Following the meeting on July 24 of the Paris group of major Western donors to Kenya, Britain has announced suspension of new aid commitments until there are improvements in the political situation. Aid already committed will continue to flow, however. The Paris meeting expressed concern about human rights abuses, but did not announce any formal linkage of aid with addressing these abuses.
Recent documents addressing these issues include a press release from the New Kenya Network (below) and a newly released report from Human Rights Watch/Africa (summary in next posting).
INTERNATIONAL MEDIA RELEASE
NEW KENYA NETWORK EXPRESSES CONCERN AT WESTERN INACTION
Toronto-July 28, 1995
The New Kenya Network, an international grouping of Kenyan human rights and social justice activists has criticised the governments of the United States, Canada, Britain and other members of the Paris Club for treating the Moi regime with kid gloves when it comes to human rights.
In a statement issued in Toronto today(July 28) the New Kenya Network observes that the Paris Club nations seem to be more preoccupied with the speed of economic liberalisation even if it comes at the expense of political reform.
New Kenya Network contends that the major beneficiaries of privatisation, cutbacks on public spending and other IMF inspired austerity measures are the very same elite whose interests are served and protected by the Moi regime.
Rising unemployment, lack of access to medical services and new barriers to higher education for women and poor people in Kenya are the direct result of the so called "economic reforms" so often applauded by Western governments.
New Kenya Network believes that by supporting these draconian measures, the Paris Club in effect agrees to bankroll the growing erosion of economic, social and cultural rights of the vast majority of the Kenyan people who remain poor, marginalized and disempowered.
It is therefore hypocritical, the organization argues, for the Western powers to shed crocodile tears about the deplorable human rights record of the Moi-KANU regime.
New Kenya Network is convinced that the only consistent approach to defending human rights in Kenya is by taking a comprehensive view about fundamental rights and freedoms. Civil and political rights can not and must not be seen in isolation from economic, social and cultural rights.
New Kenya Network applauds and supports the efforts of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, African Rights, Article 19, Kenya Human Rights Commission, Release Political Prisoners and all other bodies and individuals which have been at the forefront in exposing the inhuman policies of the Kenyan authorities.
New Kenya Network calls on the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom in particular to take a stronger stand in defence of human rights in Kenya.
These governments should link all future assistance to the Moi regime to an improvement in the democratic and social climate in Kenya.
These governments must back away from the inhuman economic reforms which have left more and more Kenyans destitute and are among the leading factors behind growing infant mortality, teenage pregnancy, urban crime, homelessness and nationwide unemployment in Kenya.
New Kenya Network calls on all progressive citizens, nationals and residents of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to put pressure on their respective governments to link aid, trade and human rights and the right to development in terms of foreign policies and relations with Kenya.
New Kenya Network calls on the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and all countries to protect the rights of Kenyan asylum seekers and investigate the many allegations of racism, brutality and discrimination that Kenyan refugee claimants and exiles have levelled against immigration authorities in North America and Western Europe.
New Kenya Network calls on all Kenyan freedom lovers to defend and support all Kenyan political prisoners, opposition critics and human rights activists fighting for more democracy, justice and equality in Kenya.
New Kenya Network
For further information you can contact us by writing to the following address:
New Kenya Network 275 King Street East Suite 91 Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5A 1K2
Or you can call: Tel: (416) 861-0919.
Our internet address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
From: "APIC" email@example.com
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 15:52:18 +0000
Subject: Kenya: Recent Documents, Part 1