Citizens Not to Blame for Kenya's Troubles

The article ``Nomads and Farmers in Kenya War Over Increasingly Scarce Land,'' Jan. 18, is disturbing for two reasons. First, there can be no denial that ``ethnic-based'' violence, which has been taking place in Kenya for the last four years, is abhorrent and must be condemned on moral grounds. It is senseless and tragic.

Second, these deplorable activities cannot be regarded solely as the result of tensions between Kalenjin and Masai ``nomads,'' on the one hand, and Kikuyu ``farmers,'' on the other.

Such a gross oversimplification is not only counterproductive but also inaccurate, since many Kalenjin themselves are not nomadic but rather sedentary farmers.

It is not the average mwananchi (citizen) who is responsible for the present situation - since it is all he or she can do to keep food on the table and the children in school. Rather, the current predicament is the creation of politicians who, beginning in 1991, have been advocating divisive policies such as majimboism (federalism).

These problems cannot be understood, let alone solved, by a simple appeal to ``tribalism.'' The dialogue at the local, national, and international levels must progress beyond ``tribal'' and ``ethnic'' distinctions and seek to engage the genuine cause of Kenya's troubles, namely the misuse of political power by a few. Bruce D. Roberts, Hattiesburg, Miss.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK