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January 11, 2008

Opposition calls for mass rallies across Kenya

Opposition calls for mass rallies across Kenya

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki

Kenya’s political opposition says mediation efforts with the government over Kenya’s flawed December elections have collapsed and the opposition is now calling for mass rallies across the country next week.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Secretary-General Anyang Nyongo called for Kenyans in towns around Kenya to gather for three days of protests next week, in a move that it hopes will mimic the Ukrainian revolution that led to the overturning of flawed election results.

Just minutes after the plan was announced, Kenya’s police commissioner said the rallies would not be allowed.

Leaders of the opposition laid blame for the country’s political deadlock in the lap of President Mwai Kibaki’s government which says the opposition should bring its complaints to court. Opposition leaders says that the vote count, which has been surrounded by allegations of rigging, was a violation of the constitution and that the courts are in Mr. Kibaki’s pocket.

Flanked by opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga and ODM lawmakers who won parliamentary seats, Nyongo called the vote-rigging and the government’s stance a betrayal of the rights of all Kenyans.

“The Kibaki side does not want a just solution,” he said. “It is hell-bent on clinging to power regardless of the verdict of the people of Kenya. The Kibaki side wants only to dictate terms that we should follow. There are no compromises and no second thoughts about what they have done. Talks are just an opportunity for them to delay and silence us, while they consolidate themselves in power.”

At least 500 people have been killed and more than 250,000 displaced in violence that erupted since Kenya’s vote, and neither side has shown any willingness to compromise. On Thursday, Ghana President John Kufuor left Kenya after failing to achieve a deal between the two sides.

File:2007 and 2008 Violence in Kenya.jpg
Previous violence in Kenya

President Kibaki has named several members of his new Cabinet despite the controversy over the vote, which international observers say appears to have been rigged. Almost all of those appointed are political allies, a fact that the opposition has said is proof of his unwillingness to compromise.

The government says it is committed to constructive dialogue, but opposition leader Nyongo says that is a sham.

“Stealing is still going on, cheating is still going on, and quite honestly, Kibaki should be embarrassed to be, embarrassed every day by the fact that he stole,” he added. “I don’t think it’s a very good sign to be a head of state who has the extra title of eminent thief.”

Meanwhile on Thursday, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan was to arrive with several prominent African leaders to try to broker a compromise. Mr. Odinga’s team has said it only wants talks to take place through a mediator, while President Kibaki has insisted on face-to-face negotiations.



Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Civil unrest in Kenya (2007–2008)

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January 7, 2008

Kenya\’s leader Kibaki seeks Ghanaian president Kufuor\’s mediation

Kenya’s leader Kibaki seeks Ghanaian president Kufuor’s mediation

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Kenya
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Ghana’s President John Kufuor is expected to travel to Kenya this week to help resolve the escalating violence that has plunged Kenya into a political crisis. This comes after Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki sent an envoy to brief the Ghanaian president, who is also chairman of the African Union on the current situation in Kenya. Kibaki has also reportedly said he is willing to dialogue without pre-condition with opposition leader Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement who is claiming he won December’s presidential election. Odigna has decided to call off protests that were due to take place tomorrow as a result of the action. He has agreed to take part in the mediation process. This is despite earlier reports that he would not take part in the mediation.

Akwasi Osei-Adjei is Ghana’s foreign minister. He tells VOA reporter Peter Clottey that President Kufuor is concerned about the tensions in Kenya.

“Basically, the president has been invited to Kenya to see for himself the situation and offer advise as to how the two leaders can come together to stop what is happening in Kenya. As you know, people are being killed and there are a lot of disturbances in Kenya and Kenya is like a pillar of a democratic country is now blowing up in our faces. And I don’t think it is for any African country to stand by and more so the chair of the AU (Africa Union) to sit by for such a thing to happen to Kenya. He (president Kufuor) is going there to offer advice,” Osei-Adjei noted.

He reckoned that President Kufuor’s expected trip would yield positive results that would help alleviate the escalating violence in Kenya.

“We hope so. He (President Kufuor) wouldn’t move from Ghana to Kenya not expecting to make a difference to make the situation calm and normal. You know so that is what we expect,” he said.

Osei-Adjei denied speculations that President Kufuor’s mediation efforts could possibly worsen the situation just like in Zimbabwe.

“No, I don’t think so. Zimbabwe is quite a different issue. This is coming out as a result of elections, the recent elections and what is happening that we have to be there to ensure that the two leaders can sit down and then calm the situation,” Osei-Adjei pointed out.

He said President Kibaki invited the Ghanaian president to help solve the escalating violence, which is blamed on the controversy surrounding the December elections.

“Well, the envoy came yesterday to brief the president of Ghana and at the same time the chair of the AU the situation before elections, during elections and after the elections. Upon this then he also added the President (Kibaki) has also asked him to invite the president of Ghana that is President Kufuor of Ghana to be there to help calm the situation. This is what was said yesterday that President Kufuor is going to Kenya to talk to the two leadership and then make them come to if you like some the peace pipe so that things in Kenya will calm down so that of course the necessary things could be done, and then ensure that people go about their normal businesses,” he said.


Sources

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Kenyan presidential election, 2007


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January 2, 2008

Mob attack on church in Kenya leaves 30 dead

Mob attack on church in Kenya leaves 30 dead

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mwai Kibaki

A mob set fire to a church in western Kenya Tuesday, killing at least 30 people inside who were seeking refuge from widespread post-election violence. Some reports state that as many as 50 people were killed. It is believed that approximately half of the dead are children. Witnesses say the fire was set by a gang of young men who poured fuel on the structure before setting it ablaze.

Reporter Abjata Khalif of the Africa Pastoralist Journalists Network visited the scene. He told VOA he counted 13 bodies lying in pools of blood within the Kenya Assemblies of God Pentacostal church in the village of Burnt Forest just a few kilometers outside Eldoret.

“The attackers came and overran the entire church,” he said. “They broke down the doors and then broke the windows. Several of the bodies I saw had big cuts; others were dismembered.”

“[Some of the bodies] were barefoot,” he continued. “ They ran away from their farms or their homes because the violence was (expected).

Opposition leader Raila Odinga

[Many], who were in the church [originally] with the children and old people, ran for dear life [as the attack began] and left the others inside.”

Khalif said NGOs including the Red Cross are looking for those who successfully fled the church to identify the dead. Aid agencies also predict that there would be a “humanitarian catastrophe,” if problems in Kenya are not resolved soon.

He says some politicians are calling for calm include the opposition MP for the area, William Ruto. Khalif said Ruto, who was expected to be named prime minister if opposition candidate Raila Odinga were named president, “made an effort to calm down the [Kalinjin people, saying we’re [trying] to solve the election [controversy] at international and national levels.” He said Ruto asked the public not to take part in acts of violence against life or property.

Khalif said authorities are girding for more potential unrest because the opposition has called for a mass action at the grounds of Uhuru Park in Nairobi Thursday, despite government warnings that such actions are illegal. He said up to two million people are expected.

The attack in the Eldoret area pushed the death toll from the violence to about 275. World leaders are calling on Kenyan politicians to help end the crisis, which divides Kenya’s people mainly along ethnic lines — the Kikuyu tribe of President Mwai Kibaki and the Luo tribe of opposition leader Raila Odinga.



Related news

  • “Violent clashes in Kenya kill scores” — Wikinews, January 1, 2008

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January 1, 2008

Violent clashes in Kenya kill scores

Violent clashes in Kenya kill scores – Wikinews, the free news source

Violent clashes in Kenya kill scores

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Mwai Kibaki

At least 250 people have died in Kenya in post-election clashes across the nation. Incumbent President Mwai Kibaki was declared re-elected on Sunday in a close vote. His opponent Raila Odinga disputes the result and has called for a recount.

The clashes have been along tribal lines, with Kibaki backed by the Kikuyu and Odinga by the Luo. The fighting has been particularly severe in western Kenya, a power base for Odinga. Police have been ordered to shoot looters on sight and have imposed a curfew in Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city.

Cquote1.svg There is no difference between [Mwai Kibaki] and Idi Amin and other military dictators who have seized power through the barrel of the gun. Cquote2.svg

—Raila Odinga, Kenyan opposition leader

Kibera, the slum in Nairobi, has been sealed off by riot police and paramilitary troops to contain violence.

The Kenyan government has banned live television broadcasts and censored news reports in what it says is an effort to prevent violence.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga

Odinga also announced that he wanted a mass rally to take place later in the day in the main park of Nairobi.

The violence led to an announcement by Kenyan police which stated that any person caught outside their homes in the slums of Nairobi will be shot dead on the spot.

In the riots, some residents who believed the vote was rigged, took extreme measures. Houses have been burned down, and some people have had the intention of killing others.



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