Skip to main content

FunTimes Magazine

UN Kenyan Ambassador Offered African History as He Denounced the Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Opinion Piece

Feb 28, 2022 10:00AM ● By Karen Warrington

Martin Kimani, Kenyan UN Ambassador, Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

An African voice blasted out at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council as the leaders of the western world were debating the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. 

While decrying the Russian attack, Martin Kimani, the Kenyan UN Ambassador, cautioned that fanning the flames of dead empires will never lead to peace, offering a history lesson to the international body to support his contention. He referenced the Berlin Conference, often called the scramble for Africa, which was attended by 14 European leaders in 1884-85. The participants partitioned Africa under the guise of bringing “civilization” to the continent. The establishment of these European drawn boundaries of African landmass was a blatant and barbarous act to plunder Africa of its resources, minerals, and people. 

Kimani said, “Our borders were not of our own drawing. They were drawn in the distant colonial metropoles of London, Paris, and Lisbon, with no regard for the ancient nations that they cleaved apart.”

He then emphasized that after African nations achieved independence, “Rather than form nations that looked ever backward into history with a dangerous nostalgia, we chose to look forward to a greatness none of our many nations and peoples had ever known.”

While Kimani’s voice and the UN Security Council were not successful in deterring Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, hopefully, there are some in the international community and beyond who learned or were reminded of the ravenous European expansionism, politely referred to as African colonialism.

This was an important history lesson provided by “professor” Ambassador Martin Kimani that hopefully will be remembered as we watch Russia bomb Ukraine and kill innocents. 

And, for me, I am also reminded of the lyrics of Motown recording artist Edwin Starr’s 1980s war protest song, “War What Is It Good For?”

“I said, war, huh (good God, y'all)

What is it good for?

Absolutely nothing, just say it again

War (whoa), huh (oh Lord)

What is it good for?

Absolutely nothing 

War, I despise

'Cause it means destruction of innocent lives

War means tears to thousands of mother's eyes

When their sons go off to fight

And lose their lives…”

 Karen Warrington has had a decades long career as a broadcast journalist, communications professional, performing artist, and documentary filmmaker. She has traveled extensively throughout Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. She is committed to being a voice for the African Diaspora.

Read more from Karen Warrington:

Remembering Archbishop and ‘Moral Compass’, Desmond Tutu

Anglican theologian and human rights activist Desmond Mpilo Tutu, revered for his tireless fight against South African apartheid, has died in Capetown, South Africa at the age of 90. Read More » 


pRev Martin Luther King head-and-shoulders portrait seated facing front hands extended upward during a press conference  World Telegram  Sun photo by Dick DeMarsico Source Wikimedia Commonsbrp

Beyond the MLK Holiday: Chaos or Community? - Opinion Piece

On January 15th we will gather throughout the nation to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. Politicians, preachers, and civic and corporate leaders will make speeches about him lead... Read More » 


Photo by Monstera from Pexels

Celebrating Black History Doesn’t Mean Separating It From Black Culture - Opinion Piece

February is celebrated as Black history month in America, but as we take a look at our history, we can’t separate it from Black culture. We must ask ourselves: what are we doing to hold ... Read More »