associated Press Writer 4 minutes ago

NAIROBI, Kenya -
Kenya's main opposition party said Friday it plans three days of mass rallies next week to protest President Mwai Kibaki's disputed re-election, which has sparked waves of deadly violence across the East African nation.

The African Union president, who had been trying to mediate a compromise between the opposition leader Raila Odinga and Kibaki, left Kenya on Friday after failing to persuade the two even to meet….

Police have banned all rallies since the violence broke out, and have used tear gas, water cannons and live bullets fired over people's heads to block previous attempts to assemble.

"Kenyans are entitled to protest peacefully at this blatant violation of their fundamental rights," Anyang Nyongo, secretary-general of the Orange Democratic Movement, said in announcing rallies in more than 20 locations on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Tony Gachoka, spokesman for the opposition party, said earlier that the protest call was a response to the failure of the African Union mediation.

"Due to the large numbers of people expected we request the police to provide us with security," ODM said in a statement. Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said he will announce a decision about the rally request by Wednesday "based on the intelligence reports we receive."

Posted at:

Kenya election protests to resume

Kenya's main opposition party is resuming its calls for mass protests after last month's disputed elections.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has told police he will hold a mass rally in Nairobi's Uhuru park next Wednesday.

The announcement follows the failure of efforts to mediate in the crisis by Ghana's President John Kufuor, who is the African Union chairman.

Violent protests over alleged election fraud have left some 600 people dead and the police have banned all rallies.

The BBC's Karen Allen in the capital, Nairobi, says the resumption of protests is a sign of the growing frustration by the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

Posted at:

Kenya opposition calls street protests

Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:46am EST
By Wangui Kanina and Alistair Thomson

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's opposition on Friday called three days of nationwide protests next week to put pressure on President Mwai Kibaki's government after the collapse of mediation efforts over a disputed election.

Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) also called for international sanctions on Kibaki, who was re-elected in the December 27 poll, saying world leaders would be irresponsible to trust him with "a single cent".

"We are asking our countrymen and women with whom we feel such great sadness and solidarity to join us in demonstrations countrywide on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week," ODM secretary general Anyang' Nyong'o told reporters.

Odinga's supporters say Kibaki stole the vote.

"Kenyans are entitled to protest peacefully at this blatant violation of their fundamental rights," Nyong'o said, adding that Kibaki's team looked "hell-bent" on clinging to power.

The ODM said protests would be held in nearly 30 places around Kenya, and that it had asked police to provide security for a mass rally on Wednesday in a central Nairobi park.

Previous protests have led to riots and vicious clashes between Odinga's supporters and the security forces, adding to a death toll of around 500 since the ballot.

The government has said it will not allow more protests, and police in riot gear patrolled parts of the capital on Friday.

Posted at:

Annan to Help in Kenya, Group Says

Published: January 11, 2008

NAIROBI, Kenya (New York Times) — With no sign of a breakthrough in the Kenyan political crisis, it appears that a high-profile mediator may be flying in to help: Kofi Annan.

The African Union announced on Thursday that Mr. Annan, the former secretary general of the United Nations, was taking over the role played by President John Kufuor of Ghana, who is also the chairman of the African Union.

Mr. Kufuor spent the past two days in Kenya trying to broker a truce between the government and opposition leaders to end the crisis here, which erupted after flawed elections last month and left hundreds dead from violence. Mr. Kufuor failed to get the two sides even to meet, but he insisted that all was not lost.

“Both sides agreed there should be an end to the violence, and they also agreed there should be dialogue,” he said.

Mr. Annan will lead a panel of African dignitaries who are coming to try to bring the two sides together, Mr. Kufuor said.

There was no immediate comment from Mr. Annan about the new role, but Ban Ki-moon, his successor at the United Nations, views the choice as a “positive development” and called Mr. Annan on Thursday morning to express his “strong support,” Mr. Ban’s spokeswoman said.

Many diplomats here are pessimistic that a solution will be found anytime soon because neither Mwai Kibaki, Kenya’s president, nor Raila Odinga, the top opposition leader, is budging.

Both claim to have won the presidential election on Dec. 27. Western observers have said that there was widespread evidence that the president’s party interfered with the vote tallying process and rigged the results to stay in power.

Posted at:

KENYA: "They came every night"

TIGONI, 11 January 2008 (IRIN) - Susan Ouma was clearly relieved to have found sanctuary after a week of terrifying attacks which forced her to sleep out in the fields where she had been picking tea leaves for Unilever’s Mabrook farm. full report

KENYA: Mary: “It's like everyone is drunk over something you can't understand”

NAIROBI, 11 January 2008 (IRIN) - Mary, a 31-year-old Kikuyu from Kenya's Rift Valley province, who did not want to be identified, is married to a Luo from western Kenya. She had been living in Limuru, 35km northwest of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, for eight years. After the announcement of the election results, pro-opposition ethnic groups started driving Kikuyus – the ethnic group of President Mwai Kibaki – out of Rift Valley. Many fled to Limuru, a predominantly Kikuyu area. In revenge, Kikuyu gangs in Limuru began targeting non-Kikuyus, including Mary's husband and in-laws. full report

KENYA: Lucy Awino: “I pray that things will go back to how they were before”

NAIROBI, 11 January 2008 (IRIN) - Lucy Awino, 40, moved to Limuru, 35km northwest of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, in 1975. The town is dominated by President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu ethnic group. She is a Luo from western Kenya, the same ethnic group as the leader of the opposition, Raila Odinga. When violence broke out after the disputed presidential election results, Kikuyu gangs began targeting non-Kikuyus in the area, including Lucy and her seven children.

Posted at:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

FCNL's Letter to Friends United Meeting - 1/4/2008

Issues: Building Structures for Peace

FCNL's Letter to Friends United Meeting, Africa Ministries in Kenya

Dear Friends of Friends United Meeting, Africa Ministries in Kenya,

During this time of crisis we write to share our thoughts and prayers for peace with you. As a Quaker lobby for peace and social justice headquartered in Washington, DC, we have written to Secretary of State Rice asking that the US become actively engaged in supporting a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Importantly, we have asked Secretary Rice to fund longer-term efforts to build peace within Kenya by increasing funding for programs that promote peaceful reconciliation of conflict. Please be assured that we will continue to lobby our legislative and executive branches about the importance of improving US policy towards Africa and expanding programs that support peaceful prevention of deadly conflict.

We understand that this must be a trying time for Friends in Kenya, but we urge you to maintain hope and faith in the Light. Additionally, if you are active in or aware of programs that you believe support conflict prevention or are beneficial to Kenyans and are in need of resources, we would encourage you to think about applying for funding from the US Embassy or the US Agency for International Development. Specifically, there is a small program called the Ambassador’s “Self-Help Fund” which provides small grants to local organizations and may be worth investigating as a source of funding for programs that promote conflict prevention.

Please share this letter with local meetings, as you are led, and be assured that we will continue to keep Kenya in our thoughts and prayers and work to improve our own country’s assistance programs so that they promote peace and long-term stability for all of humanity.

In Peace,

Joe Volk and the Friends Committee on National Legislation
Reviewed: 1/8/2008
Posted at:

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Give to FUM's "Kenya Relief Fund"

From the Nugent Rehard Family
Former FUM Field Staff in East Africa

January 8, 2008

Dear Friends and Family:

We hope you enjoyed the holidays and send you best wishes for the New Year, with hopes for peace, joy, and community to grow around you, as visible signs of Christ's love in the world! Today is Eliza Nugent Rehard's thirteenth birthday, so we have much to celebrate in our family. But our hearts have been breaking with the news coming out of Kenya this past week, and we've been grieving with Friends there over the post-election violence that has swept up so many in its wake and affected virtually everyone in the nation, like a tsunami of fear, anger, and mistrust.

We appreciate the many messages from Friends enquiring about Kenya, and in response, Mary Kay has posted a new blog:

So far, it seems, all our friends in Kenya—Kenyan and expatriate alike—are safe and well, but many tens of thousands of others are not so fortunate. International news sources estimate more than 600 people have died and over a quarter million have been made refugees, traveling from the west toward Nairobi as IDPs, or internally displaced people. Friends in the Eldoret and Kakamega areas are sheltering the needy, while they themselves are experiencing shortages of essentials like food and fuel, and at great risk to their own families and property.

The need and opportunity for pastoral leadership and ministry of all kinds in Kenya has never been so vital. At the same time, the challenges for ministry in East Africa are greater than ever.

We are happy to report that Friends United Meeting received many generous gifts in the second half of 2007, enabling us to clear the deficit and close our ministry account in good order. Likewise, it's wonderful that support for Friends United Meeting's central office and administrative functions has been growing. Without compromising that support, we do ask you to consider how you might join other Friends in response to the humanitarian crisis in Kenya.

FUM has established a “Kenya Relief Fund.” Unrestricted gifts to this fund are vital at this time, as they can be allocated where they are most needed.

Please visit the FUM website to contribute online or send a gift by post today to: Friends United Meeting, 101 Quaker Hill Drive, Richmond, IN 47374-1980. Earmark your gift “Kenya Relief Fund.” Pledges are welcome, as Kenyans will be suffering for months to come.

Generous gifts are needed now for the “Kenya Relief Fund” and may be used to assist all of FUM’s programs and project partners:
  • Yearly Meetings providing relief to refugees and orphans in Friends churches
  • Field Staff families in East Africa, the Graces and the Richmonds
  • Friends Theological College—Kaimosi
  • The African Ministries Office in Kisumu
  • Lugulu and Kaimosi Friends hospitals
  • Samburu and Turkana Friends missions
  • The Lindi Friends School in Kibera slum area.
The post-election crisis is affecting virtually everyone in Kenya economically, including the families of FTC students. It will be difficult for the college to collect students' fees and tuition for the coming term. Your gift may make a crucial difference to the Friends Theological College program budget, enabling FTC to provide uninterrupted training for pastoral leaders—who will be sorely needed in coming weeks, months and years!

Join us in praying for God to raise up and reveal new leadership for Friends Theological College, as the Richmonds enter the second half of their year of interim service. Please forward any proposals for candidates to serve as the next FTC principal to Sylvia Graves, the General Secretary, or to an FUM board member from your area.

Thank you for sharing your hope and love for Kenya with our family over the past five years. We cannot adequately express our appreciation of your faithful support for us in ministry!

When we departed in August, our Kenyan Friends implored us,
“Do not forget us, marafiki!
Remember your friends in Kenya!”
Know that we join with you and thousands of others in prayer for Kenya as a nation, and for Kenyan Friends especially—praying and trusting that peace, order, and unity will prevail!

God bless,

Mary Kay and Patrick

Mary Kay Rehard and Patrick J. Nugent
Emma and Eliza Nugent Rehard
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Learn more about Kenya at:
Give generously at:

Friends United Meeting update – 1/8/2008

Today emails have flown across my desk faster than I can possible digest. The post-election crisis in Kenya hit this office with more intensity than ever before. Exhausting, but very rewarding! Prayers are spilling out from all over the nation for our Kenyan f/Friends.

Again we would like to note the safety of each of the field staff, along with Bob and Hope Carter, David Zarmebka and his wife Gladys, and Donald and Ruth Thomas. We have heard that Isaiah Bikokwa is well and just waiting out the storm. John Moru was in Turkana during the clashes in Eldoret, so he and his family are safe from conflict. While 95% of the Kenyan Quakers are Luhya and not Kikuyu, Quakers still have been affected by this internal conflict in many ways.

Now there is before us an ever mounting need for funds to help provide subsistence to the folks who are displaced and without enough food, fresh water, clothing and shelter. Depending on the news reports there is somewhere between 250,000 to well over 500,000. Some of the emails I’ve received believe this number is still too low. For me, the numbers are unimaginable. With food prices doubling and tripling and quantities limited or nonexistent in different areas of the country, it is clear that a big part of our responsibilities in the coming weeks will be to focus on relief efforts.

FUM has begun collecting money to help with humanitarian aid in Kenya. Please give generously to FUM for Kenya Relief Fund at:

Funds will be collected and distributed by the Africa Ministries Office and Friends Theological College, according to need. Earmark your gift to FUM for the "Kenya Relief Fund."

Let me help you understand the needs just a bit better:
1) With increased patient load at the Kaimosi Hospital, our head doctor is in need of assistance to keep up. It would be good to have a second doctor to assist.
2) Because of food shortages, Samburu and Turkana (whose funding is substantially down anyway) are in more of a pinch this month than normal. They are able to buy only 1/3 the amount of food they normally purchase.
3) With money going toward subsistence, tuition will be difficult for students at Friends Theological College (when it opens for the semester).
4) FTC’s budget for food, fuel and other supplies will be severely impacted and could cause a crisis in caring for our students there.
5) Short supply of medicines, due to the inability to travel (blockades, lack of fuel, etc.), will cause difficulties in care especially for those patients suffering from HIV/AIDS and cholera (due to sanitation problems and lack of clean water).
6) All these things also affect the orphanages (food, water and medications), churches and schools (who are caring for the displaced).

Many more problems abound in Kenya during this time, but there are ways we can make a difference. Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

Terri Johns
FUM Program Manager

Today's Headlines - Wed 1/9/2008

Kenyan opposition fury grows

By Katharine Houreld - AP

NAIROBI, Kenya - Hundreds of Kenyans tried to flee the country's west Wednesday amid escalating opposition anger after the president named half of a new Cabinet, a line-up packed with his allies.

Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts intensified to end the election dispute whose resulting violence has killed more than 500 people.

The opposition accuses Kibaki of stealing the Dec. 27 presidential vote, and Kibaki's chief rival Raila Odinga has rejected his invitation to talk. The chairman of the African Union, Ghanaian President John Kufuor, was in Kenya to mediate, an effort supported by the U.S. and Britain.

Read full article at:

Kenyan crisis worsens as opposition cools to talks

By Jeffrey Gettleman - New York Times

NAIROBI, Kenya — The political mood darkened again in Kenya on Tuesday, with opposition leaders cooling to the idea of negotiations with the government after the president unilaterally made major cabinet appointments, a move that set off riots across the country almost immediately.

Bonfires burned in Kisumu on Lake Victoria, ethnic clashes erupted in the slums around Nairobi, the capital, and protesters began to mass in the port city of Mombasa.

The political crisis here, which has claimed at least 486 lives and probably many more, seems to be raising wider concerns, with President Bush issuing a statement urging “both sides to engage in peaceful dialogue” and Senator Barack Obama speaking to opposition leaders by telephone.

Read full article at:

New efforts to solve Kenyan crisis


Ghana's President John Kufuor is to begin talks with both sides involved in Kenya's crisis over disputed elections.

Mr Kufuor - current head of the African Union - will meet President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

However there is no sign the two sides will meet for direct talks to resolve the violence, which has seen hundreds of people killed and displaced.

The opposition has called Mr Kibaki's announcement of a partial cabinet on Tuesday "a slap in the face."

Protests erupted in the capital Nairobi and in the western opposition stronghold of Kisumu following the announcement.

Some 600 people are feared to have been killed, and 250,000 displaced, by post-election violence in Kenya - previously seen as a beacon of stability in east Africa.

Tensions persist

Mr Kufuor's visit is expected to build on the mediation efforts of the top US diplomat on Africa, Jendayi Frazer, who has spent several days shuttling between the two sides.

Read full article at:

Country Seen as Anchor to U.S. Position in the Region
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

8 January 2008
Posted to the web 9 January 2008

By Jim Lobe

The ongoing turmoil in Kenya, set off by last week's disputed election results, is prompting considerable concern here about the future of the East African nation that has served as Washington's longest-standing and most reliable ally in a deeply troubled region.

The administration of President George W. Bush dispatched its top Africa aide, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Fraser, to Nairobi Friday to help mediate between the incumbent president, Mwai Kibaki, and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The crisis, which has reportedly claimed at least 600 lives in ethnic clashes between Kibaki's mainly Kikuyu loyalists and members of Odinga's Luo and other smaller minority groups, was set off by the Dec. 30 declaration by the electoral commission that Kibaki had narrowly won re-election.

Despite widespread evidence of fraud and other irregularities, U.S. ambassador Michael Ranneberger quickly congratulated Kibaki, a position that Washington was forced to reverse in the days that followed. On Jan. 2, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary David Milliband joined the African Union (AU) in a call for an end to the ethnic violence and for a "compromise" among the country's political leaders "that puts the democratic interests of Kenya first".

Amid indications of progress both in tamping down the violence and in arranging some kind of power-sharing agreement, Fraser, who has met with both Kibaki and Odinga, extended her stay in Nairobi this week, the State Department announced Tuesday.

Analysts here said they were worried that Kibaki's unilateral naming of 17 cabinet members Tuesday could re-inflame the situation, particularly because of its timing -- immediately before the arrival of AU President John Kufuor, who is to take charge of the mediation effort.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormick Tuesday denounced Kibaki's move as "disappointing" and stressed that both sides needed to "find a way to open up channels of communication so that they can come to a mutually acceptable political solution to get themselves out of this political crisis."
Kenya has long served as an anchor for U.S. economic and geo-strategic interests in East Africa and a major beneficiary of U.S. economic and military assistance. Its possible destabilisation as a result of political and ethnic tensions is of considerable concern here.

"Kenya is tremendously important to the U.S. and to the region," according to Michelle Gavin, an Africa specialist at the Council on Foreign Relations. "The idea of a seriously weakened state or the prospect of a failed state in Kenya -- which would [effectively extend] the failed-state space already occupied by Somalia -- is hugely problematic."

Indeed, Kenya has been a key ally and fellow-victim in Washington's anti-terrorist efforts since even before the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon. More than 200 Kenyans were killed and several thousand more wounded in the 1998 al Qaeda bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.

Read full story at:

After-effects of poll clashes hit northern Kenya

Fw: Your daily Selection of IRIN Africa English reports, 1/8/2008

1 - KENYA: After-effects of poll clashes hit northern Kenya

GARISSA, 8 January (IRIN) - Post-election violence has affected northeastern Kenya's vital livestock trade and resulted in increased food prices and shortages, local traders said. Abdullahi Haji Mohamed said the livestock sector had been effectively paralysed because transportation outfits, concerned about security, have been unwilling to risk hiring their vehicles to deliver animals. The problems have left many parents concerned they will be unable to sell their animals and raise money for school fees. ''We are really suffering. all the attention is now focused in the conflict areas but we area also suffering in silence,'' Mohamed said. Families who fled fighting in other areas of the country have continued to arrive in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera, the main towns in the remote region. An estimated 255,000 people have been displaced countrywide. Dekha Abdinoor, who lived in Kibera, Nairobi's largest slum and centre of much of the capital's fighting, said she was forced to move with her four children after arsonists torched their house. ''I was staying in a two-roomed rental house where I also operated my business selling clothes, but it was burnt down by a group of protesting youths,'' she said from Bulla Iftin in Garissa. ''I only managed to save my children but everything, I mean everything - all household goods and the clothes for sale - were burnt, '' she said. Abdisalan Issack, who was on a vehicle heading to Mandera, had a similar experience after his electronics shop was razed in Kisumu. ''I have lost everything and I am now moving my family to Mandera. the government must assist us to restart our lives after the situation calms down,'' he said. Most violence erupted soon after the Electoral Commission of Kenya on 30 December announced that incumbent President Mwai Kibaki had won the poll. His opposition challenger Raila Odinga immediately rejected the result, citing alleged rigging in Kibaki's favour. Fartun Omar, whose weighing machine was stolen at the Garissa market by rowdy youths protesting the presidential results, said food prices have increased sharply and the majority of people have experienced problems buying new stock. She said that women had been most affected as they were targetted by looters who invaded the market. ''I now operate outside the market because my stall was pulled down. Most of my colleagues have closed business as they are afraid and because vegetables prices are very expensive,'' she added. na/sr[ENDS]© IRIN. All rights reserved. More humanitarian news and analysis:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

More violence overnight - Tues 1/8/2008

More violence in Kenya as AU prepares for talks
08 Jan 2008 23:06:55 GMT 08 Jan 2008 23:06:55 GMT ## for search indexer, do not remove
Source: Reuters
By Daniel Wallis and Alistair Thomson

NAIROBI, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Kenya suffered fresh violence overnight as the African Union prepared for talks on Wednesday to end post-election turmoil that has killed 500.

After a lull in clashes that erupted following President Mwai Kibaki's disputed re-election at Dec. 27 polls, Kibaki named 17 ministers on Tuesday -- prompting further protests.

Witnesses said one man was shot dead in Kisumu, a western stronghold of opposition leader Raila Odinga, where hundreds of rioters built burning barricades and stoned cars.

Slum residents in Nairobi said opposition supporters also took to the streets, some of them brandishing machetes.

"They are going wild. They are very angry about the new cabinet,"
Onyango Apudo, a boxer who lives in the capital's sprawling Mathare shanty-town, told Reuters.

Locals in Kibera, another Nairobi slum that is one of Africa's biggest, said Odinga supporters were also demonstrating there, and that vehicles heading for the area were turning back.

Nearly 500 people have died in the violence and tribal clashes since an election that the opposition says was rigged and foreign monitors said fell short of democratic standards.

Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) on Tuesday rejected an offer of bilateral talks from Kibaki, saying they would be a "sideshow" if not chaired by international mediators.

Hours later, Kibaki unveiled a cabinet that the opposition saw as an attempt to cement his victory and reduce the scope for a national unity government, which he also offered earlier.

The ODM said Kibaki's move was illegal and made a mockery of his agreement to enter serious talks mediated by AU chairman and Ghanaian President John Kufuor, who arrived for crisis meetings with both sides.

Kibaki did not invite Kufuor to the bilateral talks, and Kenyan government officials said the AU leader would only stay in Nairobi for little more than 24 hours.

Washington pressed Kenya's opposition and government to hold talks as its top diplomat for Africa, Jendayi Frazer, extended a visit to help reconcile the two.

"It is of primary importance that they open up those channels of communication," a State Department spokesman said.

Stoking anger among ODM supporters, Kibaki retained several figures in his new cabinet who are loathed by the opposition, including former hardline Internal Security Minister John Michuki, who moved to the roads ministry.

Kibaki said his partial cabinet would ensure the government was able to run the country as required by the constitution.

"When my government is fully constituted as a result of dialogue, it will be broad-based and represent the will of the people of Kenya," he said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Much of Kenya's post-election turmoil has pitted ethnic Luo supporters of Odinga against Kikuyu members of Kibaki's tribe and the security forces.

But Kibaki's naming of Kalonzo Musyoka, from the Kamba ethnic group, as vice-president triggered attacks on Kambas, who some ODM supporters accused of selling out the opposition.

"The Luos are now targeting Kambas, saying they should go and join the Kikuyus," one Kibera resident told Reuters.

Musyoka, a former foreign minister, came a distant third in the presidential election, behind Kibaki and Odinga.

Despite huge international pressure, especially from Western powers, the two front-runners have still not met face-to-face since trouble started when Kibaki was sworn in on Dec. 30.

Odinga says Kibaki must step down and agree to a new election. Kibaki is reluctant to accept international mediation and his officials say the crisis is an internal matter.

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Amos Kimunya -- who was reappointed to the same job -- told Reuters the turmoil could cost east Africa's biggest economy around $1 billion.

The International Monetary Fund's Africa director, Abdoulaye Bio-Tchane, said supplies of commodities, including petroleum, had been disrupted to and from neighbouring Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Sudan, which all rely on Kenya's port of Mombasa.

He said the overall impact had been limited, but if the crisis persisted, "the consequences could be much more severe."

Britain and the United States have pressed Kibaki and Odinga to negotiate a solution to one of the worst crises since Kenya's independence from Britain in 1963.

(Additional reporting by Barry Moody, Nicolo Gnecchi, Njuwa Maina, Katie Nguyen, Guled Mohamed, George Obulutsa, Helen Nyamabura-Mwaura in Nairobi, Lesley Wroughton in Washington and Laura MacInnis in Geneva) news ## for search indexer, do not remove -->

AlertNet news is provided by Reuters

Related articles
Breaking storiesAfrica More violence in Kenya as AU prepares for talks
Source: Reuters ");
document.getElementById("timediff").id ="timediff"+div_ID;
update_timediff_span("timediff"+div_ID,'2008-01-08 23:06:55');

Source: Reuters (50 minutes ago) Africa CHRONOLOGY-Kenya in crisis after disputed elections
Source: Reuters ");
document.getElementById("timediff").id ="timediff"+div_ID;
update_timediff_span("timediff"+div_ID,'2008-01-08 20:14:34');

Source: Reuters (58 minutes ago)
AlertNet insightAfrica Kenya crisis jeopardises Africa's emergence from poverty
Author: Peter Apps ");
document.getElementById("timediff").id ="timediff"+div_ID;
update_timediff_span("timediff"+div_ID,'2008-01-06 13:04:00');

Author: Peter Apps (2 days ago)
Aid agency news feedAfrica World Vision Distributing Aid to more than 150,000 Displaced Kenyans
Source: World Vision - USA ");
document.getElementById("timediff").id ="timediff"+div_ID;
update_timediff_span("timediff"+div_ID,'2008-01-08 22:36:00');

Source: World Vision - USA (19 minutes ago)
BlogsAsia A new year's resolution for aid agencies and broadcasters
Author: Glenda Cooper ");
document.getElementById("timediff").id ="timediff"+div_ID;
update_timediff_span("timediff"+div_ID,'2008-01-07 17:47:00');

Author: Glenda Cooper (1 day ago)
MapsAfrica MAP: Uganda population movements
Source: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies ");
document.getElementById("timediff").id ="timediff"+div_ID;
update_timediff_span("timediff"+div_ID,'2008-01-08 10:43:00');

Source: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (7 hours ago)
Country information
Kenya violence - [Who works where]
Facts & figuresKenya

Impact on Children

Traumatised children flee Kenya violence
08 Jan 2008 00:27:49 GMT 08 Jan 2008 00:27:49 GMT ## for search indexer, do not remove
Source: Save the Children - Australia
Reuters and AlertNet are not responsible for the content of this article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are the author's alone.

Save the Children is extremely concerned by the impact of the recent violence in Kenya on children.

Thousands of children have been forced to leave the safety of their homes because of fighting and many are now sleeping rough and are extremely vulnerable.

According to the latest report from the UN, around 250,000 people have been made homeless by the violence.

Jan Coffey, Save the Children's Country Director in Kenya, said: "Around half of those affected, including people in the hospitals that have been injured or burnt during the violence, are children.

Thousands of children have been deeply emotionally affected by what they have experienced and the camps are full of children crying uncontrollably and whose parents are themselves too traumatised to cope.

These children will need shelter, clean water and food immediately, but one of our priorities will be to make sure these children feel safe and give them back some sense of normality as soon as possible."

Children who have been forced to flee their homes are at risk of being separated from their families and are much more likely to be exposed to further violence, abuse and exploitation. Many families from remote rural areas and slums are too scared to return home because of continuing ethnic tensions and could remain in the camps set up for homeless people for several months.

Save the Children's Director of Emergencies, Gareth Owen, said: "This rapid and massive-scale movement of people means that many thousands of children have been forced to flee at a moment's notice. Torn away from their homes and security, their lives have been turned upside down - they will be scared, confused, vulnerable and, in many cases, living rough without enough food or water. Save the Children will be responding over the next few days to make sure children are safe."

Despite being hampered by the unstable security situation and problems due to lack of access, Save the Children is planning to start carrying out assessments in the affected areas of Kenya and in neighbouring Uganda, where 5,000 people have fled.

Recent events have highlighted the underlying issues in Kenya, where many families were already living in poverty before the violence erupted. The areas that have been worst affected are the remote rural areas and slums, where many children were already living in desperately poor conditions.

Media inquiries should be directed to:
Sharyn Hanly, Corporate Affairs AdviserPhone: +61 3 9938 2000Mobile: +61 (0)437 355 096

aidnews ## for search indexer, do not remove -->
[ Any views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not of Reuters. ]

More on Mamas and Babies: Red Cross witnesses losses

Mamas and babies are suffering, and a picture is worth a thousand words.

Mary Wanjiru walks behind Red Cross workers carrying the body of her one year and one month old boy, Brian, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008 as they arrive at the Nairobi city mortuary. Mary Wanjiru sat beside her baby's corpse for hours, as hundreds of people camping out beside an air force base to flee Kenya's election violence washed clothes, cooked maize, and stood in line for medicine.

'Because we are sleeping outside, and it's so cold, he's dead,' Wanjiru said, her face expressionless.

(AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)

Most Americans think of Africa as a hot place, but Kenya has a diverse topography and ecology, with desert, savanah, coastal areas that are hot, and highlands that are very cool--even cold at night.

Right now, Kenyans are fleeing violence in areas of high elevation (5500 to 8500 feet). Although it's the dry season, these areas become very cold at night.

Refugees lack proper sanitation (pit latrines), food, and clean water; some even lack clothing and blankets. Under these crowded conditions, with hunger and cold, the risk of major outbreaks of infectious disease is increasing with each day the crisis continues.

Save the Children estimates that as many as half of the quarter million IDPs in Kenya are children.

See links on the right sidebar to send funds for relief efforts. If you wish to provide direct aid to IDPs for immediate needs--food, shelter, medicine and clothing--that may save the lives of the most vulnerable (children and the elderly), see links for:
  • Indiana University's program in Eldoret (IU Foundation)
  • AMREF - African Medical and Research Foundation
  • Doctors without Borders, and/or
  • The Kenya Red Cross.

FWCC: new Kenya updates

FWCC - Friends World Committee for Consultation - has created a link to a new FWCC blog on its main homepage. This will make it easier for Friends (Quakers) and others worldwide to access updates on the situation in Kenya. It contains links to this blog and several others, as a gateway for Friends who wish to learn more and support relief efforts following the crisis of post-election violence that has swept across Kenya.

About half the world's Quakers live in Kenya, and Friends have a long history of pastoral, educational, medical, and other ministries there, with many vibrant projects continuing today through Friends United Meeting and other organizations.

Visit and click on the link for Kenya updates to learn more and get involved!

AMREF Kenya relief update

To Give to AMREF:

Story Link:

AMREF - The African Medical and Research Foundation (Flying Doctors)

Post-election violence in Kenya
7 January 2008

Homes have been destroyed, burnt or looted, and hundreds of families are now living in police stations, churches and schools, many of them with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Shops, markets and vehicles have also been destroyed, leaving thousands of entrepreneurs and their employees with no source of income.

The towns most affected by the conflict are Eldoret, Kisumu and Kisii in western Kenya, Mombasa on the eastern coast and Nairobi.

The insecurity has led to a severe transportation breakdown. For days after the violence broke out following the December 27th election, major roads linking Nairobi to the coast and to western Kenya were blocked by gangs of armed youths, causing bus companies to cancel operations. As a result, many towns and neighboring countries have run short of gas and kerosene, the major fuel source for poor urban households, and in some cases causing prices to shoot up by up to 50 per cent.

Many people who traveled out of Nairobi for the holidays and the election have found themselves stranded, unable to travel back to Nairobi and other towns where they live and work.

Sakwa Mwangala, project officer for Kibera slum in Nairobi, which has been badly affected by the violence, is currently stranded in Kakamega. Sakwa said: “Two convoys have made it through to Nairobi now, so I hope to be able to go back to Nairobi with my family soon.”
He added: ”Out of the 15 staff in AMREF’s Kibera Health Clinic, which provides health care for more than 97,000 people, nine people haven’t made it back to Nairobi, one staff member is in Eldoret, which has experienced horrific violence. Fortunately she is safe and is staying at the IDP camp near the police station.”

In anticipation of post-election violence, staff at the Kibera clinic made sure that patients living with HIV and TB had enough medication in the event the clinic closed. On Monday AMREF reopened the Kibera Clinic, but will close again on Tuesday due to rallies planned in and around Nairobi.

At least 45,000 people have taken refuge at Jamhuri Park in Nairobi – and more people are coming every day. AMREF expects that the internally displaced population in Jamhuri will be there for several months.

The African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) has vast experience in post-conflict health interventions, and is in discussions with the Kenya Red Cross on how to help the affected communities. Currently, people at the camps for the internally displaced have few, unreliable and unsafe sources of water, putting them at high risk of diarrhea and other water-borne infections, as well as dehydration.

According to AMREF’s Kenya Country Director, Mette Kjaer: “We are working with the Kenya Red Cross to ensure that AMREF’s intervention will be where we are most needed and most effective. The longer the crisis continues, the greater the risk to people's health.”

Within the greater East African region, the fallout from the violence is being felt in several countries whose economies depend greatly on consumer products from Kenya. The landlocked countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan depend on Kenya for petroleum products whose entry point is the port of Mombasa. In Uganda, fuel prices have sky rocketed to $5 per liter, while humanitarian operations in Southern Sudan have come to a standstill due to lack of fuel.

For the latest update, listen to Alanna Rondi, AMREF Canada's Executive Director, live this morning on CBC Radio: Metro Morning with Andy Barrie. To download real player, click here.

Who we are

AMREF’s mission is to improve the health of disadvantaged people in Africa as a means for them to escape poverty and improve the quality of their lives. Our mission determines that we work in six areas of focus, or Priority Intervention Areas (PIAs).
HIV/AIDS, TB and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Safe Water and Basic Sanitation
Family Health
Clinical Services, Disaster Management and Emergency Response
Training and Health Learning Materials
The AMREF mission is to be achieved by: developing, testing and promoting the adoption of models for improving health and reducing poverty; training and capacity building at all levels; and contributing to the development of an environment that enables health and wealth improvement.

AMREF is the continent’s leading health development organisation.
AMREF has offices in 5 Eastern and Southern African countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. We have field offices in Somalia and Sudan. Each year we train health professionals from countries all over the African Continent. Our headquarters are in Nairobi, Kenya, and we are proud that 97% of our staff is African.

Winner of the 2005 Gates Award for Global Health
AMREF was announced the winner of the Gates Award for Global Health for making major and lasting contribution to the field of health in Africa
Click here to learn more

Epiphany of Hope - Dr. Ray Downing

Mary Kay's introduction: On Monday 1/7/2008, the BBC news said that nearly 500 people have died in Kenya's post-election violence and over a quarter million Kenyans are now IDPs (internally displaced people), having left their homes by force and been made refugees.

Below is a reflection by Dr. Raymond Downing, a Catholic physician who worked at Friends Lugulu Hospital in Kenya, now working at the government district hospital in Webuye and teaching residents at Moi University School of Medicine with his physician wife, Dr. Janice Armstrong. Both are family physicians committed to primary care for the poor and have lived and worked for about a quarter century in East Africa.

Patrick and I looked to them as mentors when we lived and worked in Kenya. I appreciate Ray's hopeful outlook on the situation, with some bits of news that don't reach the international press. Some Friends may have read or would like to read his books, The Wedding Goes on Without Us, Bury Me Naked, and As They See It (about HIV/AIDS in Africa).

Dear Friends-
Jan and I are fine. Here are some reflections from the last week.

Yesterday was Epiphany. Epiphany means appearance or manifestation; in the Church, the appearance of Jesus, his manifestation as Messiah, and the revealing that He is not for Israel only, but for all nations. The last week in Kenya seems to demonstrate the reverse, a sort of Devil's Epiphany, the appearance of killing and burning and chaos, the manifestation of evil. It's been bad.

I think there has been an epiphany here, but of a different sort. The question near the surface of so many commentators is, "We expect this sort of thing in Somalia or Liberia or Congo – but how could this happen in Kenya, a country with a stable democracy and such a strong economy?" In fact, the election itself was remarkably close, and orderly – until the tallying. What happened?

One Kenyan commentator said these events exposed Kenya's "thin veneer of civilization", and I think the comment points us in an interesting direction, depending on what we mean by "civilization". If by civilization we mean a strong (Western-style) democracy, then Kenya had that: political parties, free press, campaigns, pre-election polls, elections, the works. All the things we in the rich West have said make up a strong democracy. Were all these just a "thin veneer" in Kenya? What happened?

There is a clue in Kenya's other piece of civilization, the "strong economy". I have been struck by news reports that speak of Kenya as "an east African economic powerhouse with an average growth rate of 5 percent" – and in the same sentence tell us the country still struggles with poverty, without noting the contradiction. Another news report explains:

"Although the Kenyan economy grew at a rapid pace, so did economic inequality, resulting in a concentration of wealth in a small oligarchical elite, while most Kenyans earn less than $1 a day. " A strong economy that has not confronted and addressed poverty is in fact not a strong economy; it is a "thin veneer" of economic strength.

The epiphany is that this has now been revealed.

So what about democracy? The real question is "what about Western-style democracy", the sort we keep insisting on. And again, we sense a "thin veneer" – but we must be careful about concluding that democracy is only a thin veneer here, and that underneath people are fundamentally undemocratic. Quite the contrary. "Kenya," a friend wrote, "has borrowed bits and pieces over the past century or so from the West, and has pasted these fragments together with a glue that does not withstand high political temperatures. It conforms, generally, to all modern sector fragility…"

What is being revealed in this epiphany is the fragility of Western political and economic "solutions" for Africa.

So where does that leave us? Not with a grand "solution", but only the logical working out of the above epiphany that Western-style political and economic civilization is a veneer here. The obvious question is: a veneer over what? I don't think it's a veneer over the violence we are seeing this week; that violence is simply a sign of the veneer cracking and breaking. Our question remains: what is under the veneer, under the violence? Has it ever occurred to us to look?

By "us" here I mean those Westerners who have worked here, and others who will undoubtedly flock into Kenya now to help: peace teams, negotiators, humanitarian feeding efforts, disease fighting specialists, and the like. There is a clear script for how to help: make sure the displaced people have food and shelter, help them return home when it's safe, document the atrocities, bring those responsible to justice… Yes, that is all important. But I think we have a unique opportunity now to look under the veneer, now that is has cracked. And there are these startling starting-places:

- In a community near here torn by ethnic violence, why would a Luhya woman shelter in her home a Kikuyu woman who had just delivered a baby – knowing that if some in the community found out, her house would likely be burnt?
- When we sang Kenya's National Anthem in church on New Year's Day, my first response was that national politics don't belong in church – until I realized that the Kenya's National Anthem is a prayer set to a traditional African melody.
- And this: why has there been no killing yet in Webuye, where we live? Why, in this Luhya town deep in the heart of western Kenya, are Kikuyu shops remaining open? Why, when some youths from another ethnic group came trying to incite violence, did the youth here refuse?

The answers to Kenya's problems are in Kenya. In fact, God is in Kenya, though sometimes in disguise. One of the best things we can offer Kenya is to look for God here, to document not the atrocities but the epiphanies of God here.

The heart of Africa is too rich and too beautiful to be covered by veneers. It's time for us to admit that we have too often only tried to develop and repair these veneers of civilization. It's time to look at what is working well underneath the veneer, and to ask why.

Kenya history - Lonely Planet

Available at link: (see disclaimer)

Pre 20th Century History
The first of many human footprints to be stamped on Kenyan soil were left way back in 2000 BC by nomadic Cushitic tribes from Ethiopia. A second group followed around 1000 BC and occupied much of central Kenya. The rest of the ancestors of the country's medley of tribes arrived from all over the continent between 500 BC and AD 500. The Bantu-speaking people (such as the Gusii, Kikuyu, Akamba and Meru) arrived from West Africa while the Nilotic speakers (Maasai, Luo, Samburu and Turkana) came from the Nile Valley in southern Sudan. As tribes migrated throughout the interior, Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula and Shirazis from Persia (now Iran) settled along the East African coast from the 8th century AD onwards.
Drawn by the whiff of spices and money, the Portuguese started sniffing around in the 15th century. After venturing further and further down the western coast of Africa, Vasco da Gama finally rounded the Cape of Good Hope and headed up the continent's eastern coast in 1498. Seven years later, the Portuguese onslaught on the region began. By the 16th century, most of the indigenous Swahili trading towns, including Mombasa, had been either sacked or occupied by the Portuguese - marking the end of the Arab monopoly of the Indian Ocean trade. The Portuguese settled in for a long period of harsh colonial rule, playing one sultan off against another. But their grip on the coast was always tenuous because their outposts had to be supplied from Goa in India. Control of the coast was won back by the Arabs in 1720.
The remainder of the 18th century saw the Omani dynasties from the Persian Gulf dug in along the East African coast. The depredations of the Portuguese era and constant quarrels among the Arab governors caused a decline in trade and prosperity, which meant that economic powerhouses such as Britain and Germany weren't interested in grabbing a slice of East Africa until about the mid-19th century.
With Europeans suddenly tramping all over Africa in search of fame and fortune, even Kenya's intimidating interior was forced to give up its secrets to outsiders. Until the 1880s, the Rift Valley and the Aberdare highlands remained the heartland of the proud warrior tribe, the Maasai. By the late 19th century, years of civil war between the Maasai's two opposing factions had weakened the tribe. Disease and famine had also taken their toll. This opened the way for the English to negotiate a treaty with the Maasai laibon (chief, or spiritual leader) and begin work on the Mombasa-Uganda railway - which cut straight through the Maasai grazing lands. The halfway point of this railway is roughly where Nairobi stands today.
It was downhill from here for the Maasai. As white settlers demanded more fertile land, the Maasai were herded into smaller reserves. The Kikuyu, a Bantu agricultural tribe from the highlands west of Mt Kenya, also had vast tracts of land ripped from under their feet.
Modern History
White settlement in the early 20th century was initially disastrous, but - once they bothered to learn a little about the land - the British succeeded in making their colony viable. Other European settlers soon established coffee plantations and by the 1950s the white-settler population had reached about 80,000. With little choice left but to hop on the economic hamster wheel created by the Europeans, tribes such as the Kikuyu nonetheless maintained their rage. Harry Thuku, an early leader of the Kikuyu political association, was duly jailed by the British in 1922. His successor, Johnstone Kamau (later Jomo Kenyatta) was to become independent Kenya's first president.
As opposition to colonial rule grew, the Kenya African Union (KAU) emerged and became strident in its demands. Other such societies soon added their voices to the cry for freedom, including the Mau Mau, whose members (mainly Kikuyu) vowed to drive white settlers out of Kenya. The ensuing Mau Mau Rebellion ended in 1956 with the defeat of the rebels. The death toll stood at over 13,500 Africans - Mau Mau guerrillas, civilians and troops - and just over 100 Europeans.
Kenyatta spent years in jail or under house arrest but was freed in 1961 and became leader of the reincarnated KAU, the Kenya African National Union (KANU). He ushered in independence on 12 December 1963, and under his presidency the country developed into one of Africa's most stable and prosperous nations. Kenyatta was succeeded after his death in 1978 by Daniel Arap Moi, a member of the Tugen tribe.
Moi's rule was characterised by nepotism, rifts and dissension. He took criticism badly and as a result oversaw the disbanding of tribal societies, disrupted universities and harassed opposition politicians. A coup attempt by the Kenyan Air Force in 1982 was put down by forces loyal to Moi. With the winds of democratic pluralism sweeping Africa in the late 1980s and early 1990s, international aid for Moi's Kenya was suspended.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and major aid donors demanded that repression cease and Moi's political stranglehold ease. He conceded ground, but much to his delight, the opposition in the 1993 election shot itself in the foot - The Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD) was unable to agree on a leader. By splitting into three parties, FORD's much-vaunted cause became hopeless. Moi, the beneficiary of his opposition's vanity, won with just one-third of the vote.
In 1995, a new party was launched in an attempt to unite the splintered opposition. The party was Safina, founded by Richard Leakey, famed anthropologist, elephant saviour and political activist. Elections were held in Kenya at the end of 1997. Despite widespread allegations of vote rigging and considerable intimidation of opposition candidates, Moi and KANU once again scraped home with a little over 40% of the vote. Although Moi promised to rid the government of corruption, this was met by an air of resignation in the country, with Kenyans sitting tight until the day when he retired. Then, in August 1998 terrorists bombed the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, killing over 250 people and injuring more than 5000, illustrating Kenya's vulnerability to increased social and political turmoil.
Recent History
In 2002 Moi decided to retire on very generous retirement benefits. At the December 2002 elections, KANU was routed by the National Rainbow Coalition, led by Mwai Mbaki. This brought about a feeling of new optimism in the country, but there have been signs since that the new government is as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor.
Meanwhile, Kenya struggled with a number of familiar problems. HIV remains as a major problem and, as a reminder that the threat of terrorism was ongoing, there was a suicide bomb blast at a hotel north of Mombasa in November 2002. In recent years, Kenya has experienced major floods, cholera and malaria epidemics, ethnic fighting and drought, leading to food shortages in mid-2004 that were deemed a national crisis by President Kibaki.
In March 2004, the long-awaited draft for a new constitution was released, but it had failed to win parliamentary approval by a deadline set for the middle of the same year.
Government disharmony continued in 2005 with extraordinary corruption allegations against the Kibaki government by the British High Commissioner. This resulted in suspension of aid by the Dutch, US and German governments with the EU and Japan threatening to follow suit if the government did not address corruption in the ranks. This lead to more infighting and factions within the Kibaki government.
Allegations of media censorship in 2006, along with the worst drought in a decade hitting hard, mean the challenges facing the Kibaki government remain profound. A planned bid for the 2016 Olympic Games could be a catalyst for change or a distraction from the hard work of reversing the declining standard of living in this yet-lively country.

Quaker Service - Background on Friends in Kenya

Subject: AGLI -- Report from Kenya -- #12a -- Quakers in Kenya
[Excuse poor formatting. For a better version, try Dave's blog in the right sidebar, News out of Kenya, AGLI]

Dear All,

I have been asked to discuss the issue of how the violence here in Kenyais affecting the Quakers in Kenya.

Friends United Meeting (then Five Years Meeting) sent missionaries to Kenya in 1902.They trekked up country and settled in Kaimosi which is in the Western Province ofKenya. Western Province stretches from near Lake Victoria about a hundred miles northto Mt Elgon, along the border with Uganda. The British divided up the provinces byethnic groups. Western Province is the home of the Luhya: the second to largest groupin Kenya after the Kikuyu. Almost everyone in Western Province is Luhya. Of course,over time, many Luhya have immigrated to other parts of the country. Partly due to theexcellent education the Quaker missionaries promoted during colonial rule, the Luhya tended to go into the educated professions--teachers, managers, government civil servants,and similiar occupations.

There are more Quakers in Kenya than any other country in the world. FWCC says 137,000. [Mary Kay's input: Kenyan Friends estimate at least 10,000 per yearly meeting, with 150,000 or more total.] FUM-Africa office is trying to get a better count, but this is going to be difficult for such large numbers. I think that the total is considerably higher. If there are 3,000,000 peoplein Western Province and 100,000 of them are Quakers, then 3% of the population is Quaker.While still a small percentage, it is probably one of the highest concentrations of Quakersin the world. Quaker churches and Quaker schools can be seen everywhere. [NB: The influence of Quakers in government and social services in Kenya has been enormous.]

At the time of independence all the Quakers were in one very centralized, yearly meeting--East Africa Yearly Meeting. But due to mismanagement at the center, sub-ethnic groupdifferences, beginning in the 1970's East Africa Yearly Meeting began to split apart untilnow there are 15 Yearly Meetings. Much of this division was very acrimonious. Note how parallel this history is to the history of Kenya that I reported previously. Most religious groups in Kenya went through similar conflicts and divisions. Now all the yearly meetings are members of FriendsUnited Meeting. All, except a silent worship group at Friends Church--Nairobi, Ngong Road,are programmed Friends, with singing, vocal prayer, preaching, an offering, choirs, etc.

Starting in about 1999, the many yearly meetings began to settle down and re-develop normalrelationships among themselves. Now the Friends Church of Kenya includes all the yearlymeetings. During the time of conflict, the Quakers were not represented in the NationalChristian Council of Kenya because they could not agree on who would represent them. Nowthe Friends Church has a representative there.

Politically the Luhya have been seen as the political "plum" that would allow someone else torun the country. If a polititian could get the votes of the second to largest tribe, he wouldhave a nice voting block. Consequently there have been many Luhya vice-presidents. Kibaki'svice president was a Luhya, Moody Awori, and there was obvious resentment against Kibakiwhen Awori was unable to even hold his own seat in Busia--he was defeated badly by theODM candidate. In Moi's last government, Musalia Mudavadi was vice-president for only ashort time. In the 2002 election the Luhya were determined to oust the Moi government andMudavadi, like Awori in this election, lost his seat. He soon recognized his mistake, joined theODM campaign against the proposed constitution in 2005, and returned to the good gracesof the Luhya. He is now Raila Odinga's vice-presidental running mate. I cover these detailsbecause Musalia Mudavadi is a Friend. I am told that he sometimes attends church at NgongRoad in Nairobi. I have found him to be level-headed, a calmer speaker than most politicians, and he carried the ODM campaign very well when Raila was in the United States raising funds.

As part of the larger population of the province, the Quakers have been directly and indirectlyaffected by the violence. I mentioned a Luhya who was killed in Nakuru (I don't know if he wasa Quaker or not). The shop of another prominent Quaker in Nairobi was looted and burned. Ifa Quaker lived in a Kikuyu's house, they were burned out. If they rented a house to a Kikuyu,it was also burned. There are probably many more examples of death, looted shops, and burnedhomes among Kenya Quakers that I do not know about. Of course indirectly everyone has beenadversely affected. Prices have gone up, transport has been almost impossible, and anyone witha business has experienced decreasing sales. On top of this is the tension, the uncertainty, ofwhat will happen; the retreating into the home and interacting with trusted neighbors only.Then there are the questions, "How can our society have fallen apart like this?" "Where havewe gone wrong?" "Is this going to happen again?"

In my daily reports I try to highlight those things that I hear the Quaker community is doing:digging latrines at an IDP camp, caring for people in Eldoret Friends Church, our beginningattempts at reconciliation here in Lumakanda, attempts to dialogue with the looters in Kakamega.All these are small initiatives in hard times. As the conflict here in Kenya is no longer "news,"and you hear little about what happens, I hope that you can stay informed about our Quakerbrothers and sisters in Western Kenya.



David Zarembka,
CoordinatorAfrican Great Lakes Initiative/ Friends Peace TeamsBox 189, Kipkarren River 50241 Kenya--phone 011 254 726 590 783Office in US--1001 Park Avenue, St Louis, MO 63104--phone 314/621-7262

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights statement

Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice

Statement from concerned citizens and governance, human rights and legal organizations

We speak in the name of Kenya’s governance, human rights and legal organizations, as well as the concerned citizens who have contacted and chosen to work with us over the last week.

We strongly condemn the violence that has erupted across the country following the questionable outcomes of the counting and tallying done under the electoral process. We express our deepest sympathy to all those who have been injured, raped or killed, those who have lost property, those who have been internally displaced as well as those who continue to live in fear. We are only too acutely aware that the survivors and victims continue to be those with the most to lose from the violence as well as those who least deserve to experience it—Kenya’s impoverished women and men in both low-income urban areas as well as in rural areas.

We are aware that the violence experienced has taken three primary forms. First, disorganized protest at the supposed results of the presidential tally. Second, instigated and organized militia activity particularly in the Rift Valley, but also through the re-activation of Mungiki in Central and Nairobi and, now,Chinkororo in Nyanza. And third, extraordinary use of force by Kenya’s Police Force and General Service Unit to the extent of extrajudicial executions violating the most fundamental of freedoms and human rights—the rights to life and the safety and security of persons. We strongly condemn all three forms.

We note that the violence experienced is being used to legitimize the curtailing of the most basic of freedoms and human rights—the freedoms of expression, assembly and association. These freedoms and human rights are guaranteed by international law, regional law and our own Constitution. They must be upheld at all times—especially as the exercise of these freedoms and human rights is the only way for Kenyans to legally and legitimately express their protest at the alleged presidential outcome of the electoral process. We believe that the repression and suppression of legal and legitimate forms of protest can only perpetuate further violence.

It is also clear to us that, at the heart of the violence now being experienced, is a violation of other fundamental freedoms and rights directly related to the electoral processes. It is clear that the electoral anomalies and malpractices experienced during the counting and tallying of our electoral process were so grave as to alter its outcomes. Some of those electoral anomalies and malpractices were, in addition, illegal—thus rendering the supposed presidential outcome not only illegitimate but also illegal. We therefore consider Mwai Kibaki to be in office still on his first term.

Our hope lies in Kenyans standing up against the travesty that has been made of the electoral process.

Our hope lies in Kenyans who have, at great personal risk, and without regard to ethnicity, on principle provided security, shelter and safe passage to those Kenyans targeted by the militia activity in the Rift Valley and elsewhere.

We note the domestic humanitarian efforts coordinated by the National Council of Churches of Kenya with statistical support from the Catholic Relief Services—efforts to which many individual Kenyans and Kenyan businesses have now associated themselves. We note too the domestic peace initiatives being worked on by Amani Focus, the ‘Ibrahim group’ (including Ambassador Kiplagat and General Sumbweiyo) and Peacenet. And we now invite other concerned citizens to join the ‘peace through truth and justice’ efforts being carried out by domestic governance, human rights and legal organizations.

In particular, we would like to call on:

1. All efforts and initiatives to consistently stress that peace cannot and will not be achieved without electoral truth and justice;
2. All Kenyans to stand up to be counted not just for peace but also for electoral truth and justice;
3. The state to respect and uphold the rights to the freedoms of expression, assembly and association so as to ensure Kenyans protest only legally, legitimately and non-violently;
4. All politicians and political parties to immediately desist from the re-activation, support and use of militia organizations such as those active in the Rift Valley, Mungiki and Chinkororo;
5. The Ministry of Internal Security, the Police Force and the General Service Unit to exercise their duties within the boundaries of the Constitution and the law and desist from any extraordinary use of force and, in particular, extrajudicial executions;
6. The Electoral Commission of Kenya to immediately resign for having participated in and condoned a presidential electoral process so flawed as to result in our nation’s current crisis;
7. African states and the rest of the international community to pressurize for mediation between the Party of National Unity and the Orange Democratic Movement on addressing the electoral travesty that has occurred;
8. The mediation process to, as its first priority, agree upon an interim electoral oversight body to conduct a forensic audit into the polling, counting and tallying process with a view to recommending, depending on its findings, a re-count, a re-tallying or a re-run within a specified time period;
9. African states and the rest of the international community to, in the interim, deny official recognition to the man sworn in as President;
10. African states and the rest of the international community to immediately revoke any and all visas for any and all of the PNU’s and ODM’s leadership—as well as all of their immediate family members—to ensure they remain in this country to resolve the electoral travesty that has occurred;
11. The man sworn in as President to desist from announcing a Cabinet and otherwise aggravating and inflaming the current violence.