South Sudan’s war began a year ago in the capital city of Juba. It spread quickly and on Christmas Eve fighting broke out in Malakal, a city of 140,000 people at the other end of the country close to its northern border. As the army split along ethnic lines and fought for control Malakal’s residents cowered or fled.
David Koud, a thirty-six year old civil servant, had gone out early that morning. When the shooting and shelling began he raced home but found that his wife and two young sons had already been swallowed up in the exodus. As government and rebel fighters wrestled over the town Koud stayed to protect his property and wait for the return of his wife Marageret and two boys, Kopi, aged four, and Teki, aged six.
When the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague took on Uhuru Kenyatta, accusing him of crimes against humanity, it was meant to prove that it could pursue the most powerful perpetrators of crimes by bringing them to book in a global jurisdictions, if they were beyond the reach of justice in their own countries. So when the case against Kenya’s president in the ICC collapsed on December 5th, the repercussions for both court and country were bound to be far-reaching. The court has taken a big knock. But politics in Kenya may get nastier, too. Continue reading Kenya and the international court | One gone, another to go
In the small hours of December 2nd gunmen snuck up on a group of sleeping quarry workers in Mandera country, close to Kenya’s border with Somalia. They were rounded up and made to lie face-down on the ground. Thirty-four of the men, who make a pitiful living mining and breaking stones, were executed with a bullet to the head; two were beheaded; all were non-Muslims. Continue reading Kenya’s insurgency | Somalia’s troubles come south