Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A good man is murdered and Kenya unravels

Melitus Mugabe Were, bright young hope of Kenya, has been brutally murdered. Here's a brief biography of this outstanding African man:
Mr. Were was an opposition politician who grew up in a slum, became a businessman and then gave back. He sponsored teenage mothers to go to college, married a woman of another ethnic group and resisted his party’s often belligerent talk. As Kenya slid into chaos this past month after a disputed election, he shuttled between leaders of different ethnic groups and tried to organize a peace march.
In the wake of this killing, the whole country looks to be coming apart according to a report by Jeffrey Gettleman:
. . . the shooting appears not to have been a robbery but a hit. Word spread fast and violently, with opposition supporters rioting across Nairobi, the capital. The unrest seems to be escalating, and Kenyans are now literally ripping their country apart, uprooting miles of railroad tracks, chopping down telephone poles, burning government offices and looting schools. Militias from opposing ethnic groups are battling in several towns and Kenyan army helicopters fired warning shots on Tuesday to disperse them. There have been reports of forced circumcisions and beheadings.
A question I blogged about at the beginning of the month may now resurface: what -- if anything -- can Barack Obama do at this point to help bring peace and stability to the land of his father?

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