Sorrow for Kenyans and preparing for the worst
- George Nyongesa,
I am sad for you and all who knew George Paul Oulu, who were and will be
inspired for his work for Kenyans and all people.
Please share our sorrow and concern.
I note that last year our Pyramid of Peace was blessed by success
because we reached out to the best of the worst on all sides. I ask
that we reach out as we did last year rather than withdraw.
I also ask all who might exercise leadership some awful day in Kenya to
prepare now and organize how you think best. If anybody doesn't like my
leadership, then please do foster your own! I will do what I myself
think best and I encourage us all, likewise.
+370 699 30003
2 Kenyan Rights Activists Slain
Pair Had Been Campaigning Against Illegal Killings by Police
By Stephanie McCrummen
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, March 7, 2009; Page A08
NAIROBI, March 6 -- Human rights groups, U.N. officials and Kenya's
prime minister on Friday called for an independent investigation into
the execution-style killings of two Kenyan human rights activists, as
political tensions are once again rising in this East African nation.
In what appeared to be an ambush, Oscar Kamau Kingara and John Paul Oulu
were shot at close range Thursday while their car was stuck or
deliberately trapped in traffic in downtown Nairobi, witnesses told the
Associated Press. Two gunmen fled.
The two activists had been campaigning against illegal killings by
police and had recently cooperated with a wide-ranging U.N.
investigation into the matter, including police killings of opposition
demonstrators after the disputed 2007 presidential election. The
resulting U.N. report called for the resignation of Kenya's police
commissioner and the attorney general.
The two activists, who worked with the Oscar Foundation Free Legal Aid
Clinic, had issued their own 2007 report on extrajudicial police killings.
"Any objective observer has to conclude that the police would be prime
suspects," said Philip Alston, the U.N. special rapporteur on
extrajudicial killings. "I hope that's not the case, but the only way to
show that is with an independent investigation."
The killings came just hours after a government spokesman, Alfred Mutua,
accused the Oscar Foundation in a live television broadcast of being a
front for a violent, cultlike gang known as the Mungiki, which runs
protection and transportation rackets. The group had staged a major
demonstration across Nairobi on Thursday.
The Oscar Foundation has defended Kenyans accused of being members of
the group and had accused police of summarily executing alleged members
in a show of government force.
In late 2007, President Mwai Kibaki was accused of stealing the election
from opposition leader Raila Odinga and the country degenerated into
violence. Today, a coalition government that in theory resolved the
crisis is faltering badly.
Kibaki and Odinga -- who became prime minister under the deal -- have
been paralyzed by scandal and disagreements, including on how to
prosecute police and high-level political figures accused in the
On Friday, Odinga -- who has accused Kibaki of using the police to
essentially execute opponents after the election -- harshly condemned
the activists' deaths.
"I fear that we are flirting with lawlessness in the name of keeping law
and order," Odinga said. "In the process, we are hurtling towards
failure as a state."
The killings came just one week after Alston's report found a pattern of
police killings in Kenya that were "systematic, widespread and carefully
"You've got a society which is at risk of degenerating again into ethnic
violence," he said in an interview Friday. "To the extent there are all
these unanswered allegations about their involvement in the killings, I
think that is pretty problematic."