Having dinner with an old friend in the affluent Karen suburb of Nairobi, named after the Danish woman Karen Blixen who wrote the much acclaimed Out of Africa, at some point the discussion turned to politics.
At the moment, six Kenyans are being investigated by the International Criminal Court in the Hague, in relation to the post election, racial, violence of 2007. They are mostly parliamentarians, including the son of the founder of Kenya.
There is a lot of aversion to the dealings of the ICC, not just in Kenya, but also in Sudan, where Omar al-Bashir has also been called in, and in Uganda, where the former leader of the Lord's Resistance Army is also wanted by the ICC. Interestingly, though Kenya has had plenty opportunities to formally fight the proceedings in the Hague, their aversion has only been talk, with the result that some 50 Kenyan parliamentarians are now in the Hague providing moral support to the six who might go on trial. An odd show of support, because they are effectively trying to pervert the course of justice: either Kenya should have not given jurisdiction to the ICC, or Kenya has to accept the outcome.
Related to this, my dinner dates were convinced that if formal endictment follows, the shit will hit the fan once again in Kenya. And while with the recent election, factions were fighting each other with bow and arrow, they have since armed themselves with more serious weapons.
So, serious talk reverted to escape plans and routes for protecting staff and leaving the country through which corridor. Odd, given we were sitting in perhaps the most prominent and respected restaurant in Nairobi where, if the upcoming insurgence will happen, the live band and affluently dressed patrons created an atmosphere of the night before the revolution, the rich upper class not knowing they would all be dead the next day, or perhaps next month.
Then, on the way home, a little boy was half hidden in the undergrowth along one of the roads. First impulse was to stop, but this being Nairobi, the potential of this being a ploy, a setup, is significant. We didn't stop.
My guest bedroom had a prominently available panic button, which, if pressed, would have called an armed response unit.