Pambazuka News

Remember the 1991 killings in Kenya

Isaac Newton Kinity

2009-09-10, Issue 447

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/letters/58598

Appealing to the UN secretary general, Isaac Newton Kinity makes the case for former Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi to be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the use of thousands of imported poison arrows in the 1991 killings of 800 pro-democracy activists.

Secretary General, United Nations

Dear Sir,

Re: The deadly massacre weapons imported into Kenya in 1991 from South Korea

In 1991 thousands of arrows were intercepted by the Kenyan police at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The arrows, which were displayed by both electronic and printing media for Kenyans to see, bore the labels 'Made in South Korea'. The arrows had poisoned heads which would cause instant death to any human being. When questioned, the then-South Korean ambassador to Kenya admitted that the arrows had been ordered and purchased by the Kenyan government.

The arrows had arrived in Kenya two years after the president of Kenya at the time, Mr Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, had already intensified his campaign of warnings to Kenyans and the international community of war and chaos if a multiparty system of governance was allowed in Kenya. He had for two years – 1989 and 1990 – addressed numerous meetings all over Kenya, warning of dear consequences of war and chaos once the multiparty system of governance was introduced in Kenya. He also never fell short of informing diplomats from various nations of the world about these predictions of war and chaos. Soon after the interception of the arrows and their subsequent display by the Kenyan media, both the arrows and their containers disappeared. A short while latter in the same year (1991), the same arrows with similar labels resurfaced in the bodies of 800 innocent and defenceless Kenyans, killed by the Kalenjin militia in Sondu, Kitale, Kericho, Londiani, Kipkelion, Molo, Njoro, Likia, Teret, Maji Muzuri and Mau Narok over the period of one week. Those attacked and killed had provided the greatest pressure for the introduction of a multiparty system of governance for the previous five years. They included the Luos from Sondu, the Luhyas from Kitale, the Kisiis from Kericho–Kisii borders and the Kikuyus from many other parts of the Rift Valley.

No one knows how many arrows had been imported into Kenya undetected before the amazing interception made in 1991, and no one knows how many were imported thereafter. Despite the news of the importation of the deadly arrows, their disappearance and their reappearance in the bodies of the 800 Kenyans heinously and senselessly killed in 1991, the President Moi never said a word. President Moi, who had the supreme authority and command over the land of Kenya, was unconcerned about the entire arrow importation scenario.

The 1991 massacre was the first of its kind in Kenya. It was the beginning of a new era of senseless killings of innocent Kenyans. The killings of Kenyans in 1991 and in 2008 were the worst crimes against humanity ever committed in Kenya. The 2008 killings are being taken care of, but 1991 seems to have been forgotten. A number of leaders who committed crimes against humanity have been prosecuted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague, the Netherlands. Some of them committed lesser crimes than those committed in Kenya. Evidence is available in South Korea and in Kenya that dangerous arrows were imported in Kenya in 1991. The lack of action over 1991 is what made it possible for an even larger massacre in 2008.

I sincerely and kindly plead with your office of the United Nations to recommend for the prosecution of the former president of Kenya, Mr Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, at the ICC for crimes against humanity for the importation of poisoned arrows from South Korea in 1991 and the subsequent use of the arrows in the killing of 800 innocent Kenyans in the same year. Mr Moi should be prosecuted at the Hague just like other world leaders who have committed similar crimes.

Yours sincerely,

Isaac Newton Kinity
Former secretary general of the Kenya Civil Servants Union and chairman of the Kikimo Foundation for Corruption and Poverty Eradication

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