South Sudan: new Salva Kiir—Rannenberger Foreign Agent filing shows $1.2M non-refundable retainer “already paid” and $3.7M flat fee (contra Reuters)

COMPENSATION 6. The Consultant will charge the Client a flat fee of $3.7 million dollars for the services (the “Compensation”) for this two-year Contract. 7. The parties acknowledge that $1.2 million dollar’s ofthe Compensation has already been paid to the…

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Could “corruption” play the role in Kenya’s 2022 election that “crimes against humanity” played in 2013?

Instead of "the coalition of the killing" a "coalition of the stealing"? Let us review the 2013 campaign, the next presidential election campaign after Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga shook hands on February 28, 2008 to end the 2007 election…

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In Sudan, is the International Criminal Court an impediment to progress toward democracy and/or human rights now?

I am no expert on Sudan and the International Criminal Court practice, such as it is, is not my field in law. But I am an observer of various related neighborhoods and did a bit of work in Sudan back…

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A year ago, Chris Msando, ICT Director for Kenya’s Election Commission, was abducted, tortured and murdered on election eve. We do not seem to care.

See "Chris Msando: Year 53 in the History of State Assassinations" in The Elephant. [Update, see "Grieving Msando widow sends tearful message to husband's killers" from Nation Media.] Just another tick on the list of potentially inconvenient lives snuffed out,…

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As we remember the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an ungoverned preacher, Paul Kagame moves to govern Rwanda’s churches

A regulated church modulated by a political military autocrat -- or even a majoritarian elective republic -- would not have allowed a prophetic, challenging voice like that of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. to be heard. It was hard…

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Were Americans right to be so fearful of Odinga’s “People’s President” swearing in?

[Update Feb. 2: Here is a good overview from Martina Stevis-Gridnef in the Wall Street Journal, "Kenya Crackdown on Media, Opposition Deepens"; Fr. Gabriel Dolan explains how the Kenyatta government has popularized the "National Resistance Movement by banning it, with…

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Don’t Mess from Texas: disturbing Privacy International report indicates Uhuruto re-election campaign bought Texas-based negative propaganda campaign (updated)

Read the important report here: "Texas media company hired by Trump created Kenyan president's viral 'anonymous' attack campaign against rival, new investigation reveals". I am a native Texan myself, so I do not think that Texans are less likely to…

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The United States and other donors to the IEBC must not let (again) the power of incumbency in Kenya obscure the dangers of “fear and loathing” on the campaign trail

This is a straightforward lesson.  We have acted in this movie in Kenya before.
(To refresh, here is my piece “The Debacle of 2007: How Kenyan politics was frozen and an election was stolen with U.S. connivance” in The Elephant.)

Mistakes will be made when we are out and about involved in our way in the world. (Most conspicuously, per Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for the presidency, the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  This recognition of error obtained consensus among at least the top dozen Republican candidates and the top four Democrats so it seems to be a rare “given” that we should not have to argue about now.)

We cannot undo the past but at the very least we have a moral responsibility to take cognizance of (very) recent history in Kenya involving many of the very same Kenyan ethnic/commercial/political leaders and a continuity of institutional and individual players and assumed interests of the United States as well.  Our choices have consequences, too.

We are in denial if we pretend that we did not fail abjectly (to the extent we even tried really) to effectively foster any type of justice in Kenya for the 2008 Post Election Violence.  If we can excuse our asserted complacency in 2007 on the argument that the full magnitude of the violence was unprecedented (in spite of the 1992 and 1997 “campaigns”) we certainly do not have that excuse this time.

You cannot but hear bitter strident speech about Kenya’s presidential election from Kenya’s politicians, and from Kenya’s journalists, lawyers, pundits, publishers, moguls, ranchers and hustlers (of whatever ethnic or national origin or income).   Compared to 2007 it is more aggressive and open and it is coming in some key part directly from the President and even more so from those very close to him and from the Deputy President.

In 2007 Mwai Kibaki and Moody Awori were not using the “bully pupit” of the Presidency and Vice Presidency to openly disparage and ridicule those with less power (even though Kibaki was obviously not in hindsight of any mind to actually risk being found to have lost the election by the ECK).

Likewise, during that campaign Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, on opposite sides of the presidential campaign once “retired President” Moi realigned to support Kibaki mid-year, were far more restrained in their widely public statements as candidates
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