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Re: [holistichelping] Growing Peace, Understanding Roots, Crisis as Opportunity

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  • Maria Agnese Giraudo
    Dear Rachel, Janet, Denis , Andrius, Ken, Pam, David, Samwel and all, let me add my joy and appreciation for the great work of Rachel, Denis, Ken, Samwel and
    Message 1 of 18 , Feb 1, 2008
      Dear Rachel, Janet, Denis , Andrius, Ken, Pam, David, Samwel and all,
      let me add my joy and appreciation for the great work of Rachel, Denis, Ken, Samwel  and all Kenyans are  devoted to their community, specially in so critical situation. I can't believe that so good and intelligent people can work together  in so productive and effective way!
       Thanks Andrius too for your intelligent-loving-dreaming!!!   Andrius you help us  don't be shy and  be "crazy" dreamers and very effective too. Thanks Janet for deep understanding of the reality and Pam  for your great contribution in creating content and contacts, Asif for caring and advising, Richardo and Joy for offering your  high skills in ICT for the community! Thanks Sahsa, Fred, Meadowlea, Kims for your intelligent assistence and conrtribution!  Sorry I can thanks everybody!
       I agree with Andrius, we have to serve people like you: Rachel, Ken, Denis, David. We have to des cover people like you!! We  need people like you in Europe as well! The world has to change and the violence and distruction is in every country. in Europe too, because  people  are not recognized in their humanity and can't develop themselves. You are helping  me to recover humanity where i live.
      I met the Community of Sant Egidio in Rome last Thursday, as Rhone suggested me. It was the 40th anniversary of the Community and there many priests and bishops of many Christian confessions, Protestant, Orthodox and I suppose also Jewishs, Muslims from all over the world. We have prayed together.
      I had a talk with Marco Bartoli e Giancarlo Penza of the Community. Thery are very available to  contact us of MSLab and Kenyands in Italy: Chrispinus, Robert, me, and other Kenyans, Ivan from Torino and others want to collaborate to support Kenyans for peace.
      I'm available to collabotate to sustain Kenyans fighting for peace and to spread this experience in Europe!
      I hope Minciu SodasLab with all people of good will in Kenya wset up and organization  to support for long time people fighting for peace!!
      All the best!
      Maria Agnese

      Janet Feldman <kaippg@...> ha scritto:
      Dear Dennis and All,
      Yes, that's what some are saying in the forums too.  Also there is much talk of William Ruto, and some of it seems to point to him being involved directly in the fomenting of violence.
      An article yesterday in a forum described how Kisumu has been largely emptied of Kikuyus, because they were targeted with such savagery in the immediate aftermath of the election. Kikuyus were the ones who were targeted and died in Kibera in the early days, and other acts of violence against them took place elsewhere. In Kibera, at any rate, Luos seemed to be predominantly responsible, according to reports.
      This has been the reason, many analysts say, for the revenge attacks now by Kikuyus. The Mungiki see themselves as the guardians of their people (defined by tribe), staving off genocide by instilling fear due to their violent behavior and acts.
      Apparently there has been hate speech on the radio and in other communications- -this may be part of a more organized campaign--which has stirred things up even more. Perhaps some Kikuyus hearing these messages have responded as did the Hutu against the Tutsis in Rwanda...strike out at other ethnicities, because they have injured us.
      It's great that you are talking with people and that they are responding by questioning what is happening, and hopefully what they are doing. If they can get back to a place of thinking and perceiving more like "Kenyans"--ie we may have challenges and problems, but we are one people too--they may be less prone to perceive those of other ethnicities as enemies, and therefore less prone to killing or injuring them in some way (then again, "Americans" may feel like one people in some ways, but we kill each other for a pair of sneakers or a "wrong" look).
      With greatest thanks for your work and for your peaceful and courageous spirit! Janet
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 12:04 PM
      Subject: Re: [holistichelping] Growing Peace, Understanding Roots, Crisis as Opportunity

      What the local guys at those camps and in the street is seeing in the two killings is that the government does not have the numbers in paliament so they are eliminating the opposition votes, i have been talking t many Kikuyu touts at the stage here in Nairobi, what they are saying is that Kikuyus have been patient for very many years with Kalenjins, they dont have a problem with Raila Odinga but they are saying William Ruto the Eldoet North(correct me if am wrong) is the guy behing the killings, my question to them has been then why are Kikuyus targeting Luo's they have not answered and they started talking to hemselves about this.
      Humanity Before Politics

      Janet Feldman <kaippg@earthlink. net> wrote:
      Dear Friends,

      Today in many forums where Kenyans on all persuasions are talking, there is
      wide disagreement about the killing of the second MP, as there was about the
      first MP killed, Mugabe Were. Some blame a love triangle in this second
      case, disguised as a political hit.

      In Were's case, there is also huge disagreement: some people think he was
      killed by his own party because he was rumored to be defecting to PNU, or
      simply because he was a peacemaker. Some think the motive was a disaffected
      loser in the election, someone who wanted Were's seat in parliament. Some
      think it was more personal: that he was fairly well off financially, or
      that he and his wife were from different ethnic groups.

      The violence which is purely politically- motivated or connected--by which I
      mean stemming from the election--is one thread of a larger tapestry. That
      may actually be easier to address in some ways, depending on how the
      political situation evolves.

      However, even that is "complicated" : the government says the violence is
      being fomented by "hooligans", and this is the reason for the police
      crackdown. The head of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights--whose
      life has been threatened-- says that the police are confronting peaceful
      protestors with the same tactics that the British colonial police used. It
      is purported that the army has not been called in because many are ODM

      The other, older roots--land issues, economic disparities, ethnic
      disparities in the socio-economic sphere--these will take longer to address.
      Ultimately they will need to be addressed before true "peace"--which is much
      more than the cessation of violence--is established.

      There are two analogies which might be helpful here: the roots of a tree,
      which are many, and an iceberg, which has a tip--politics in this case being
      the visible tip--and the invisible mass underneath, unseen yet which can
      have "titanic" consequences (the boat in this case being a reference to the
      ship-of-state, or the state of the nation, in this case).

      There are some very insightful articles in the Christian Science during the
      past few days, discussing all of these issues:

      http://www.csmonito r.com/2008/ 0130/p01s01- woaf.html ("How Can Kenya Avoid
      Ethnic War?")http://www.csmonito r.com/2008/ 0131/p08s01- comv.html ("Ways to
      End Kenya's Killings")
      http://www.csmonito r.com/2008/ 0129/p01s04- woaf.html ("How Kenya Came
      http://www.csmonito r.com/2008/ 0130/p13s01- woaf.htm ("One Man Helps Moderates
      Tackle the Roots of Kenya's Ethnic Rifts")

      http://www.csmonito r.com/2008/ 0129/p12s01- woaf.html ("Kenya's Famous Mungiki
      Sect Gears Up For Reprisals")

      An excerpt (the person quoted, btw, used to be director of FEMNET in
      Nairobi, a woman-focused ICTs nonprofit):

      "Unlike spontaneous violence between neighbors, organized militias like the
      Mungiki sect have the capability and motivation to keep the murderous cycle
      of revenge attacks going for weeks.

      "'Initially, we were seeing three kinds of violence, says Muthoni Wanyeki,
      executive director of the Kenyan Human Rights Commission. Disorganized
      violence in villages tended to rise up suddenly, but fizzle out quickly.
      Organized militias - with paid, motivated members - have kept the violence
      going and have largely led the charge in expelling minority ethnic groups by
      force. Police use of extreme force - live bullets rather than water cannons
      or tear gas - has also stirred ethnic passions.

      A fourth type of violence has now emerged, as displaced people carry back
      stories of horror and spur on calls of revenge in communities that had
      previously been peaceful. "Now we are seeing a communal response in areas
      where it has not happened before," says Ms. Wanyeki.

      Here is an excerpt related to the immediate and longer-term challenges:

      "Annan is right to think short- and long-term about the talks ahead. The
      election debacle can't be put off. A recount is not technically possible.
      That means a power-sharing agreement until new, fair elections can be held.
      Beyond that, Kenya must address the political and economic imbalance that
      has favored the Kikuyu for decades. This can't happen without a rewrite of
      the Constitution, which indulges a presidency with impunity. And there must
      be a trustworthy process to settle land disputes, which are at the heart of
      the Rift Valley turmoil. "

      "'This crisis can be an opportunity, ' says Waiganjo Kamotho, a Nairobi
      attorney and political commentator, 'because it forces us as a country to
      resolve problems we have refused, and the government has refused, to
      consider as priorities.' "

      This last point may be the silver lining in an otherwise very dark cloud:
      crisis as opportunity to make needed changes. We hope and pray that the
      violent aspects of the crisis can be contained from here on out, and that
      changes will happen--perhaps not without some conflict--in a nonviolent and
      productive way.

      With love and blessings, Janet

      +254-722-388- 275
      PO BOX 13361 20100

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