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Opinion | Sep 22, 2013



I've been pondering over Al-Shabab's recent terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya and how painfully it has caused all of Ghana, the loss of Kofi Awoonor - poet, author, academic and diplomat.

Observers on foreign policies claim Al-Shabab had long cautioned Kenyan government to withdraw its troops from Somalia or face the consequence which has ultimatley caused Nkrumah's Ghana another great loss. Were these cautions taken as pinch of salt?

Additionally, on the issue of intelligence, we also know that a US Army Medical Research Unit in Kenya which falls under the WALTER REED PROJECT does more than merely conducting or collaborating in research on medical sciences. Wherever American military collaborations abound, security and intelligence become inextricably linked to all other activities. How couldn't the American intelligence give clues to this recent terrorist attack?

Strangely, both Uhuru and Ruto have been major global news names in recent times considering their ongoing ICC case. Recall that some Western nations congratulated the people of Kenya for a violent-free election without a word for the actual elected leaders. Few months after the Kenyan legislature recently voted to pull out of the ICC, the African Union itself has called a special summit to discuss a mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court in protest at the trial of Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto. Will this recent terrorist attacks on Kenya and the aftermath mourning mood for Kenyans and their expatriates alter the ICC stance on Kenya's President and Deputy?

Interestingly, President Barack Obama has roots in Kenya. As of 1964 when Jomo Kenyatta become Kenya's first President, little Barack was 3 years. America's recent mount of support for minimal military strikes on the Assad regime, for alleged use of sarin in Syria, has been contended and received strong opposition from Russia, China and some European nations. Actually, the British parliament voted to ''dzi wo fia'sem'', to wits = mind your business. Now a rather new dimension is chemical weapon disarmament but also President Putin has recently appealed to the US on egalitarian, religious and diplomacy. Will the goring wounds of Americans in Nairobi's mall attack and Obama's interest in Kenya soften America's stance on attacking Syria?

Terrorist attacks in Africa dates back to time immemorial. In the days of yore, these attacks were targeted at Western Embassies or Consulates in Africa. Recent activities of Boko Haram, Al-Shabab, among others, should draw the attention of Africa leaders to the security of their nationals as well as expatriates sojourning or domiciled on the African continent. Ordinary church congregants and peasant folks in poor communities have been killed by these burgeoning secular Islamic extremists.

When Ghana lent a standby force to protect the territorial integrity of Northern Mali, eyebrows were raised about the security implications of our gesture to the Sahellian country when it emerged that the mix of Tuareg separatists and al Qaeda-linked rebels has sent strong cautions to Ghana. When former President Jerry John Rawlings was appointed by the African Union as Special Envoy to Somalia, little did he know that one of his closest allies and Ghana's 8th Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Kofi Awoonor would meet his untimely demise at the hands of Al-Shabab terrorist attacks. Requiescat in pace et in amore!

For us here in Ghana, we sing Kofi Awoonor's ''Song of Sorrow''. We shall besiege Kotoka when Prof Awoonor ''Comes the Voyager at Last''.

Charles-Chess IV
E-mail: [email protected]

Charles-Chess IV
Charles-Chess IV, © 2013

This author has authored 1 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: CharlesChessIV

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