International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Kenya’s Election and Safety Concerns

Resounding claims of overall safety concerns were articulated in the recent BBC article: Viewpoint: Can Kenya avoid election bloodshed? Within this article, Gray Phombeah highlights a valid question of stability for Kenya during its elections between two candidate facing criminal charges. “ Episodes of inter-ethnic violence, killings, and the use of hate speech have increased” claims Phombeah. Moreover, and arguably more importantly, is the similarity between the current situation in Kenya and during the election in 2007 that resulted in the death of at least 1,000 people and displacement of thousands.

In our readings we have learned about the process of reconciliation and its essentiality for healing.  As proven from past situations, a country that has not fully experienced sincere reconciliation may often return to its violent state. This raises an important legal question. At what point will international intervention be able supersede the widespread outbreak of violence? Especially when that violence might de-stabilize that of the national military. While, of course, this suggestion breaches the sovereign power of any country, when will international law begin to favor basic human rights over that of state rights?


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