Entries tagged with “Kenya”.

Here are a few recent news articles about Sudan and Somalia.  I don’t want to turn into a spammy blog, just reposting news stories, so these reflect my passions and highlight two major crises in today’s world.  These stories are no joke.

The Star-Tribune reports (from an AP wire story) that with Sudan kicking out aid groups over 1 million will lose access to food:

The U.N.-Sudanese assessment team toured Darfur from March 11-19 after the groups were expelled.

About 1.1 million people now dependent on food aid will not receive their rations starting in May if the aid gaps aren’t filled, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Sudan, Ameerah Haq, said on behalf of the team.

She warned that money will run out within four weeks for spare parts and fuel needed to provide drinking water for 850,000 people.

And more than 600,000 people are in danger of not getting materials needed to build shelters before the upcoming rainy season, Haq said.

We allow this to continue in the name of national soverignty – even though international laws have been broken.

Change.org’s genocide section has a great article about the politics involved and Obama’s quandaries:

According to Gerson, the U.S. and the international community thus “faces a decision”: Do we take a soft-line with Bashir in hopes that aid groups are readmitted, or do we accept the short-term consequences likely to come from increased pressure on Sudan, but that also has the potential to break Bashir’s death grip on the region?

It’s a messy political calculus, any way you shake it— either caving to Bashir’s tactics in Darfur, which hold innocent lives hostage in a no-holds-barred international power struggle, and thus nearly guarantee that this upper-hand will be used again in the future, and to the detriment of millions, or (if you’re President Obama, in particular) taking the risks that come with stepping into the ring.

If one thing is clear, it’s that any attempt to deal with Bashir will not succeed with one foot in, and one out. The full “diplomatic toolkit” must be on the table, including the credible threat of military force. It’s not a simple question of black-and-white moral certitude: Consequences on the ground in Darfur will be grave (though, they already are), and on the international political scene, Obama has to weigh the cost of further angering the Arab world at a time when his agendas in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel/Palestine also hang in the lurch.

It’s not a one-off — it’s a diplomatic package deal. So the decision comes down to: Are the lives of the millions current subjected to the whims of Bashir’s genocidal regime worth not only the political cost of action, but the on-the-ground consequences as well?

Gerson concludes:

“Not every global humanitarian crisis justifies this kind of commitment, or else America would be endlessly overextended. But if genocide does not justify such action, it will never be justified. And we would lose the right to say, ‘Never again.'”

I’d argue that we’ve already lost the right to say “Never Again,” but that does not lift our responsibility to answer the question, “What will we do, right here, right now?”

I’d agree.

Somalia is a strongly Muslim country where people are killed for being Christians or even just non-Muslim.  The 30 Days website offers some insight into life in Somalia.

God’s forgiveness filled him with hope! Libaan’s relatives heard that Libaan had become a Gal (Somali word for a pagan). Most Somalis can’t imagine that Christians may also be people who fear God, because they assume that Christians live a very worldly lifestyle (including drunkenness and immorality). Returning to see his family Libaan insisted that he not be called a Gal. In his view he was submitted to God, the Almighty. While his family received him well at first, later they rejected him. This experience broke his heart. Somali believers are few in number. They experience loneliness and rejection even from their most beloved family members. Only encouragement and comfort from God helps them to overcome.

Be sure to read the comments on that post.

Finally, Oxfam recent released a report on condition along the Kenyan-Somali border in the refugee camps.

According to inter-agency projections5 the most likely scenario given the continuing crisis inside Somalia is that an additional 9,000-10,000 new refugees will continue to arrive in Dadaab each month throughout 2009, even if the border remains closed and despite registration delays and shortage of adequate services. In a worst-case scenario, up to 200,000 people could arrive in a very short time period. In the current situation of extreme congestion none of these new arrivals will be allocated plots or materials to construct their own shelter, and will not have access to adequate sanitation facilities. They are likely to experience delays in obtaining access to food rations and health services. Competition over water resources will increase. Cholera is already present, and a serious outbreak remains a real risk in Dadaab. The ever-increasing overcrowding and poor sanitation and waste disposal facilities, as well as the lack of investment in hygiene promotion, are only exacerbating this risk. In short, a humanitarian emergency will unfold in 2009 in Dadaab unless at least 36,000 of the existing population are immediately served in a decongestion
site near to the existing camps and new camps are constructed to receive the 120,000 new arrivals projected for 2009.

Learn more and take action.

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The pain and suffering in Kenya does affect us all in some way or another.  The latest story can be found at the NYTimes or any other news source.  The news at best is mixed.

Below is an e-mail sent by Steve Rennick, head pastor of Church at The Crossing, in Indianapolis (aka Christy’s home church before we got married). Steve used to serve at the Kima International School of Theology, based in Kenya and returns there on a somewhat regular basis.

“When two elephants collide – it is the grass which suffers!” — East African Proverb

Please join me in praying specifically for the people of Kenya.  Indeed, two elephants are colliding and many people are suffering.  In addition to the news on TV/newspaper/internet we are in direct e-mail contact with the Dr. Don Smith of Kima International School of Theology (KIST).  Dr. Smith reports to us as of Thursday, January 03, 2008, the following:

1.  The situation nationally is quite tense.
2.  The area around KIST has been peaceful.
3.  Food & fuel supplies are being disrupted for the entire region – Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, & Congo.
4.  KIST has delayed opening school and continues to monitor the situation for further decisions for this semester.
5.  Many of the faculty and students are doing the best thing which is to stay where they are for now.

We can pray specifically for the following:

1.  For peace & for the violence to stop.
2.  For justice & a non-violent resolution to the political chaos.
3.  For openness in the political recounting of votes from the election.
4.  For safety of all people of all ethnic backgrounds.
5.  For long-term reconciliation of people – families, communities, & nations.

Will you join me in praying?

Father, we know that You love the people of Kenya .  We join together and pray for all 34 million of them.  We pray that they will turn to You, toward one another, and to a non-violent recount of their votes in their election.  We do pray for all people of all ethnic backgrounds – knowing You do love each and every one of them.  We pray for their protection and safety as well as for a long-term reconciliation among all the people.  And we pray that Your people will be the makers of the peace, thus showing to all that they are Your children (Matthew 5:9).  We pray in the name of the Prince of Peace – Jesus Christ – Amen.

Thank you for joining me in ‘praying without ceasing’ (2 Thessalonians 5:17),

Pastor Steve Rennick

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