Weapons of Political Control

nobel securite

Kenya Juu! posted this pic on flickr of a tear gas cannister made by Nobel Securite fired at demonstrators on 3rd January 2008. The UK government cancelled all licenses for the export of tear gas to Kenya in 1997 but France has stepped in to fill the vacuum. It was used on French demonstrators last May and its effects are described here as nausea, dizziness, chest pain, headaches, pains in organs and joints.

In its third report to the French parliament (2001), the Ministry of Defence admitted that Article 2 of the EU Code of Conduct mandates all EU member states to exercise control over the exports of non-military goods susceptible of being used for repression purposes or other human rights abuses. However, the goods involved do not fit into the French category of military goods or into the category of military-civilian dual use goods, and are therefore considered to be civilian goods to be regulated at the European level. A recently proposed European Commission Trade Regulation will, if enacted unamended, ban the import, export and brokering by companies and individuals of items that the Commission has categorised as “torture equipment” including electro-shock stun belts, leg irons, thumb-cuffs and shackles. It will also require member states to introduce controls on exports of stun batons, stun guns and riot control agents such as tear gas.


Amnesty International

Check out this blog – Kwani? – which features articles by Kenyans on the post-election Kenyan crisis. Theres an article on Burnt Forest that made me cry over the “senselessness” of it all. The young Kalenjin men who carried out these acts of violence against their neighbours talk candidly about what they have done.

It’s actually not senseless at all but a deliberate policy by an elite faction who seeing all hope of gaining control of The Office Of The President now think that control of a powerful support base in the Rift Valley will allow it to continue to bargain with the government from a position of strength. It should be relatively easy to identify who they all are.

The other elite faction presently ensconced in State House is absolutely determined not to let go of power whatever the cost. They have far too much to lose and don’t care one jot about Kenya or democracy. Blatant election irregularities and the ensuing arrogance of Kibaki loyalists as a country spirals into lawlessness has been unbearable to watch.

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