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Statement: Maasai Elders On Violence In Kenya

Statement From Tanzanian Maasai Elders On Violence In Kenya

We have gathered here in Eluwai village, as Maasai elders from many different parts of northern Tanzania, to pay our respects to a young man who was killed by a buffalo in Manyara. He was our son, and we mourn his loss together He was taken from us against our will. Yet our brothers and sisters in Kenya are mourning too, not because of a tragic accident, but as a result of premeditated murder carried out in the name of 'democracy' and 'human rights'. How can people even sit down together to enjoy a meal while this is happening?

We have become one society and one tribe in this world, and we must live together and cooperate without destroying the world and destroying ourselves. We call on all Kenyans to stop this senseless destruction and war at once. Many people have already lost their lives for no reason at all, and once they are gone, they can never return again. Yet it is not too late to save others.

People who once saw themselves as brothers and sisters must act like brothers and sisters. We were once at war among ourselves, but the world has become one now, and killing has no more meaning than a childish game. These different tribes can never be separated, because they have already intermarried and become one family, one blood, one community. We see Maasai marrying Chagga, Kikuyu marrying Luo, even Europeans marrying Africans. How can these people then turn around and murder members of their own family?

As Maasai elders we call upon Kenya's political leaders, and in particular Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, to act with wisdom. We see that they have lost sight of wisdom in their leadership. The peace of the family depends on the parents, as they are the ones with the highest rank, and the children have to listen to their commands. The leaders of Kenya are the parents of the nation, and when they speak out in a loud voice for peace, peace will be established among the children. Yet if they do not speak out to tell their children that they do not want this violence and devastation, it will never be ended. They are the ones who can help the Kenyan people. By clinging on to tribalism they will never build a nation.

Politics and business have stolen the land from those who inherited it from their ancestors, handing it down from one generation to the next. Political leaders take human life so lightly, like drinking enaishoo oo lotorok [traditional honey beer], something that is gone in a few seconds. They treat politics like a game, but human life is weightier than that. If ballot papers have been stolen and then you take a spear and kill someone, where is the democracy? What kind of justice is this? When you claim to be speaking up for human rights and thousands of people are already dead, whose rights are you really defending? Those who are dead, or those who are still alive, but could be destroyed at any second?

In traditional African cultures, when there is a funeral, everything stops. We have to leave our fields, our cattle, all of the daily business of our lives, to come and pay our respects to the person that we have lost. Yet we see the leaders of Kenya going to meetings and carrying on with their lives, uncaring, as if nothing was going on. Where is the respect in this?

We call on people of all nations, not just to encourage from afar, but to get ready to help if necessary, because we cannot accept killing in the name of tribalism within the borders of our countries.

We are establishing a Global Polity of world citizens here in Tanzania. This Global Polity will not have political power but it will have the spiritual power of love and peace. It will lobby national governments and international organizations to respect future generations, to eliminate all forms of hatred and prejudice, and to save the human society as a whole from these meaningless wars.

Lesikar Ole Ngila, Eluwai
Ngila Ole Kondirri, Eluwai
Olengoje Patrisi, Selela
Oljila Kazino, Lepurko
Olomo Paresi, Arkaria
Olemeibuko Kondirri, Lorkisale
Liarin Kisioki, Endoinyo Naado
Tobolo Arbaakwa, Mfereji
Meijo Mbaima, Eluwai
Milei Ngilepoi, Eluwai
Lutori Ming'ate, Enguiki
Mbarnoti Ngilepoi, Olorosoitok
Oloisoloi Orkurruta, Emairete
Saiboku Meleta, Soiminen
Sanare Leriko, Laarmaher

ENDS

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