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June 10, 2012

Kenyan helicopter crash kills security minister

Kenyan helicopter crash kills security minister

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A helicopter crash at the edge of Nairobi, Kenya has killed six. Amongst the dead is internal security minister George Saitoti, a candidate in next year’s presidential election.

Saitoti, 66, played a major role in Kenya opting to send troops into Somalia last year in a bid to combat al-Shabaab. His deputy Joshua Orwa Ojonde is also dead, alongside both pilots and two bodyguards.

The aircraft had not long departed Wilson Airport when it went down into a Kibuku District forest. One witness saw the helicopter “flying very low. It came down suddenly and we heard a loud explosion, and then it burst into flames.” Another said it “hovered up there and looked like it was turning back” before crashing. The accident occurred at around 8:30 this morning, local time.

Current President Mwai Kibaki decried “a devastating loss to our country.” He called Saitoti “a hardworking and determined public servant who dedicated his time to the service of the Kenyan people”. Prime Minister Raila Odinga, speaking at the scene, promised “a thorough probe” into the accident. He described a “great tragedy that has befallen our country”.

Saitoti, who personally told the public of the invasion of Somalia two days after sending in thousands of soldiers, had been faced with numerous bombings and kidnaps. He routinely made assurances on national TV in the aftermath of attacks, and recently vowed “terrorists” would not have an impact on government.

With qualifications in accountancy and mathematics acquired in the US, Saitoti was a former Kenyan finance minister. A prominent figure in national politics, he also served as vice president under Daniel Arap Moi in 1989–1997 and 1999–2002.

There is no immediate word on possible causes for the accident. Police have sealed off the scene and begun an investigation.



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July 15, 2011

Drought stricken Somalia nears famine

Drought stricken Somalia nears famine – Wikinews, the free news source

Drought stricken Somalia nears famine

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  • 10 February 2012: Wikinews Shorts: February 10, 2012
  • 19 October 2011: Kenya troops enter Somalia after kidnappings
  • 15 July 2011: Drought stricken Somalia nears famine
  • 11 June 2011: Somali interior minister killed by bomb attack in own home
  • 24 February 2011: Pirates kill four American hostages
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Drought
Image: Dl91m.

The African Union made a plea on Tuesday for the international community to come to the aid of Somalia. This is a country where one in three, (ten million people) is suffering from a severe drought, a situation complicated by warring rebel factions. In 2009, UNICEF discontinued air deliveries to areas controlled by the Islamic insurgent group al-Shabab due to militant threats.

Last week al-Shabab said it would welcome the presence of humanitarian groups, provided aid groups did not have a “hidden agenda”.

On Wednesday, the United Nations airlifted supplies to a part of the country controlled by al-Shabab, flying five metric tons of medicines, food and water supplies to Baidoa, a rebel-held town, 155 miles south of Mogadishu. Maulid Warfa, UNICEF emergency officer, in an interview with state-run Radio Mogadishu, said a very critical humanitarian crisis exists in rural communities where people have lost their livestock and farms after the worst drought in six decades. The aid is to help them and their children who are extremely malnourished.

Cquote1.svg [Somalia’s crisis is] the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world. Cquote2.svg

UNICEF

When Warfa, was asked about the arrest of two aid workers by al Shabaab, one with UNICEF, Warfa did not confirm or deny it. Instead he emphasized the desperate need of Somalians for assistance.

Although some feared a new Kenyan camp would result in more Somalis fleeing to Kenya, Kenya has announced in will open a new refuge camp near the Somalian border within ten days which will hold 80,000. Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said, “Although we consider our own security, we can’t turn away the refugees.”

Cquote1.svg We are no longer talking about a humanitarian crisis or a humanitarian emergency. We are seeing this as a humanitarian catastrophe. Cquote2.svg

—Jens Oppermann, the country director of Action Against Hunger

In a nearby refugee camp in Kenya where 370,000 people are squeezed into a space set up for 90,000 people, conditions are desperate aid workers said.

Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali in an interview with the BBC said a refugee camp has opened in Mogadishu, but that the government had “meagre” resources to help drought victims. “We are appealing to the international community to take the matter seriously and to act quickly to save as many lives as we can,” he told the BBC.

On Thursday, UNICEF said Somalia’s drought and refugee crisis is “the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world.”

On Friday, Jens Oppermann, the country director of Action Against Hunger (Action Contre La Faim, ACF), told AFP: “We are no longer talking about a humanitarian crisis or a humanitarian emergency. We are seeing this as a humanitarian catastrophe.”

This is the second consecutive year the summer rains have not come, and according to the BBC, the current drought threatens the lives of at least four million in Somalia.



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October 10, 2009

Former UN head Annan warns Kenya over future poll violence

Former UN head Annan warns Kenya over future poll violence

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In parting remarks made after a three-day visit to Kenya late on Wednesday, former UN chief Kofi Annan warned that the country risks returning to ethnic clashes if reforms are not implemented.

Kofi Annan

“My conversations with Kenyans during the last three days have underscored that there is a crisis of confidence in Kenya’s political leadership,” Annan said. “Only Kenya’s politicians can solve that crisis. I urge them to listen to the voices of Kenyans.”

Annan said that he had noted some progress on the reform agenda but warned that time was running out.

Politically-fueled ethnic tensions flared up in early 2008 following a disputed presidential election, plunging Kenya into weeks of deadly turmoil.

Flown in to mediate the crisis, Annan led the two sides to a power-sharing agreement that made incumbent candidate Mwai Kibaki president and his rival, Raila Odinga, prime minister. The deal brought an end to the clashes, but has resulted in a bloated coalition government unchallenged by a real political opposition.

As part of the agreement between the two principle rivals, the new government agreed to undergo a far-reaching reform agenda to prevent the tensions from boiling over in the next election. Critics claim that the government has not followed through on its commitments, an accusation the government strongly denies.

“Kenya is already at — or past — the halfway mark between the formation of the Coalition Government and the next electoral cycle. Kenya cannot afford a recurrence of the crisis and violence that engulfed it after the 2007 election. But that is a serious risk if tangible reform is not achieved,” Annan said, warning that the government’s term is already halfway expired and the 2012 elections are quickly approaching.

Overshadowing the former UN chief’s remarks was a BBC report released on Wednesday that claimed that ethnic groups in the regions most hit by the 2008 violence are now stockpiling guns to prepare for 2012.

The 2008 conflict, the nation’s worst since its independence more than 45 years ago, was carried out chiefly by machete-wielding gangs in the slums and in the affected rural areas by tribal militias armed primarily with spears and bows and arrows.

Hassan Omar, vice chairman of the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights, said that his group has also received reports about groups purchasing firearms but has as yet been unable to independently verify the claims.

“The allegations are becoming more and more credible,” Omar said. “The Kenya National Commission [on Human Rights] did have these allegations, and we had not necessarily undertaken the time of investigation or documentation towards proving their existence.”

According to the private fears expressed by a senior parliamentary official, another flare-up similar to the 2008 turmoil has the potential to fragment the nation into regional power-centers run by tribal warlords, given the country’s current political climate and simmering ethnic tensions.

However, Kenyan cabinet minister William Ruto, a political leader of one of the ethnic groups named by the BBC report for buying the guns, dismissed the claims as rumors. “The people making these allegations should either come forward with substance to their claims, or they should shut up,” said Ruto; “I don’t think rumor mongering is going to take this country anywhere.”

The United States has threatened fifteen senior Kenyan officials with travel bans if the reform process is perceived as continuing to stall.



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January 30, 2009

Zimbabwe opposition agrees to join government

Zimbabwe opposition agrees to join government

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Flag of the Movement for Democratic Change.

President Mugabe will share control of Zimbabwe’s security forces under the agreement.
Image: Jeremy Lock.

Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has agreed to join a government of national unity in Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe will remain as president, while Tsvangirai is set to be sworn in as prime minister on February 11.

Despite the agreement, Tsvangirai and other MDC members expressed disappointment over the terms of the unity government. “We are not saying that this is a solution to the Zimbabwe crisis,” Tsvangirai told reporters. “Instead, our participation signifies that we have chosen to continue the struggle for a democratic Zimbabwe in a new arena.”

Among the MDC’s concerns is the home affairs ministry, which oversees the police and security forces. Under the power sharing agreement, Mugabe and Tsvangirai will share control of this ministry, and the MDC says Mugabe could use that power to quell dissent as he had in the past.

Tsvangirai signed the agreement to take part in a unity government at a Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Pretoria, South Africa. Opposition leaders had been pressing Mugabe to relinquish control of the home affairs ministry and release imprisoned political activists as part of the power sharing deal. But Tsvangirai’s party said they were pressured into accepting the deal by the SADC, who refused to condemn Mugabe.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga called on the SADC to stop “treating Mugabe with kid gloves” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We hold the view that SADC could do more in trying to help the people of Zimbabwe resolve the crisis,” said Odinga. “SADC should stand up and tell Mr. Mugabe enough is enough. It is time for him to leave.”

Meanwhile, Western countries such as the United States remained skeptical regarding the prospect of true power sharing. U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters in Washington, “If and when there is a government in place in Zimbabwe that reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people, the United States will then look to see what we can do to continue to help.”

Mugabe claimed victory in a runoff election in June 2008 which was widely seen by the international community as flawed. Earlier in March, Tsvangirai had garnered more votes than Mugabe in the general election, but the electoral commission said the opposition candidate did not receive a required majority of the votes. Tsvangirai then dropped out of the June runoff, claiming his supporters had been attacked and intimidated by state officials.

Regional heads of government have been trying to negotiate a coalition government since the election. Neither side had been able to come to an agreement over the distribution of cabinet posts. Tsvangirai sought a constitutional amendment to recreate the post of Prime Minister, whilst Mugabe had wished to maintain his Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party’s hold on the main offices of state.

In the past year, Zimbabwe’s economy has gone into freefall, with inflation so high as to be effectively unmeasurable, and an outbreak of cholera that has resulted in over 60,000 cases reported and over 3,100 killed. 6.9 million people, more than half the country’s population, is in need of emergency food aid, according to the United Nations.



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June 30, 2008

Kenyan Prime Minister calls for suspension of Mugabe from African Union

Kenyan Prime Minister calls for suspension of Mugabe from African Union

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Monday, June 30, 2008

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Raila Odinga, the Kenyan Prime Minister, has said that Robert Mugabe should be suspended from the African Union until he allows free elections to take place in his country.

He has said that the AU “should suspend him [Mugabe] and send peace forces to Zimbabwe to ensure free and fair elections.”

Odinga continued, “[The] African Union will be setting a dangerous precedent if Mugabe is allowed to participate in its meetings,” he said. “Right now Mugabe is a crisis, they have no president with legitimacy to run the country.”

Robert Mugabe was recently under a large amount of pressure to postpone the election after the main opposition candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, pulled out due to fears of violence. For example, Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations, yesterday called for the election to be postponed. He said that he “strongly supports the statement of the Chairman of SADC (Southern African Development Community) that conditions do not exist for a run-off election to be held at this time and that they should be postponed.”

Mugabe yesterday claimed the current results show that he will have a ‘sweeping victory’ in the unopposed presidential run-off elections. He announced his victory on one of the state run television networks. “The returns show that we are winning convincingly, that we have won in all the 26 constituencies in Harare, an MDC stronghold where we won in only one constituency in March.”

As an African Union summit began in Egypt today, Mugabe took his seat among other African heads of state hours after declaring victory in the election. His appearance at the summit generated different reactions, from being hailed as a “hero” by the President of Gabon, to U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro‘s remarks calling the situation in Zimbabwe “an extremely grave crisis”.

Mugabe, now in his sixth term as President, arrived in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Monday. Despite criticism from the African Union’s election observers, who said the election fell short of their standards, Mugabe was reportedly warmly received at the summit. One delegate, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mugabe was seen hugging other African leaders after the opening session.

Delegates at the convention discussed the elections, but largely avoided direct criticism of Mugabe or the government. Jakaya Kekwete, the Tanzanian President chairing the summit, said, “We would like to congratulate the Zimbabwean people for their successes but we would also like to express our commiserations for their suffering.” A draft resolution being considered for adoption on Tuesday calls for negotiations and an end to violence, but also does not directly criticize Mugabe or the election.

George Sibotshiwe, a spokesman for Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, said he hopes that the summit would take stronger measures during Tuesday sessions. “I would hope that the nature of what happened in Zimbabwe warrants a strong response and a lot of the leaders are taking our problems into consideration,” he said.



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February 28, 2008

Kenyan government and opposition agree on power sharing

Kenyan government and opposition agree on power sharing

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

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The heads of the government and opposition in Kenya have signed a power sharing agreement aimed at ending the crisis over December’s disputed elections. The agreement was reached after a day of talks mediated by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Chairman of the African Union Jakaya Kikwete.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga signed the agreement before international diplomats and representatives of the Kenyan government and opposition.

Chief mediator Kofi Annan said that the two leaders had agreed on a government structure after five hours of intensive talks.

“I am pleased to be able to tell you and all the citizens of Kenya that the two parties this afternoon completed the work on agenda item three, how to overcome the political crisis,” he said.

The two sides agreed to the creation of the posts of prime minister and two deputy prime ministers. The prime minister is accorded authority over the ministries. The prime minister is to be nominated by the largest party or coalition in parliament and can only be removed by a majority vote of the national assembly. The accord also calls for distribution of the ministerial posts according to the relative strength of each party in parliament. And it calls for the changes to be enacted by constitutional amendment, a major demand of the opposition. The Prime Minister post has gone to Odinga.

Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga pledged to ensure that the accord is implemented and called for unity among all Kenyans. Mr. Annan commended the two parties, saying they reached a common position for the good of the nation. And he had a message for the citizens of Kenya.

“Compromise was necessary for the survival of this country,” he said. “Support this agreement, for it is the key to the unity of Kenya. It is the foundation for national reconciliation and it is the springboard for national recovery.”

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown released a statement calling the signing of the power-sharing agreement a “a triumph for peace and diplomacy.”

“Kenya’s leaders have reached a power-sharing agreement that represents a triumph for peace and diplomacy, and a renunciation of the violence that has scarred a country of such enormous potential. Common sense has prevailed, and the Kenyan people have the outcome for which they have hoped and prayed,” the statement said.

Cquote1.svg Support this agreement, for it is the key to the unity of Kenya. It is the foundation for national reconciliation and it is the springboard for national recovery. Cquote2.svg

—Former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan

Brown also thanked Kofi Annan for his work and urged the international community to play their part and support Kenya’s new government. Brown also noted that “Real leadership, patience and tolerance is necessary to ensure that the agreement sticks.”

Kenyans are viewing the deal skeptically, such as 56-year old refugee Paul Waweru, “The deal between Raila and Kibaki will help to cool down the situation but I doubt if it will enable us to get back to our homes.”

Diana Murugi, 72, lost her two sons in the violent fighting that has plagued Kenya since the end of the disputed elections at the close of last year.

“The coalition is about Kibaki, Raila and the big men, what about those of us here in the camp? How will I reconcile with people who killed my sons? It is impossible, even if Kibaki and Raila are in the same government,” she said.

Parliament is to convene next week to enact the measures. Mr. Annan said the negotiations would resume Friday on long-term issues such as constitutional reform and ways to end inequalities in land and wealth distribution.

The two sides have been meeting for nearly five weeks in an effort to find a political solution to the Kenya crisis. One thousand people were killed and several hundred thousand were displaced in the violence that erupted after Mr. Kibaki was declared the winner of a presidential election that the opposition says was rigged.



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February 26, 2008

Kenya peace talks put on hold

Kenya peace talks put on hold – Wikinews, the free news source

Kenya peace talks put on hold

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Talks to end the violence in Kenya have been put on hold.

The discussions, which have been going on for more than a month, aim to come to an agreement between the current President Mwai Kibaki of the ruling Party of National Unity and Raila Odinga, the leader of the oppositional Orange Democratic Movement. Violence sparked in the country after Mr. Odinga claimed that the voting was rigged in favour of the President.

The Orange Democratic Movement had threatened to restart protests if an agreement was not made, something which could cause further violence in the capital Nairobi and some other areas of the country. However, it has been agreed that Raila Odinga will fill the post of Prime Minister, which will be created once conditions of how power sharing will take placed are agreed upon.

1,500 people have died since the protests started last December and talks have recently managed to come to some progress, by agreeing to share power. Kofi Annan, the mediator of the talks and former head of the UN, has been quoted by the BBC as saying: “The talks have not broken down but I am taking steps to make sure we accelerate the process and give peace to the people as soon as possible.”

Discussions have proven difficult, with Mr. Odinga blaming Mr. Kibaki for rigging elections and with the President blaming Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement for starting the violence, which has left up to 300,000 people displaced.



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February 16, 2008

Bush starts off Africa trip in Benin

Bush starts off Africa trip in Benin – Wikinews, the free news source

Bush starts off Africa trip in Benin

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States, upon arrival in Benin, with Chantal de Souza Yayi, First Lady of Benin.

Yayi and Bush previously met at the White House in December 2006.

U.S. President George W. Bush, accompanied by his wife Laura, began his five-nation trip to Africa today in Benin, where he met with President Yayi Boni and participated in a joint press conference. This is Bush’s second visit to Africa and the first time any US president has visited Benin. Topics that were discussed included malaria, cotton, and the crises in Kenya and Darfur.

At the press conference, held at Cadjehoun International Airport in Cotonou, Yayi thanked Bush for coming to visit and praised him for his “great concern for Africa, its well being, and of the development of its people.” Bush then commended the government of Benin for their “fight against corruption” and “firm commitment to the investment in its people”.

“Your fight against corruption is visible and easy for the people to see,” Bush said. “This is such a good lesson … because leaders around the world have got to understand that the United States wants to partner with leaders and the people, but we’re not going to do so with people that steal money, pure and simple.” Benin is one of the recipients of the Millennium Challenge Account, which aims to foster economic growth in countries that are deemed to have effective governments and economic freedom.

On the topic of malaria, Bush mentioned the Malaria Initiative, which intends to provide a mosquito net for every child to prevent the spread of the disease. He also mentioned initiatives to facilitate the spread of HIV and AIDS. “We can save lives with an aggressive, comprehensive strategy,” Bush said. “And that’s exactly what you’re putting in place here in Benin.”

Cquote1.svg The United States wants to partner with leaders and the people, but we’re not going to do so with people that steal money, pure and simple. Cquote2.svg

—George W. Bush

The economy was also an important issue. President Yayi said he and President Bush discussed diversifying Benin’s economy away from its dependence on cotton. “He shared his vision with us, and he is encouraging us to diversify the sources of solutions to the problem that we have today, namely the cotton industry.” Yayi says it is hard competing with cotton markets in Asia and the United States. Bush said the World Trade Organization is willing to help Benin’s economy, but he also suggested exporting more cotton-based products in addition to raw cotton.

Bush said the United States will help facilitate a peacekeeping force in Darfur, but will not send troops to the region. “I made the decision not to [send troops], upon the recommendation of a lot of the groups involved in Darfur, as well as other folks … once you make that decision, then there’s not many other avenues except for the United Nations and the peacekeeping forces.”

When asked about the situation in Kenya, Bush said he has sent Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to visit the country on Monday to support former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in mediating the conflict. “Kenya is an issue … and that’s why I’m sending Secretary Rice there to help the Kofi Annan initiative – all aimed at having a clear message that there be no violence and that there ought to be a power-sharing agreement,” said Bush.

White House national security adviser Stephen Hadley said Rice’s visit will only last a few hours. “It’s basically to go in, give some impetus, but then step out and let Kofi Annan continue his diplomacy,” he said. At a press briefing aboard Air Force One, one reporter questioned what could be accomplished in a few hours and asked why the President didn’t go to Kenya instead. Ambassador Jendayi Frazer answered with, “Secretary Rice’s engagement on Kenya has been much longer than a few hours. She has been talking to President Kibaki and Raila Odinga before the election, right on the eve of the announcement, immediately after that. And so she’s been very much engaged over the last three or four months on dealing with electoral crisis.”

“The purpose of her going is to back Kofi’s mediation, it’s not to take over that mediation,” Frazer continued. “President Bush does not need to go to Kenya at this point. At the right moment in time, the President will engage, but right now it’s occurring in a very systematic way to back Annan’s mediation, not to try to supplant Annan’s mediation.”

After spending three hours in Benin, Bush flew to Tanzania, where he will stay for three nights. He will then continue his trip in Rwanda, Ghana, and Liberia.



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February 7, 2008

Kenyan humanitarian crisis deepens as talks continue

Kenyan humanitarian crisis deepens as talks continue

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mwai Kibaki

In Kenya, the government and opposition have resumed talks on the dispute over the elections that sparked a month-long wave of violence. Relief officials say the humanitarian toll continues to rise and are calling for a speedy solution.

Relief officials appealed to political leaders to stabilize security throughout Kenya as the number of people fleeing violence in some parts of the country continued to rise.

A Kenya Red Cross spokesman, Tony Mwangi, says the instability is aggravating the humanitarian crisis. “There are a lot of areas that require immediate assistance in the form of food as well as shelter for freshly displaced people and this is mostly in the western region of the country and a bit of the Rift Valley,” Mwangi said.

Nearly 100 people have been killed in the violence in the past several days, mostly in western Kenya. The Red Cross says as a result the death toll has risen to about 1,000 and the number of homeless has grown to more than 300,000.

Mwangi said his organization has provided some assistance to most of the displaced in the country but not enough. He said security was an essential condition for the efficient distribution of aid.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga

“Our humanitarian response moves a lot faster when security is available. And while the Kenya Red Cross have access to some of the areas that have been affected the speed at which we would like to operate is not the best,” Mwangi said.

Mwangi said the best solution is for the displaced to be able to return home where they can receive food rations while their homes and communities are rebuilt. The camps, which are prone to disease, criminality and social problems, are not a long-term solution.

The talks aimed at resolving the Kenyan crisis continued Wednesday. They focused on the disputed December elections that sparked the violence.

The opposition accuses the government of rigging the elections in order to install President Mwai Kibaki for a second term. The government says the opposition should take its objections to the courts.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is overseeing the talks, was joined by two other members of the mediation team, South Africa’s former first lady Graca Machel and Tanzania‘s former president Benjamin Mkapa.

Mr. Mkapa told reporters the talks are progressing at a good pace.

He says the talks show cooperation from both sides and a serious commitment to achieving Kenyans’ expectations of living in peace and unity.

Several hundred business leaders Tuesday announced that industrial production had been reduced by 40 percent during the past month. Exports had been hard hit by the paralysis of transportation. And hotel occupancy in tourist areas had fallen from 90 percent to 10 percent.

They forecast that economic growth would decline by several percentage points from its recent rate of more than six percent. They said 400,000 jobs could be lost in the next six months and the country could fall into recession if the crisis continued.



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January 15, 2008

Kenya\’s parliament meets for first time since disputed election

Kenya’s parliament meets for first time since disputed election

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

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Kenya’s new Parliament convened for the first time since the country’s disputed December 27 election, but politician’s on opposing sides took part in a heated discussion over who would be the new speaker of the party.

Kenyan opposition politicians argued with followers of re-elected President Mwai Kibaki over how to pick a new parliamentary speaker.

When a discussion into how the speaker should be decided started, lawmakers with Raila Odinaga‘s opposition Orange Democratic Movement insisted the election for speaker be held by open ballot; Mr. Kibaki’s supporters demanded the vote be secret.

The discussion took place for over an hour politicians from both sides took part in a discussion where anger was clearly shown, before the two parties decided a secret ballot was acceptable.

“The standing orders are very clear that members will be given a ballot. Can you show us where it says secret ballot? We went into election with secret ballot, you stole the vote, we cannot trust you anymore,” said William Ruto, a senior adviser for Odigna.

After a first round of voting, the Orange Democratic Movement candidate had a narrow lead, necessitating another ballot. If no-one gets two-thirds majority after two rounds the speaker will be elected by a simple majority in the third round.

It was an argument like that seen in Parliament that has led many Kenyans to say they have felt abandoned by their leaders in the weeks of chaos that followed the December 27 vote.

Demonstrations

Kenya is preparing for Wednesday, when Mr. Odinga plans the first of three consecutive days of protest in cities around the country. The government has said it will not allow the demonstrations to go ahead.

Former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan is to go to Nairobi in a few days to try to find a solution to the issue. Mr. Kibaki’s government has said it sees no reason to negotiate, because it says the vote was fair. Annan was due to arrive today but delayed it as he is suffering from flu.

Background

At least 500 people have been killed and more than 250,000 displaced in clashes between protesters and police, as well as ethnic-related violence that has seen rioters torch homes and businesses across the nation.

Some say they are furious over the presidential vote, which international observers have said was flawed. Others appear to be taking advantage of lawlessness that followed the vote.

While the parliamentary debate went on, violence continued across the country. In Nairobi’s giant Mathare slum, gangs torched a school and an orphanage. And to the northwest, in an area hit hard by violence, groups of young men allegedly from the Kalenjin tribe killed at least two people and set their homes ablaze.

“Gangs of Kalenjin warriors invaded the village and they burned down a couple of houses. When people went in to salvage some things, they met them and they killed two of them,” said Karanja Njoroge, a retired professor in the village where the attacks occurred. He added that “several others were wounded with arrows in their bodies. And they removed the ones who were wounded and they ran away on the main highway toward the police station.”



Sources


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