Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 21, 2008

Coup In Kenya: Part II

[You may want to read Coup in Kenya - Part I and the comments to that piece first]
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Exploring U.S. influence in the Kenyan Elections

by b real

The U.S. contribution to the crisis:

Seeing it as a key ally in the “war on terror,” the Bush Administration has built a close military relationship with the Kibaki government; The U.S. has played a central role in building up Kenya’s weaponry and internal security apparatus, now being deployed in the crisis. Current U.S.-Kenyan relations are a product of 24 years of U.S. support to the Daniel arap Moi dictatorship that jailed, exiled or disappeared those opposed to the regime. The legacy of these politics remains institutionalized within the political process itself and creates huge barriers to democratic freedom and political participation. Overall, the current turmoil in Kenya is the clear result of colonial rule, external intervention, and detrimental foreign aid policies.
-- Association of Concerned Africa Scholars,
Press Statement on the Crisis in Kenya, January 5, 2008

It was a quick mention that was almost swallowed in a larger, more pressing narrative, but -- for those who did pick up on it -- has since proved to be an omnious foreshadowing of how the elections have played out in Kenya over the past weeks. Last April, in an interview with the independent syndicated news program Democracy Now discussing the events taking place to Kenya's north in Somalia, of which the former nation was very much involved, Kenyan Daily Nation columnist Salim Lone stated that "one leading opposition ... candidate in Kenya, said that the US has promised to support the government in the elections at the end of this year in exchange for the terrible things it has been doing" as a favored partner nation in the so-called global war on terror (GWOT).

Considering the holiday wrath the U.S., along with its proxy partners, brought down upon the citizens of Somalia in December of 2006, ringing in a new year that saw thousands dead, one-and-a-half million displaced, and more than a year of continuing military occupation by a hostile neighbor, the citizens of Kenya, by and large, could regard themselves as lucky. That's small consolation though, for those suffering in Kenya. Conservative figures put the current deaths there between 600 to 700 people, with roughly 500,000 uprooted by violence throughout the country following the presidential coup by the incumbents.

While the role of the United States in destabilizing the Horn of Africa (HOA) has been documented widely over the last year, little has been written on its role in the 2007 presidential election controversy. It certainly merits closer scutiny and investigation.

A Regional Anchor for Maintaining Order

Interestingly enough, Kenya is not even in the HOA -- it's an East African nation -- though that doesn't stop the U.S., and especially the Department of Defense (DOD), from quite often grouping it as such.

In his December 7th remarks to the conference Working Toward A Lasting Peace in the Ogaden, the director of the Office for East Africa, Bureau of African Affairs, James Knight offered the following points on U.S. policy in the HOA specifically regarding Kenya:

Kenya’s Northeast Province is home to ethnic Somalis with ties to clans in Somalia. Kenya's Somali community is a magnet for Somali refugees fleeing violence in Somalia and Ethiopia's Ogaden. Kenya closed its border with Somalia in January, but more than 1,000 refugees still arrive each month. A significant number of Oromos reside in northern Kenya as well. Oromos are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, which further ties northern Kenya to Ethiopia.

Kenya’s 2002 elections were an important step on Kenya’s path to full democracy. This year's national elections on December 27 should consolidate those gains. The U.S. is providing elections training to civil society organizations, political parties, and youth and women candidates, as well as supporting the Electoral Commission of Kenya [to] ensure that these elections are smooth, free, fair, and transparent.

Viewing a stable Kenya as a frontline bulwark against the Somali communities, which are universally Muslim, the U.S. has made Kenya a key partner in the GWOT.

From a Washington Times article dated January 7, entitled Kenya 'critical' to U.S. military:

"For the eastern portion of Africa, Kenya is critical," said retired Marine Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong, a former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations on the Horn of Africa.

"They are strategically located in the area bordering Somalia," he said. "They were critical for us in Somalia in the early 1990s. Without them, we could not have operated. They allowed us to use their bases while we were conducting operations in and out of Somalia, and they still allow us to use those bases today."

Not surprisingly the Washington Times article omits the role of Kenya in the current U.S. actions in Somalia, though plenty of other sources are available.

For instance, on Kenya's role in sealing off their borders to all Somali's fleeing the ruthless invasion (done in violation of all international laws), according to Thomas Barnett's largely unbalanced Esquire feature, The Americans Have Landed, from June:

When the invading Ethiopians quickly enjoyed unexpected success, Centcom's plan became elegantly simple: Let the blitzkrieging Ethiopian army drive the CIC, along with its foreign fighters and Al Qaeda operatives, south out of Mogadishu and toward the Kenyan border, where Kenyan troops would help trap them on the coast. "We begged the Kenyans to get to the border as fast as possible," the Centcom source says, "because the targets were so confused, they were running around like chickens with their heads cut off."

Once boxed in by the sea and the Kenyans, the killing zone was set and America's first AC-130 gunship went wheels-up on January 7 from that secret Ethiopian airstrip. After each strike, anybody left alive was to be wiped out by successive waves of Ethiopian commandos and Task Force 88, operating out of Manda Bay. The plan was to rinse and repeat "until no more bad guys," as one officer put it.

As Human Rights Watch, among many others, later drew attention to in a March 2007 press release People Fleeing Somalia War Secretly Detained:

(New York, March 30, 2007) - Kenya, Ethiopia, the United States and the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia cooperated in a secret detention program for people who had fled the recent conflict in Somalia, Human Rights Watch said today.

In a March 22 letter to the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Human Rights Watch detailed the arbitrary detention, expulsion and apparent enforced disappearance of dozens of individuals who fled the fighting between the Union of Islamic Courts and the joint forces of the Transitional Federal Government and Ethiopia from December 2006 through January 2007. 

“Each of these governments has played a shameful role in mistreating people fleeing a war zone,” said Georgette Gagnon, deputy Africa director of Human Rights Watch. “Kenya has secretly expelled people, the Ethiopians have caused dozens to ‘disappear,’ and US security agents have routinely interrogated people held incommunicado.” 

Human Rights Watch’s recent research in Kenya indicates that since late December 2006, Kenyan security forces arrested at least 150 individuals from some 18 different nationalities at the Liboi and Kiunga border crossing points with Somalia. The Kenyan authorities then transferred these individuals to Nairobi where they were detained incommunicado and without charge for weeks in violation of Kenyan law. 

Human Rights Watch recognizes that Kenya may have valid security concerns regarding people seeking refuge within its borders. Nonetheless these concerns must be addressed through a fair process in accordance with international law, not arbitrarily at the expense of fundamental human rights. 

US and other national intelligence services interrogated several foreign nationals in detention in Nairobi, who were denied access to legal counsel and their consular representatives. At least 85 people were then secretly deported from Kenya to Somalia in what appears to be a joint rendition operation of those individuals of interest to the Somali, Ethiopian, or US governments.

And quoting Salim Lone, who now serves as spokesperson for Kenya's opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), from that same Democracy Now interview:

... this whole enterprise-the kidnappings on Kenyan streets, the grabbing refugees coming across the border-has a “Made in America” stamp on it, because you’ve seen it all happen before. And these secret prisons, the US denies any responsibility in this whole operation. And yet, we know that CIA and FBI officials are in those prisons interviewing the inmates.

We also know, by the way, that many of the people who have disappeared are not in those secret prisons. Where are those people? Have they be killed? Are they being tortured somewhere else? This is, you know, utter lawlessness.

So Kenya has been intricately involved in the ongoing destabilization of the HOA, allowing external, rogue powers to operate freely inside its borders. ODM, in the runup to the December elections, was able to utilize much of the opposition to the Kenyan government's actions in uniting various factions on these issues. Several Muslim communities in Somalia, very well-aware of the context and victims of the GWOT, endorsed ODM's platform for change. Obviously, though, it was not in everyone's interest to see a popular regime change threaten existing relationships with the risk of instability - "stability" implying an established order & accountability.

The U.S. has a lot of interests on the line in Kenya, which is listed in the 2002 National Security Strategy (NSS), along with Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia, as one of four "anchors for regional engagement." According to a study, U.S. Arms Exports and Military Assistance in the “Global War on Terror, compiled by the Center for Defense Information at the World Security Institute last September:

Kenya is considered a vital U.S. ally in the war on terror and has supported U.S. counterterrorism efforts by sharing intelligence, providing overflight rights and granting access to airfields and bases. The State Department considers Kenya to be a “front-line state” in the war on terror and this counterterrorism cooperation has yielded an increase in U.S. military assistance for Kenya since Sept. 11, 2001.

In the five years after Sept. 11, Kenya received nearly eight times the amount of military assistance it received in the five years prior to Sept. 11.

In addition to the figures listed in that study, Daniel Volman, Director of the African Security Research Project in Washington, DC, while pointing out that "the US is heavily invested in stability in Kenya", has summarized some of this assistance in his January 5 article, U.S. Military Activities in Kenya, posted on the website of the Association of Concerned African Scholars.

Indeed, Kenya is "a major African recipient of U.S. miltary assistance."

Democracy Promotion and the ECK

Returning to the remarks of James Knight outlining U.S. policy in the HOA, he mentioned that:

"The U.S. is providing elections training to civil society organizations, political parties, and youth and women candidates, as well as supporting the Electoral Commission of Kenya ensure that these elections are smooth, free, fair, and transparent."

This is almost exactly the same message delivered by Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs James Swan four months earlier to the 4th International Conference on Ethiopian Development Studies on August 4, 2007:

The U.S. is providing election-related training to civil society organizations, political parties, and youth and women candidates, as well as supporting the work of the Electoral Commission of Kenya to ensure that these elections are free, fair, and transparent.

From public records, it is clear that, overtly, the State Department works most closely with the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI),  the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in thier "democracy promotion" programs throughout the world.

A RightWeb profile of IRI explains, its reach is vast:

The IRI is the indirect product of a democratic globalism effort spearheaded in the late 1970s by neoconservatives and their allies in the AFL-CIO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and in the two main U.S. political parties. This project, which aimed to create a quasi-governmental instrument for U.S. political aid that could replace the CIA's controversial efforts to do the same, came to fruition in 1982 when President Ronald Reagan proposed a new organization to promote free-market democracies around the world, the NED. In 1983 Congress approved the creation of NED, which was funded primarily through the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) and secondarily through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Designed as a bipartisan institution, NED channels U.S. government funding through four core grantees: IRI, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDIIA), Center for International Private Enterprise, and the Free Trade Union Institute-the AFL-CIO's international operations institute that is currently known as the American Center for International Labor Solidarity.
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Like NED and the other core grantees, the early focus of IRI was Central America and the Caribbean-a region that in the 1980s was the cutting edge of the Reagan administration's revival of counterinsurgency and counter-revolutionary operations. After the Soviet bloc began to disintegrate in 1989, according to IRI's website, the institute "broadened its reach to support democracy around the globe." The IRI has channeled U.S. political aid to partners-which like itself are often creations of U.S. funding-in some 75 countries, and it currently has operations in 50 countries. Most recently, it has expanded its operations into Central Asia, having opened offices in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. In Latin America, IRI has offices in Guatemala, Peru, and Haiti. In Africa, IRI has offices in Kenya, Nigeria, and Angola. IRI's offices in Asia are found in Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, and Mongolia. In Central and Eastern Europe, IRI has offices in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Turkey. There is also an IRI office in Moscow.

IRI's leadership spans the center right, far right, and neoconservative factions of the Republican Party.

Both USAID and IRI have been actively involved in preparations surrounding the 2007 Kenyan elections, however a general search does not uncover much information linking NED.

From a A Report to Members of the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate titled Nongovernmental Organizations and Democracy Promotion: "Giving Voice To The People"' from December 2006, the U.S. agencies are openly listed as:

KENYA

U.S. Embassy: Ambassador Michael Ranneberger
Deputy Political Counselor Craig White
USAID Stephen Haykin, Mission Director
USAID Jaidev "Jay'' Singh, Sr. Regional Conflict, Democracy and Governance Advisor
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U.S. NGOs:
Peter Meechem, Director, IRI
Sioghan Guiney, Resident Program Officer, IRI, Parliamentary Strengthening and Reform
Moses Owuor, IFES, Program Officer--Capacity building programs with the Electoral Commission
Fred Matiangi, Country Director, State University of New York, Parliamentary Strengthening and Reform
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Democracy NGOs are prevalent and are not hampered significantly by government regulation or restrictions.
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The majority of U.S.-funded democracy efforts are coordinated through the USAID office in Nairobi.
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U.S. democracy promotion programs work to a great degree in building political party capacity.

An idea of the funding involved is available from USAID's Congressional Budget Justification FY07: Kenya [pdf]:

Program Title: Democracy and Governance

FY 2006 Program:

Promote and Support Credible Elections Processes ($448,200 DA; $2,425,000 ESF). USAID provides technical assistance, commodities, and training to the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK). USAID anticipates supporting domestic and international observations, including training for both party agents and domestic observers, allowing them to assess whether the presidential and parliamentary elections are non-violent, transparent, and competitive. USAID further anticipates monitoring media bias in the run up to the 2007 elections. Principal contractors and grantees: ECK, the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), local CSOs (primes).

FY 2007 Program:

Promote and Support Credible Elections Processes ($460,200 DA; $1,455,000 ESF). USAID will continue to support local election observers, political party agents, and strengthening the ECK. Principal contractors and grantees: Same as FY 2006.

The International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) is another name that is closely associated with U.S. democracy promotion electioneering. The IFES profile at RightWeb is from 1989 but details its early rightwing & CIA connections. A Kenya project webpage on their site informs the reader that:

The communications network has assisted the Commission in its general operations and in results reporting. In May 2003, the ECK used the equipment successfully in the collation and transmission of results in three by-elections in the Naivasha, Wajir West and Yatta constituencies. The by-elections served as an opportunity for IFES and the ECK to improve the performance of the communication network used during the December 2002 presidential elections. The use of satellite phones improved communication between poll workers and the computerized tabulation of votes enabled election results to be announced the same day. Overall, the equipment has greatly improved communication and efficiency between the ECK headquarters and its district offices.

Current activities focus around the implementation of the ECK’s Strategic Plan and Organizational Development, computerization of the Commission’s operations, review of the Commission’s structure and policies, assistance with the polling station infrastructure study, and support to the improvement and implementation of the Communications Protocol.

IFES and IRI both began working in Kenya in 1992, the first year of multiparty elections, and appear to have been involved in some capacity in each 5-year election since then. In 2002, IRI was credited with accurately predicting the presidential elections results from polling "3,000 Kenyan registered voters in the eight provinces". (see IRI Poll Correctly Predicts New Kenyan President.) It was also the first year that IRI conducted exit polls in a presidential election.

On the U.S. role in nurturing the ECK, from USAID's webpage on the 2002 elections:

In 2000, the ECK was widely perceived as lacking credibility and independence and no bilateral donors were willing to take a risk and provide any substantial direct funding.  However, the U.S. decided that this risk was worth taking and embarked on a substantial program that not only included technical assistance and commodities, but intensive diplomatic efforts to ensure that certain safeguards were in place to level the electoral playing field.  Through the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), USAID began implementing this program in March 2001.  One significant element was the design and provision of a communication system that enhanced the ECK’s ability to ensure public security and provide secure transit of ballots and electoral results.  As the perception of the independence and credibility of the ECK increased, other bilateral donors became willing to provide some support, leveraging USAID’s funding.

Current partners, domestic and foreign, are listed on the ECK's Partner-Relationship web page:

Foreign Partners/International NGOs

ECK collaborates with various national and international organizations especially those that lay emphasis on matters of governance and democracy in her various activities such as voter education, training of election officials, funding of voter education programmes e.t.c. These organizations include the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), USAID, IFES, the Royal Netherlands Embassy (RNE), DFID, CIDA, National Democratic Institute (NDI), the European Union (EU), the Carter Centre, International Republican Institute (IRI), African Union (AU), and other Foreign based missions, and donor agencies in Kenya.

A controversy recently arose when it was revealed that IRI had conducted exit polls during the 2007 election which showed that Raila Odinga won the presidency by an 8 percent margin.

Kenyan president lost election, according to U.S. exit poll:

An exit poll carried out on behalf of a U.S. government-backed foundation indicates that Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki was defeated in last month's disputed election rather than being re-elected as he claims, according to officials with knowledge of the document.

The poll by the Washington-based International Republican Institute - which hasn't been publicly released - further undermines an election result that many international observers have described as flawed.
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Opposition leader Raila Odinga led Kibaki by roughly 8 percentage points in the poll, which surveyed voters as they left polling places during the election Dec. 27, according to one senior Western official who's seen the data and requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. That's a sharp departure from the results that Kenyan election officials certified, which gave Kibaki a margin of 231,728 votes over Odinga, about 3 percentage points.
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The head of the International Republican Institute - a nonpartisan democracy-building organization whose work in Kenya was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development - said the data weren't released because of concerns about their validity.

The institute contracted an experienced Kenyan polling firm, Strategic Public Relations and Research, which had done two previous national-opinion polls for the institute last year. But on election day the institute's staff found that pollsters weren't gathering information in some areas.
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The senior Western official, who reviewed partial results, described them as credible. The survey included a sufficient sample of voters from around the country, and Odinga's lead was comfortably outside the expected margin of error for a poll of that size, the official said.

Strategic Public Relations & Research Limited is the same firm commissioned by IRI in 2002 when they took credit for successfully predicting that year's presidential elections by polling 3000 voters. The IRI issued a press release on January 15th stating that "For IRI to rush to release a poll that was incomplete and very likely inaccurate would have been irresponsible and dangerous given the situation in Kenya." What may have changed between 2002 and 2005 was not addressed.

At a minimum, the role of all of these organizations need to be included in any investigation of the "voting irregularities" in the 2007 presidential elections. Were the sponsored polls used at all in adjusting the outcome? Do they contain data that paints a picture no longer helpful to certain interests? Which was more rigged - the final totals or the entire system? And how do all of these pieces fit together? These questions, among many others, need to be raised and addressed.

"The US confidence in Kenya as a regional strategic partner has not been threatened by the crisis and will not be"

Finally, there are the machinations of the diplomatic front - the public face put on by state officials. By now everyone is familiar with the U.S. State Department's rush to congratulate Mr. Kibaki on Sunday after it looked like he was able to pull off the coup:

”We obviously congratulate the president on his election," department spokesman Rob McInturff told AFP.

"Again we would call on the people of Kenya to accept the results of the election and to move forward with the democratic process," he said.
-- AFP, US congratulates Kenyan president on re-election, December 30, 2007

"The United States congratulates the winners and is calling for calm, and for Kenyans to abide by the results declared by the election commission. We support the commission's decision."
-- Reuters, Kibaki wins Kenya's presidential election, December 30, 2008

This was followed by the about-face on Monday morning:

"We do have serious concerns, as I know others do, about irregularities in the vote count, and we think it's important that those concerns... be resolved through constitutional and legal means," department spokesperson Tom Casey said.

"I'm not offering congratulations to anybody, because we have serious concerns about the vote count," he added after another State Department spokesperson on Sunday had congratulated Kibaki.
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"What's clear to us is that there are some real problems here and that those need to be resolved in the Kenyan system, in accordance with their constitution, in accordance with their legal system"
-- AFP, US withdraws congratulations, December 31, 2007

In these seemingly contradictory messages one can observe two themes that now, more than two weeks later, have become easily recognizable as orchestrated talking points -- moving on, and, in an incomplete interpretation of the legal standings on the matter, the election results have been announced, so the law says if you want to challenge them, take it to court.

Both of these fit into the U.S. efforts to prevent a recount or rerun.

As the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ratteberger told the audience at a CSIS forum [transcript and audio available] on January 16th, "our position so far is to say that Kibaki was named winner by the ECK regardless of how flawed the election was, and so he’s the president." It should be pointed out that when Kibaki was declared the winner and then immediately sworn in, there was a precedent for it -- two actually -- in 1992 and 1997, the last two terms of Daniel arap Moi's "re-election". As mentioned earlier, not only was 1992 the first year that multiparty elections were held in Kenya, but it was the first year that both IRI and IFES became involved in that country. For obvious reasons, neither of these two items gets mentioned in the "free" press.

On the talking point that Kibaki was sworn in by the ECK and thus any challenges must go through the courts - it is patently false. As explained in an article on the Mars Group Kenya Blog:

On receiving [the counts] the ECK gives all parliamentary and presidential candidates 24 hours to lodge complaints, if any, including demanding a recount or retallying.

The ECK is obliged to, within 48 hours, allow the recount or retallying. All candidates and the ECK therefore have 72 hours to resolve any disputes. It is only after the period that the ECK can announce the winners of each of the 210 parliamentary seats and issue a certificate known as Form 17 to each elected MP and Form 18 to the elected president. The results are then gazetted.

With due respect to Mr Kivuitu, it was irregular, unlawful and void in law to announce the results on December 30 and swear in the President on the same day. The ECK boss announced the results when he did not have the original Forms 16, 16A and 17A from each constituency, refused to allow the 24-hour period for candidates to lodge complaints and declined to allow retallying. He told the world that his returning officers had gone underground, and that he did not have powers to order retallying.

On the day the results were being announced, Special Gazette Notice No. 12612 was issued declaring Mr Kibaki the president. Mr Kivuitu deliberately misled the world and subverted the law.

Section 5 of the Constitution states that the president shall be elected in accordance with the Constitution and the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act, Cap 7. Non-compliance with the mandatory provisions vitiates the process.

In law, the fundamental principle is that a void process does not confer legitimacy. A public officer acting in compliance with the law must comply with the substantive, formal and procedural conditions laid down and at all times act in good faith and for the public good.

The Law Society of Kenya, "the premier bar association and legal development agency in Kenya," is only one organization among many that makes up the coalition Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice which has just released documentation, titled Count Down to Deception: 30 Hours that Destroyed Kenya, detailing many of the issues which made the election results null and void:

We provide a table of these anomalies, malpractices and illegalities committed in at least 49 constituencies across the country. Instructively, in the constituencies these electoral offences occurred, the presidential election results announced by the ECK do not tally with those released at the constituency tallying centres as reported on Kenya Television Network (KTN) and/or observed by the Kenyan Election Domestic Observers Forum (KEDOF).

Again, we reiterate that the electoral anomalies, malpractices and illegalities noted were sufficient to alter the outcomes of the Presidential election. To this extent, the counting and tallying process for the Presidential election cannot be called free and fair. And the incumbent cannot be said to be in office legitimately or legally. An independent investigation into this process is necessary to bring the country to closure on this issue. Such an investigation must be a priority for the mediation process.

However, the talking point about taking any complaints to court began almost immediately following the swearing in and consecutive ban on live media coverage in the country -- which just happend to cut off a live broadcast of an ODM press conference -- and continues to get parroted in certain circles. On January 15th, an article in the East African Standard, on the nonsense that the hardliner John Michuki spit out last week, couldn't help but stating the obvious:

Michuki’s tune fell in line with what appears to be a well-choreographed tune in Government that goes thus: "Kibaki won the elections fairly; any aggrieved party should go to court".

Others who have adopted this line in the past include Justice minister Ms Martha Karua and Government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua, who went to the extent of saying Kufuor jetted in "to have tea" with his longtime friend, President Kibaki.

Of course, the list is longer than that. For instance,  there's the Foreign Affairs Minister on the 14th -- "President Kibaki was voted for by Kenyans, declared a winner by a competent Electoral Commission, sworn in and has formed Government. Any challenge to that has to be made by a court of law. The claims are untenable and illegal" -- or, better still, in an article on January 8 from the same paper,  on statements by the U.S. Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Jendayi Frazer during her extended stay in Nairobi:

Asked about the options during negotiations and whether a presidential run off was expected, Frazer responded that it was up to the two leaders to hammer out a compromise.

However, she noted that the law stipulated that once the ECK had announced results, any party contesting the outcome should seek remedy in the courts.

Further inquiry into where this talking point originating would be illuminating. However, the fact that the PNU and the US are using the very same language suggests more than just a harmonious coincidence.

Publicly, the U.S. has insisted that it is a neutral mediator in this crisis yet its positions show otherwise and, in fact, display solid backing for Kibaki.

Both are firmly against any recounting or re-running of the elections. In an interview with the Daily Nation that ran on the same day Ambassador Ranneberger told the CSIS forum that it is the U.S. position that Kibaki is legitimately the President, he also explained that "[t]he idea of a recount is not feasible because documents have gone missing or been altered. A fresh election is not feasible either. It’s not the best thing to put this country through this kind of trauma so soon again." At the CSIS event he opined: "Neither side has the money for it"

Rather than allowing a re-run, the U.S. agenda is to promote the idea of a power-sharing arrangement. A January 9 article in the East African Standard, Frazer opposes fresh polls, describes Asst. Secretary Frazer's press briefing immediately following her meeting with the Catholic Kisumu Archdiocese wherein the Archbishop advanced the position that "Kibaki has no authority to govern and he should immediately step aside for fresh presidential elections."

US Assistant Secretary of State in charge of Africa, Ms Jendayi Frazer, said she believes a re-run of the elections was not the way forward.
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"I don’t support calls for a re-run of the elections as the way forward. It is not my responsibility to decide for Kenyans on the matter. It is up to political leaders," she said.
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She said the way forward was for the politicians to accommodate each other in a power-sharing strategy.

She said the proposed power-sharing plan should also be constitutionalised.

On the very same day, another article ran with the headline, "We oppose poll re-run, says PNU"

The Party Of National Unity (PNU) is against a re-run of the disputed General Elections.

Finance Minister, Mr Amos Kimunya, said the PNU was against the use of the ballot box to sort out the political crisis.

"A re-run is not practical because it would not enable the country to achieve its social and economic designs," he said.

This view, however, appears to be in the minority. In the strongest international pressure yet, the European Parliament resolution of 17 January 2008 on Kenya declares the EU position as follows:

3. Regrets that, despite the broadly successful parliamentary elections, the results of the presidential elections cannot be considered credible owing to widespread reports of electoral irregularities;

4. Deplores the fact that Mwai Kibaki, appointed his cabinet unilaterally, which severely undermined mediation efforts;

5. Calls on Mwai Kibaki, to respect his country’s democratic commitments as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya, the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, and to agree to an independent examination of the presidential vote; urges the Kenyan authorities, in addition, to facilitate such an investigation in order to redress the situation and make the perpetrators of the electoral irregularities accountable for their actions;
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8. ... calls on the Commission to offer to the Kenyan authorities all necessary technical and financial assistance in the process of an independent examination of the presidential elections, as well as in the steps deemed necessary to redress the situation;
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12. Calls for fresh presidential elections should it prove impossible to organise a credible and fair recount of the votes cast in the presidential election by an independent body;

This is similar to the ODM position, which has requested international assistance to obtain mediation that results in a coalition government for three months until the elections can be conducted again. The mass protests that took place last week were part of that effort, acknowledged by ODM Party Secretary-General, Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o as reported by the East African Standard, "The aim of the rallies to is to make a point to the public and the world that the presidential vote was stolen and we are ready for a re-run."

The U.S. explanations for why a re-run is not possible do not hold water and therefore appear calculated to protect Kibaki and the PNU.

In an article, Kufuor’s whistle-stop diplomacy was only to pave way for Annan, in the East African on January 14, one can find more confirmation of this:

What is emerging ... is that the United States and European countries appear to be pulling in different directions in the conflict.
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Washington’s overriding concern in Kenya is stability. Indeed, ODM stalwarts say US top diplomat Jendayi Frazer, who was last Friday still in the country, has been pushing them to accept Cabinet positions in Kibaki’s government and ignore the genesis of the conflict.

In contrast, the Europeans, through the European Union, are pushing for a re-tallying of the presidential vote and, finally, a re-run of the presidential election.

In Ambassador Ranneberger's remarks during last week's CSIS event, he quickly gave his take on both parties positions:

on Kibaki’s side, his people have told him, of course, that time is on their side, that if they simply proceed unilaterally, in essence, all this is going to go away; the country will calm down and they’ll muddle along. On Odinga’s side, he’s counting on international pressure and the threat to make the country ungovernable to force Kibaki to step down or make major concessions.

We told both of them that those kinds of assumptions are dead wrong. The country’s not just going to return to normal and on Odinga’s side we’ve told him that the international community is not going to ride to the rescue and at some point, you know, people will get tired of sort of mass action.

Realising that it's going to be difficult to get Kibaki and Odinga to agree on a power-sharing structure -- as Ranneberger admits, "to be frank about it, I don’t think ... it’s inconceivable that [Odinga] would simply want to stay in the opposition and continue to make things difficult for the government" since he's been burned by Kibaki previously and has little to gain from any permanent power-sharing arrangement -- the Ambassador continued on:

So our efforts are sort of directed at trying to corral them or trap them, if you will, into a face-to-face meeting to launch a – (audio break) – and the idea would be that the process would be launched – that by getting a process launched you have to stop the immediate violence and then provide the space that’s needed to address these fundamental institutional issues which, of course, will take time.

Evidently, one of those schemes to "trap them" involved the World Bank and its Kenyan official Colin Bruce in behind-the-scenes attempts to get a power-sharing agreement signed during the visit from Ghana's John Kufuor. From the January 14 East African article cited earlier:

It was during discussion of the Harambee House meeting that the controversial agreement on power-sharing that eventually caused the talks to collapse came up.

The meeting agreed that the controversial document would form the basis of the truce and consequently the face-to-face meeting between Raila and Kibaki.

Where did this controversial document come from and did President Kibaki know about its contents? Did the president commit to implementing the controversial agreement at any point during the negotiations?

What we have been able to establish is that at the height of the ethnic violence that gripped Rift Valley Province, a group of Mombasa-based businessmen and allies of Pentagon member Musalia Mudavadi joined hands with World Bank country director Colin Bruce apparently to offer freelance secret mediation between Mwai Kibaki and Raila.

We have also confirmed from the diplomatic community that all major diplomatic missions in Nairobi were aware of the parallel mediation process that had begun long before Kufuor came into town.
...
One senior Western diplomat, speaking to The EastAfrican under conditions of anonymity, admitted having been shown the document by Mr Bruce as early as Saturday last week.

It has also emerged that the document was widely circulated to Western diplomatic missions.

Did Colin Bruce have the mandate from Kibaki to work on the agreement?

Who were the other shadowy characters working with the World Bank representative? Is it conceivable that a senior World Bank official should have involved himself in the negotiations so intimately without the knowledge of his hosts? These questions still lack answers.
...
Apparently, Colin Bruce intimated to many Western diplomats that everything was to be done secretly to prevent the hardliners in Kibaki’s Cabinet knowing what was going on.

From the Daily Nation interview with Ranneberger:

Q: One of the reasons leading to the meeting planned for last Thursday between President Kibaki and Mr Odinga being cancelled is said to have been President Kibaki’s refusal to sign the controversial agreement negotiated by representatives of both sides. You were listed alongside your British and French counterparts as witness to the agreement. What exactly was your role?

Ranneberger: We had no role whatsoever in negotiation of that document. I understand what happened is that representatives of PNU and ODM approached the World Bank and asked them to facilitate negotiation of a document that could set agenda for the way forward. That document was negotiated between PNU and ODM representatives.

They said they were in direct touch with President Kibaki and Mr Odinga. At a certain point, ODM asked President Kufuor to present to document to President Kibaki to confirm that he was in agreement with it. It was at that point that it became apparent that President Kibaki had never seen the document. 

So I don’t know exactly what happened but there was a huge misunderstanding in regard to that document. We had indicated to President Kufuor that we were prepared to witness the signing of it if the two sides wanted us to. That is how our names appeared on the document.

And from Ranneberger's remarks at the CSIS forum on the 16th:

The U.S. has been very much at the center of trying to promote dialogue, both by supporting the African Union but also directly, of course. We are uniquely positioned, I think, with credibility on both sides.
...
[On ODM objections to a power-sharing structure]
I certainly don’t think he’s going to be signing any documents without an international witness but, you know, it’s absolutely true that the level of mistrust is tremendous. That’s where I think we, particularly the U.S., comes in, in indicating a willingness to witness. And we’ve sort of avoided the term guaranteed, but I think we’re willing to go pretty far to some sort of an agreement between them.

So that's where things stand now. The U.S. has sided with the PNU in rejecting calls for a recount -- which in all likelihood is no longer possible given the time elapsed since the election, the lax security measures that allowed the inflated counts, and the general mistrust of the ECK's impartiality -- and using its influence to prevent a re-run.

Kibaki so far remains an international pariah, having received official recognition from only a handful of governments (Uganda, Swaziland, Somalia and Morocco), after such a blatant auto-coup literally following in the footsteps of the corrupt and brutal regime of Moi. (The message that will be understood from this has yet to be determined. Autocrats like Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame, and Meles Zenawi would probably rather not see a popular democracy movement succeed in Kenya and encourage similar ideas in their own nations.) Odinga, who was imprisoned and tortured under the Moi, knows all too well what is at stake. As do many other.

As the ACAS press release quoted at the outset of this report states:

The U.S. has played a central role in building up Kenya’s weaponry and internal security apparatus, now being deployed in the crisis. Current U.S.-Kenyan relations are a product of 24 years of U.S. support to the Daniel arap Moi dictatorship that jailed, exiled or disappeared those opposed to the regime.

During last week's mass protests, the world became increasingly aware of the brutality of that internal security apparatus as reports poured in of the regular police, the GSU, and paramilitaries, operating under an informal "shoot to kill" policy, firing live ammunition indiscriminately and killing scores of civilians, including those not even involved in demonstrations.

Under the larger context of the GWOT, Kenya is slipping into a national security state, which, from a historical perspective, fits in with the ideological rationale of the old cold warriors behind the U.S. institutions heavily involved in "democracy promotion" and electioneering in Kenya.

The current U.S. push for a "stable" Kenya involves (1) protecting the imperial presidency of Kibaki, first and foremost, and then (2) calling for internal reforms. Ranneberger described these reforms to the audience at CSIS -- "a package that needs to include a commitment to an agenda for institutional reform, meaning constitutional, electoral commission, land reform, the three key areas..."

In her thesis laid out in "Dictatorships and Double Standards", the neconservative academic Jeane Kirpatrick distinguished between left-wing and right-wing dictatorships, arguing that "right-wing 'authoritarian' governments are more amenable to democratic reform than left-wing 'totalitarian' states," thus providing the "intellectual" justification for continued U.S. support for authoritarian regimes, however brutal they may be. The idea, still accepted in the neoconservative worldview, is that their dictators are more open to external influence than the other guy's.

How seriously one wants to consider the notion that ODM represents a "left-wing" government, let alone one having totalitarian designs, is of lesser importance than the reality that it does pose a threat to "business as usual." ODM campaigned on the slogan of bringing change, accountability, and a more equitable distribution of the benefits that Kenya's economical advances have been reaping over the past years. It managed to unite many of the underrepresented and unrepresented populations of a very diverse nation. And therein lay the real threat - maintaining the established order of things. In terms of U.S. interests, which override all other considerations wherever the United States is involved, ODM represents instability.

The current Kenyan government and its foreign partners have much to answer for. Much blood has been shed needlessly. The chaos in the HOA has now spread into East Africa. Obscene amounts of money and efforts will be required just to provide a modicum of humanitarian assistance & subsistance for those displaced and affected by this latest, entirely avoidable, tragedy. Undelivered promises of "free and fair" elections are not to be taken lightly. Blame must be placed accordingly.

Perhaps more light will be shed on the Kenyan government's roles earlier last year in the secret detentions and other violations of international law and human rights. And perhaps, as more information comes out on the connections of the Kibaki regime in the U.S. GWOT, a fuller understanding and awareness of the U.S. role in the unfolding tragedies that have betrayed all meaningful definitions of the words democracy and sovereignty will develop and attempts at true accountability can begin.

But for the meantime, as Jendayi Frazer confidently announced to the press during her recent trip to Nairobi:

"The US confidence in Kenya as a regional strategic partner has not been threatened by the crisis and will not be.”

[You may also want to read Coup in Kenya - Part I and the comments to that piece]

Posted by b on January 21, 2008 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

Comments
next page »

merci encore b real for your work on this

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 21, 2008 12:51:56 PM | 1


thanks b real

Posted by: BenIAM | Jan 21, 2008 1:35:14 PM | 2

Do they have the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize for 'investigative blogging'? Because, surely, b real's fine work would qualify.

Drinks all around...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 21, 2008 7:10:08 PM | 3

wow, excellent b real.

it amazes me (still) what they think will pass as acceptable. the idea they can steal an election and then bargain for some sort of joint leadership! imagine getting busted for stealing your neighbors cow and then saying ' possession is worth 1/2 the rights, how bout we share it? of course it will remain in my possession but i may give you some milk if you are friendly, quit complaining and don't press charges.'

remember ohio, even when we ask for a recount, there was some 3% glitch that acted like a recount, sort of, for one district . i wish americans had the courage to hit the streets after our stolen elections. 700 dead sounds like a lot, until you compare it with how many have died in bloody conflict since those stolen elections.

excellent post.

Kenya holds Germans, Dutch for suspected terrorism

Salim Lone, spokesman for the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), said Van Dissel had been making a documentary about its leader Raila Odinga, which was aired on local television a few days before a Dec. 27 election.

one man's terror is another's truth.

Posted by: annie | Jan 21, 2008 10:00:51 PM | 4

daily nation: Rival groups' terms for talks

The Government and ODM have given hints on what they would put on the table when talks aimed at ending the current political stalemate start in Nairobi.

The Government will first ask ODM to name its negotiating team to promote national reconciliation and also push to have any disputes arbitrated in court, according to a statement from the Vice President’s Press Service.

ODM leaders, on the other hand, said they would seek President Kibaki’s resignation and a rerun of the presidential vote.
...
..speaking in Kisumu, ODM secretary-general Anyang’ Nyong’o said the party “will push for a new UN- sanctioned electoral body, serialised and independently printed Form 16A, and independently recruited electoral officers.”

Form 16A is the document on which returning officers record presidential votes garnered at constituency level for tallying by ECK.

Prof Nyong’o said they would also seek an acceptable time frame of preparation, campaigns and fresh elections.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is expected to arrive in Nairobi this morning as part of efforts to encourage dialogue between the Government and the Opposition. President Museveni is the chairman of the East African Community.
...
Mr Annan is expected to arrive in the country tonight.

daily monitor: ODM welcomes Museveni mediation

KENYA'S main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement has welcomed President Yoweri Museveni's mediation aimed at stemming the violence that followed the December 27 re-election of President Mwai Kibaki.

Mr Museveni has in the recent past been strongly criticized for being the only African head of State to have congratulated Mr Kibaki on winning the disputed poll. And claims of Ugandan troop deployment in Kenya only served to fuel tensions.

"President Museveni has telephoned Hon Raila Odinga informing him of intentions to travel to Kenya and mediate between us and the PNU in efforts to make sure that there is peace and democracy in Kenya. As the chairman of the East African Community he is welcome," ODM spokesman Salim Lone told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview yesterday.
...
Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa said at the weekend that Mr Museveni would be mediating as "As chairman of the East African Community and the Commonwealth." ODM's Lone said "We have several mediation mechanisms; we have the international community, former African Heads of States and our own East African Community must also play a role in mediating."

On alleged deployment of Ugandan troops in Kenya, ODM said they had to take President Museveni's word. "He (Museveni) assured us that there were no and will not be any Uganda troops in Kenya." Mr Museveni is slated to travel to Kenya on Tuesday.

east african: Museveni enters Kenya mediation fray as dark horse – on govt side?

Two uneasy questions have occupied minds in East Africa over the past two weeks: One, why was Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni — who is expected to visit Nairobi this Tuesday — the first, and so far only East African leader to congratulate President Mwai Kibaki, even though his victory in the December 27 poll is being disputed by the opposition and has been judged irregular by election observers?

Two, is it really true that Uganda has sent 3,000 soldiers to Western Kenya? It is not impossible, although it is improbable that Museveni has sent soldiers — particularly in such large numbers — to Western Kenya.
...
Over the years, Museveni’s actions in the region, and the continent, have become important pointers to US thinking on Africa.

It was he, for example, who played a key role in breaking the standoff between the West and his friend, Libya’s erratic Muammar Gaddafi.

Museveni may thus be the most maligned of all the mediators who have taken a shot at resolving the Kenyan crisis. But it is probably he who will have the best chance of cutting any ice with the Kibaki State House.

Posted by: b real | Jan 22, 2008 1:28:47 AM | 5

another great installment. Thanks b real.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 22, 2008 7:39:18 AM | 6

and thanks to all for the positive feedback

----

nigeria's this day: Kibaki, an Imposition of the West, Says Rawlings

Former Ghanaian Presid-ent, Jerry Rawlings, has said that the violence that erupted in Kenya over alleged rigging of the election by the incumbent President, Mwai Kibaki, is a protest against neo-colonialism and the imposition of leadership by the West. According to him, Kenyans do not want to go through the same kind of experience again hence their insistence on change.

Speaking to journalists yesterday at the Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos, Rawlings said: “Kenyans are demonstrating that enough is enough in neo-colonialism. If we have done away with coup d’etat, then let us preserve the integrity of the electoral process. And if we cannot count on the integrity of the electoral process, where do we go? This is happening in many countries in Africa, including my own country.”
...
“Since the collapse of the bi-polar power, I have always been saying that the uni-polar power has been displaying some very unethical and immoral political standard and that is a price they (African leaders) had to pay. I keep repeating this.

It does not surprise me the way economic affairs are handled, it is always as if we are living in the days of mercenary tendencies,” Rawlings said.

It does not surprise me that a country like Venezuela should swing 180 degrees south of the US, when the Soviet Union has collapsed because the economic philosophy has just swung to one extreme with government just selling all national assets to themselves and to their families. So where is this going to lead us to? It is going to lead to arson. People are being violated and there is going to be a reaction,” Rawling also said.

Posted by: b real | Jan 22, 2008 10:38:15 AM | 7

ap: Kenyan Police Divided Over Crackdown

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The police commander poured gasoline down the walls of three slum shacks and set them alight. At each home, his officers waited until his back was turned, then doused the flames.

The small rebellion is symptomatic of rifts within Kenya's police force over harsh tactics ordered to suppress opposition protests, some officers say — a new fracture in ethnic and political conflicts tearing at the country since a disputed presidential election

Several police officers sought out The Associated Press to express concern over the tough measures they have been ordered to use against opposition supporters protesting what they say was President Mwai Kibaki's theft of the Dec. 27 ballot.
...
Several police officers said they had been given "shoot-to-kill" orders, and one described "a general rebellion which has been compounded by that kind of orders."

Two officers involved in a raid on a Nairobi slum said they had refused to shoot to kill and fired their guns into the air instead.

Officers said some policemen had threatened colleagues with fisticuffs and even death in disputes over tactics. All the officers spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

The divisions further weaken a force already undermined by low pay — a recruit's monthly salary is $154 and a mid-ranking officer makes $240 — and a reputation for corruption.

One officer said tensions are so high there could be a police strike.
...
Kenya's police initially denied killing any protesters, but last week acknowledged officers had been responsible for some deaths and put the number at 82. Rights activists said the number was much higher.

At a rally Monday attended by thousands in his hometown of Kisumu, the opposition leader Odinga raged against police violence, pointing to seven bodies that had been brought into the stadium.

"You can see how our bodies are lying there dead because they were killed by ruthless police," Odinga said.

At least 53 people have been killed in Kisumu. Hospital records indicate 44 of them died from bullets. Guns have been used primarily, if not exclusively, by police in the upheaval since the election, while rioters have often used machetes and bows and arrows.
...
Two officers ... said that last week, after a train was looted as it rolled through Nairobi's Kibera slum on the last of three days of opposition protests, they were given orders to enter homes there, beat any men they found and destroy property in the homes.

"Spare a woman and a child, but everything else was to be vandalized. Any man found in his house was to be dealt with — beaten up," one of the officers said.

He and a second officer involved in the raid said their colleagues reluctantly searched houses but refused to beat people or destroy property, because many of the officers were Luo, the same ethnic group as the householders. They said the commander was from the Meru tribe, considered an ally of the Kikuyu.

On Friday, another police patrol in Kibera fired from a train, and six people died, including a 15-year-old girl.

Later Friday, the two officers said, they were told they would be returning to Kibera that night and a senior officer told them they were taking gasoline along. Houses would be burned to teach the slum dwellers a lesson, the two said.

In response, junior officers hid 15 cans of water in the three trucks that transported them, the two officers said. Some also tipped off relatives in the area about the raid, and the area was deserted when they arrived, the officers said.

The men said their senior officer set fire to shanties in three different locations and left a group to guard each. When he left, the officers doused the fires, the two said.

Two residents, Beatrice Michael and George Okumu, corroborated parts of the officers' story. Michael said she passed three truckloads of police while taking her daughter to a hospital after she was hit by a stray bullet. Okumu said residents were tipped off their homes would be burned and left the area Friday night.

The two officers said objections to such harsh tactics had been intensified by the ethnic splits plaguing Kenya. Some Luo officers have been transferred from their usual patrol areas, they said.

An officer at the Criminal Investigation Department, where the two senior officers are both Kikuyu, said he knew of at least 10 non-Kikuyu officers who had been asked to give up their sidearms. No reason was given, he said.

Posted by: b real | Jan 22, 2008 10:51:32 AM | 8

from a CFR interview w/ frazer, jan 18

Some analysts have said that what’s happened in Kenya sets a bad example for other African countries, that if you want to engage in election fraud, there won’t be any consequences brought to bear. Do you share this concern?

No, I don’t. I think this notion of contagion is overstated. Each country has its own election, its own circumstances. The head of the electoral commission has clearly said that he does not know who won this election. We from the outside should not jump to one side or the other because we don’t know either. And the United States government had two hundred observers on the ground and we’ve looked at various scenarios and depending on how you look at the scenarios, Kibaki could have won, or Raila could have won. This was really a toss-up.
...
It’s a very unique situation in Africa, but in Kenya, most importantly, where you have essentially an almost divided electorate. Essentially, about 230,000 votes may have been the margin of difference here, out of more than eight million votes. It was a very close election, and the institutions didn’t prove resilient enough to withstand this type of tie. Our institutions in 2000 [during the U.S. presidential election] had a bit of a challenge as well, but we all had confidence in our courts, whereas one side in Kenya doesn’t have confidence in its courts to provide the legal remedy.

...

Given that Kenya has played such a strong role in both Somalia and in Southern Sudan with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, where does this leave U.S. policy toward East Africa?

... more broadly, on Somalia, and beyond Somalia, really the war on terror, there are many terrorists who are transiting in and out of Kenya right now. Some of them are based in Mombasa, some are in Nairobi, who go in and out of there. Any time a country is in political crisis, these groups can take advantage of that. And so we really have to be very watchful.

also see
Al-Qa'ida's (mis)Adventures in the Horn of Africa


Why Foreign Terrorists Like Kenya

...
Two specific international factors enhance Kenya's attractiveness. First, the country's foreign policy reflects a long history of close relations with the United States and Israel, as well as the United Kingdom-the former colonial power.
...
Second, the country's geography puts it in close proximity to long-running conflicts in northern Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Rwanda.
...
Turning to domestic factors ... One is the presence of small but significant Arab, Arab-Swahili and Somali minorities concentrated in coastal Kenya, Nairobi and several other urban centers. Some of these, especially those with Arab lines of descent, maintain closer ties with their home countries. Indeed, many residents of Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu hold stronger ties with the Arabian Peninsula than with Kenya's own interior.
...
Deep-rooted and continuing shared economic interests strengthen the coastal Kenya-Arab relationship still further. The centuries-old maritime culture along the East African coast has given rise to many interlocking networks of kinship and commerce that the "modern" national borders of the Comoros, Zanzibar, mainland Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Oman and Yemen have not obliterated. Further, modern transportation and communication that fosters rapid and detailed transmission of both political and religious information and messages significantly bolster this situation.
...
Beyond these regional, historical and demographic factors, Kenya's weak governance climate makes a considerable contribution to the country's terrorist threat.

back to the jendayi interview

Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria are all regional hub countries that now are caught up in domestic political concerns—South Africa with its transfer of power, Nigeria with the situation in the Niger Delta. What countries do you see as being new or emerging leaders on the continent?

Ghana is certainly one. [Ghanian] President [John] Kufuor is the head of the African Union right now. Ghana certainly plays an important role in West Africa, in the ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] community. Tanzania is another country that’s playing a significant role in regional diplomacy. Uganda certainly is playing a significant role, not only in Somalia but also in the Congo, and a positive one. There are a lot of medium-sized countries that in fact do play [a positive role]. Senegal has always been active in regional diplomacy, and global diplomacy for that matter.

Posted by: b real | Jan 22, 2008 3:29:27 PM | 9

Superb reporting, and thanks! I thought you and your readers might be interested in the following assessment of where Kenya is now. From the Kenyan Pundit:

. . . a summary done by Billy Kahora of an interesting TV interview featuring PLO (PLO Lumumba) and Wachira Maina. Among the things spelled out:

- Annual projections of tourism over 2008 already predict that about a billion dollars might have already have been lost this year.

- Rift Valley is the breadbasket of Kenya and those who think they can run Kenya without it from Nairobi should anticipate what the current Rift Valley scenario means for agricultural and food production.

- There are 1.5 million unemployed youth – those few we see on T.V throwing stones have surplus ranks that far outweigh the police - once they learn that stopping motorists for tolls could be a legitimate way to make money life could become interesting.

- The civil service is already shitting in its pants because they now have to look at surnames before they send people to different regions.

Other highlights of the interview:

- Kibaki and Raila are at a place conflict theorists call a Clash Of Absolutes- they are two faiths arguing about which is the true religion. It is therefore pointless to continue to ask them to come to the table without stating what they will talk about like everybody is doing.

- Media won’t really help because they like everybody else have never been in this situation – they have been playing FOLLOW THE POLITICIAN. Professionals should start providing content - the first move according to Wachira would be to realize that there are POSITIONS and INTERESTS. And anyone providing content needs to bring out the latter since these two faiths are part of an upper class that is invested in the well-being of this country. Positions is what we are all seeing on the tube, and are after all hue and cry, before the real negotiations for interests takes place.

- Also, according to PLO, let us not lose the fact that this is probably the single most constitutional challenging moment this country has ever faced. While we talk peace and the meeting of the ABSOLUTES we should not forget the underlying issues that have brought us to the brink i.e constitutional issues, ethnic inequality, inter-ethnic inequality etc.

- The two argue that the clashes have been essentially classist everywhere except the Rift Valley where identity and access to resources are identical and hence ethnicity predominates.

Posted by: Xcroc | Jan 22, 2008 5:35:19 PM | 10

no mention of these meetings in either the standard or daily nation today, so.. from uganda's daily monitor
Museveni meets Raila over crisis

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni met embattled Kenyan leader Mwai Kibaki and the country's main opposition leader Raila Odinga, yesterday in efforts to quell a polls dispute that has left hundreds of people dead.

Mr Museveni arrived hours ahead of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who was also due to meet the warring sides to push for direct negotiations, a step which this month eluded Ghanaian President John Kufuor, the head of the African Union.

Mr Museveni first held a two-hour meeting with Mr Kibaki at State House. No other official was present the President's Press Secretary Mr Tamale Mirundi said by telephone from Nairobi.

He said he did not know what was discussed. But a top government official told Daily Monitor that Mr Museveni went to Kenya "favouring a power-sharing solution." By Press time Mr Museveni was at Nairobi's Intercontinental Hotel, where he met Mr Odinga late in the evening.

The spokesperson of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement, Mr Salim Lone, told Daily Monitor that they wanted Mr Museveni to exert pressure on Mr Kibaki to resign. "We hope the evidence of vote rigging we will present before President Museveni will help him to advise his colleague to step down so that we can have a democratically elected leader," Mr Lone said by telephone.

unrelated story in the same
Kagame gives job to Blair

RWANDA has confirmed that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has taken on the job of adviser to President Kagame’s government.

The Rwandan daily The New Times, on Monday quoted Dr David Himbara, the head of the Strategy and Policy Unit in the Office of the President, as saying Mr Blair is expected to visit Kigali some time next month to start his services.

"He, [ Blair] met with President Paul Kagame where he expressed interest. Shortly after that, I met him to comprehensively brief him on the situation in our country," Mr Himbara is quoted as saying.

Dr Himbara said he believed that it was a golden chance for the Rwandan government to work with Mr Blair because of his global influence.

Posted by: b real | Jan 22, 2008 11:47:14 PM | 11

Thanks for your detailed information regarding Kenya's flawed election in which Kibaki is "Accused" to have rigged in his favour.

I am a Kenyan living abroad but I have been following details of the Kenya election by KTN day in day out.From what I saw, kenyans are the real "owners" of Kenya and any attempt to muzzle their say will surely backfire.Communities have been living side by side as kenyans, doing business together, albeit ocassional clashes, robberies and sorts, from what I remember, MOI as president of Kenya, but until, when Kenyans decided it was "enough" with Moi's regime.

Raila odinga played a great Role to destablize the Moi's regime to accept people need "change" and with Raila's support, Kibaki came in as Kenya's Third president.It should be noted that Kibaki tried 2 previous assault at state house of Kenya and couldn't be elected.

Raila(Read as change) installed Kibaki with the help of Kenyans, in his previous statement, Kibaki Tosha(Kibaki is enough) made prior to 2002 elections.All kenyans irrespective of tribal affiliations unanimously voted for Kibaki while acknowledging that Raila's group had an upper hand in that transition.

When Kibaki came in, on the promise of changing the Old kenya's constitution, to have Raila(change) to run the government, some people started opposing the changing of the constitution.They wanted a "different" constitution favouring them.When referendum was called to clear the air, Raila's side won overwhelmingly to have a greater say with Kenyans.

It was last year's 2007 election that was supposed to install RAILA as a president of Kenya and rightfully install the needed change we voted Kibaki for in 2002.

Now when everything was set for Raila to dislodge kibaki from the presidency, They started to rig the elections and this is when Kenyans resorted to putting power in their hands.

I do wonder till today, How Kibaki won the presidency when he won only 1 out of 8 provinces of Kenya.His Party PNU just got some few GEMA votes and nothing more.Raila's ODM secured more than 100 parliamentary votes, a majority in parliament elected from all corners of Kenya.

Statistics and polls were all in favour of Raila and I wonder how things JUST changed all over a sudden.

Posted by: Ibraheem | Jan 23, 2008 10:06:37 AM | 12


Ibraheem, Thank You.

Kibaki is being propped up by his hard-liners and enablers (i.e USA/EU). Is his position improving or not ? How about Raila ?

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 23, 2008 8:17:49 PM | 13

wapo The Rot In Kenya's Politics

The immediate cause of the current unrest was not ancient ethnic hatred. The immediate cause was political. As happened in Ukraine, an election was held and one of the candidates appears to have stolen it. This was no piece of subtle fakery, nor did it involve anything so legalistic as a supreme court. On the contrary, with television cameras rolling, Kenyan paramilitary police stormed the conference center where votes were being counted -- and where the challenger, Raila Odinga, was said to be ahead of the incumbent, President Mwai Kibaki -- and expelled journalists and foreign observers. Soon afterward, an election official emerged to declare Kibaki the winner. Violence, apparently prepared well in advance, broke out immediately. There will be many explanations for the viciousness of what followed, but one of them, surely, is that this particular election fraud took place at a crucial moment in Kenyan history.

Posted by: annie | Jan 23, 2008 9:21:06 PM | 14

that was pg A19. buried?

Posted by: annie | Jan 23, 2008 9:21:54 PM | 15

daily monitor: Museveni proposes power sharing deal to Raila, Kibaki

PRESIDENT Museveni yesterday handed three proposals, including a power sharing deal, to his Kenyan counterpart, President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader, Raila Odinga, in his renewed push to quell a polls dispute that has left hundreds dead.

Mr Museveni's press secretary, Tamale Mirundi told Daily Monitor yesterday by telephone from Nairobi that the first proposal the Ugandan leader tabled was the creation of a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate "areas of contention as provided on both sides, especially on the claims of vote rigging."

He revealed that the two warring sides had in principal agreed to the proposal "but President Kibaki insisted that the Kenyan government should appoint members of the commission."

That position, Mr Mirundi said, was out-rightly rejected by the opposition, who said all parties should have a say in the appointment of members.
The last proposal Mr Museveni put forward was a power sharing deal, Mr Mirundi said, but the Kibaki government insisted that it cannot share power with "killers."
...
...Mr Museveni extended his stay in Nairobi and made the consensual decision not to return home yesterday, because "there was some sort of breakthrough," Mr Mirundi revealed.
...
Significantly, Mr Museveni later held a second meeting with President Kibaki, but attended by Prof. Anyang' Nyong'o, the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) secretary general, Mr Mirundi said.

That meeting brings the number of meetings Mr Museveni has held with Mr Kibaki, to three.
...
Daily Monitor also learnt that Mr Museveni was put on the spot at a meeting with Mr Odinga on Tuesday, over the alleged presence or involvement of Ugandan security operatives in Kenya.

But Mr Museveni reportedly denied the allegation and said he had intially not taken the claims seriously.

new vision: Museveni extends stay in Kenya

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has extended his official visit to Kenya by a day, in order to resolve a political dispute between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga over the December 27 presidential elections.

Museveni, who arrived in Nairobi on Tuesday, was to spend two days in Kenya. Yesterday, Museveni, who is the chairman of the East African Community, met with Kibaki for three hours, as a follow up of an earlier meeting with Odinga on Tuesday evening.

“We are staying longer. It seems there is some positive development after the talks at Nairobi State House with President Kibaki,” the presidential press secretary, Tamale Mirundi, said in Nairobi.
...
According to Tamale, Museveni has proposed power-sharing, a judicial commission of inquiry into the elections and investigations to establish who masterminded the post-election killings.

“Both President Kibaki and the opposition agree on the establishment of the commission of inquiry. However, the government insists that it must appoint the commission of inquiry while the opposition is demanding that it vets the members of the commission,” Tamale explained.

On power-sharing, Kibaki’s side is opposed to it, saying it cannot share power with the killers.

Odinga hinted he may accept the creation of a prime minister post for him. “We are ready to share power with him. He remains president and we take the position of prime minister,” Odinga told Germany’s ARD television.

standard: Chaos as Annan begins talks


Police lobbed teargas canisters at what was a peaceful mass funeral service for those killed in post-election violence, even as a series of meetings aimed at finding a solution to the political crisis began.

Intriguingly, the prayers at Ligi Ndogo grounds on Nairobi’s Ngong Road had been authorised by the Government.
...
Trouble on Ngong Road started when a lorry-load of police officers tried to disperse a group of youths who had taken control of a section of the busy road, harassing motorists and later barricading the road.

Part of the crowd had earlier chased away a contingent of GSU personnel from the scene, saying they were not needed at the funeral service.

However, a reinforcement of regular police, which arrived later, could not entertain the same treatment and responded by firing teargas and live bullets in the air.

Raila was by the time leading mourners in chanting a freedom song with the lines: "Nifungwe pingu, niwekwe jela, nipigwe risasi, nipigwe teke, sitarudi nyuma (Even if I am subjected to arrests, jail, shot at or kicked, I shall not relent)"

But he was cut short when several teargas canisters landed on the main dais, sending the Pentagon team members scampering in different directions.
...
The funeral service was conducted by Rev J. Godia of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God, for 17 victims killed by police bullets during post-election violence.

Coffins bearing their remains had earlier been removed from the City Mortuary and lay under a tent next to the dais where the leaders sat.

Some of the canisters landed on the coffins, which were abandoned by the mourners as they fled. But some elderly women remained rooted next to the coffins of their loved ones wailing as they choked in teargas.

For about 10 minutes, the Ligi Ndogo ground in Woodley was a battle zone as police chased youths.
...
As the fracas intensified, police retreated and the irate youth turned their anger on the nearby Ngong Road Telkom Exchange facility, torching it.

Also burnt were the exchange’s CDMA base station, a store and two cars after the youth brought down the perimeter wall.

About 15 employees of Telkom Kenya, who were trapped in the building, were rescued unhurt by police.

Earlier, Raila had urged ODM supporters to exercise restraint and shun violence and destruction of property.

"Let us not fight each other. Our war is between a small clique of bloodthirsty politicians around Kibaki who want to maintain the status quo and the large mass who are agents of change. Do not burn a poor man’s property. He never stole the election at KICC," Raila beseeched as he urged Kenyans to embrace peace.

During the mass, the ODM leadership vowed never to relent in their quest for justice over the disputed presidential election.

Raila, who started his speech by singing the National Anthem, reiterated his call on Kibaki to resign before he can engage with the President in dialogue.

"Kibaki must accept that he was beaten and we go to the field for a fresh election. We are ready for a re-run," he said.

Raila said ODM would not be cowed by the unjust system, saying the liberation struggle would succeed despite Kibaki’s use of brute force.

"There can be no peace without justice. Peace that is not founded on justice is like a house built on quicksand. Peace by the gun will crumble," said the ODM leader.

Posted by: b real | Jan 23, 2008 11:08:16 PM | 16

daily nation: Mass action called off after Annan-ODM talks

Sources close to the talks between President Museveni and President Kibaki’s team on the one hand and ODM on the other said a judicial commission of inquiry, power-sharing and investigations into post election violence were some of the proposals being made.

Formation of a judicial commission of inquiry is proposed to investigate claims of vote rigging by both sides.

The sources said that the government has been insisting on naming members of the commission because it is the legitimate authority.

ODM wants a role in naming commission members with a three-month deadline to deliver their report.

While ODM is agreeable to an interim power-sharing deal, the government is insisting that it cannot share power with those it accuses of engaging in mass killings. Both sides agree to investigations into post-election killings, with the government insisting that the focus should be on whether the killings were organised or the work of criminals who took advantage, and to determine who was responsible.

ODM wants the inquiry to focus on police action and the use of live ammunition in quelling the violence.

Mr Ruto who spoke on behalf of the ODM team said the party believed if given a good chance, the talks will get the country out of the current political quagmire.

The Eldoret North MP said ODM wanted to give the mediation efforts a chance, regardless of Wednesday’s interruption of a solemn ceremony to remember those who died during recent protests in Nairobi.

...

The Ugandan President had earlier in the day met ODM leaders at the InterContinental hotel where he expressed his concern over the implications of the violence in Kenya to the region.

He told Mr Odinga’s team that should the violence persist, it would not only hurt Kenya’s interests, but those of other regional states that depend on the Mombasa port.

Said Mr Lone: “President Museveni met Mr Odinga for two hours where he warned that if the violence is allowed to continue it would seriously hurt the region and all efforts must be made to find a solution.”

The Ugandan President was reported to have told Mr Odinga that he was aware of the gravity of the political issues at hand and called upon ODM to work hand in hand with President Kibaki in finding a sustainable solution.

On his part, Mr Odinga briefed the Ugandan President on how the election was allegedly rigged, the evidence in their possession and their proposals on how the crisis could be resolved.

It later emerged that ODM were insisting that President Kibaki must first admit that the election was rigged in his favour and thereafter they would discuss options for a sustainable solution.

Mr Odinga, however, later remained pessimistic about President Museveni’s role in the mediation and the timing of his visit as it coincided with that of Mr Annan.

Mr Odinga said the Government had placed President Museveni as a false confidence bridge in the eyes of Mr Annan and insisted his focus would not be diverted from dealing with the team appointed by Ghanaian President John Kufuor.

He told the Nation on phone that only a presidential re-run would bring back the hope of Kenyans whose votes were misdirected. For him to forfeit his four million votes was a great concession, he said.

President Museveni had earlier dismissed claims that Ugandan troops were in Kenya to assist in suppressing the post-election violence.

His Press Secretary, Mr Joseph Tamale Mirundi, explained that 90 per cent of Uganda’s economy depended on exports and imports from Kenya.

from an editorial in uganda's jan. 24 daily monitor

Mr Museveni flew to Nairobi not with as much advantage as the others because of what is now being referred to as his “hasty” congratulatory message to Kibaki and rumours that Ugandan soldiers have been helping out on behalf of Kibaki to quell incessant riots that have resulted in over 650 deaths.

But his mission might still offer a lot more hope for Kenya and East Africa than all his predecessors. Here is why: With or without a disputed election, Uganda more than any other East African country needs a stable Kenya whatever the cost of that stability.

Posted by: b real | Jan 23, 2008 11:25:52 PM | 17

Dear b real,

Thank you so much for your hard work and excellent reporting. The situation in Kenya has suffered a great deal from the Kibaki government's ban on media, the lack of serious media coverage (in the form of investigative journalism), and the conservative monopoly on major American media outlets. Add to this the west's tendency to stereotype blacks based on fabricated and archaic accounts of history and you have a well executed plan to rob Kenyans of our voice and, therefore, our democracy.

Needless to say and under such circumstances, there are a lot of blanks. We appreciate that you have done your utmost to fill them in and to forward the real purpose of journalism--that is, truth. All Kenyans owe you a debt of gratitude.

If you do not mind, we will repost excerpts of your work and link them back here... Please let us know if you would like us to remove the posts.

You can email us at jaluo@jaluo.com.

Regards,
Jaluo Press


jaluo.com

Posted by: Jaluo Press | Jan 23, 2008 11:44:19 PM | 18

thank you & the more people unraveling this story, the better the ending

in solidarity,

Posted by: b real | Jan 24, 2008 12:20:33 AM | 19

Thank you!

We've posted your story and linked it back to this site so that people can engage in the discussion here.

In solidarity,
Jaluo Press

Posted by: Jaluo Press | Jan 24, 2008 2:06:53 AM | 20

ips: State Overpowering People

Post-election politics in Kenya has become a war of attrition, and President Mwai Kibaki seems to be winning it, the cost to the image and economy of the country notwithstanding.
...
The key to Kibaki’s resolute defiance is unflinching loyalty from security forces.

"Much has been made of the freezing of aid by the European Union (EU), the loss of tourism revenue, and the destruction of businesses during the initial wave of violence," says a local businessman, "But as long as the police and the army are on his side, Kibaki can sustain all other pressures while the protesters cannot."

Initial rumours of dissent and dissatisfaction within the security establishment have proved unfounded. If anything, the forceful manner in which opposition rallies were crushed points to Kibaki’s complete control over the state apparatus.

Analysts say the composition of police and other security forces -- especially the General Services Unit -- partly explains their allegiance to Kibaki. "The country has had three presidents since 1963. Two of them Kikuyus -- the country’s founder Jumo Kenyatta and Kibaki -- and one Klenjin, Daniel arap Moi. These two tribes are heavily represented in the police and security forces," says a University of Nairobi professor. "As ex-president Moi is also supporting the government, his constituency within the establishment is unlikely to part ways with Kibaki," the professor stressed.

He also points out that there is no tradition in Kenya of direct military intervention in political disputes.

The opposition’s stance has also been undermined by shrewd political moves by the Kibaki. The convening of the new parliament -- in which ODM’s candidate Kenneth Marende was elected as speaker, and other elected members were sworn in -- has provided a semblance of legitimacy to the post-election political setup.

Kibaki has already named half the cabinet, and ministers have taken over their respective departments. Even if his re-election is in dispute, Kibaki has continued to conduct affairs of the state as usual.

Though many observers see ODM’s victory in the election for speaker as a moral and psychological blow against Kibaki, it means little in terms of power sharing. Also, the functioning of the parliament -- however rowdy and quarrelsome -- sent out a message that the system can work, and ODM can influence governance from within the house.

Nishet Shah, a political analyst, says the constitution of Kenya vests too much power in the office of president to make him bow to parliament. "Any person occupying the position of president has immense control… This power is overarching in nature and, despite there being a parliament and constitution in place, the president can easily bypass these," Shah told IPS.

parliament has already been adjourned until march - will kibaki allow it to resume?

Posted by: b real | Jan 24, 2008 10:59:29 AM | 21

hmm...

ranneberger, from that january 16th interview in the daily nation

Do you believe the polls were rigged to ensure Kibaki’s re-election?

... I think it would be wrong to say the elections were rigged. What I would say is there were serious flaws, serious anomalies between vote tallies announced at the constituencies and tallies announced by the Electoral Commission. These were serious anomalies that raise issues about transparency and accountability.

frazer, in the january 18 CFR interview

Some analysts have said that what’s happened in Kenya sets a bad example for other African countries, that if you want to engage in election fraud, there won’t be any consequences brought to bear. Do you share this concern?

No, I don’t. I think this notion of contagion is overstated. Each country has its own election, its own circumstances. ... It’s incorrect for us to immediately say that one side won because of rigging or lost because of rigging. What’s important to say is there was rigging. There were irregularities. Those irregularities were on both sides. We don’t know how it impacted the outcome of the election.

Posted by: b real | Jan 24, 2008 11:06:27 AM | 22

need a break? click the link, step away from your computer & let your feet have some fun

Orchestra Super Mazembe - Kasongo
(it's a shame that this version cuts waaay too early)

Posted by: b real | Jan 24, 2008 11:20:38 AM | 23

I don't think this article from the Independent yesterday has been linked to here:

Kibaki 'stole' Kenyan election through vote-rigging and fraud

Systematic electoral fraud including vote-rigging in a third of all constituencies, stuffed ballot boxes and election officials changing results had a decisive impact on the outcome of the Kenyan elections, an investigation by The Independent can reveal.

In 88 of the 210 constituencies, turnout was at least 1,000 votes higher in the presidential election than in the parliamentary poll conducted at the same time. This amounted to a total of 380,944 votes, considerably more than President Mwai Kibaki's winning margin of 231,728. Even when suspect voting practices in opposition candidate Raila Odinga's strongholds are accounted for, the extra votes for Mr Kibaki total about 350,000.
(snip)

Posted by: Alamet | Jan 24, 2008 12:32:51 PM | 24

Museveni left Nairobi this morning Kenyan time.

Posted by: DB | Jan 24, 2008 1:38:07 PM | 25

Kenya crisis: Rivals shake hands

The two rivals in Kenya's political crisis met on Thursday for the first time since a disputed election and pledged to seek an end to weeks of unrest that have killed nearly 700 people.

President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga shook hands and smiled after the closed-door talks, brokered by former United Nations boss Kofi Annan.

"I think we began to take some fair steps towards a peaceful solution," Annan told reporters gathered outside Kibaki's central Nairobi office, where the discussions took place

hrw: Opposition Officials Helped Plan Rift Valley Violence

(Eldoret, January 24, 2008) – Human Rights Watch investigations indicate that, after Kenya’s disputed elections, opposition party officials and local elders planned and organized ethnic-based violence in the Rift Valley, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks, targeting mostly Kikuyu and Kisii people in and around the town of Eldoret, could continue unless the government and opposition act to stop the violence, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch called on the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leadership to take immediate steps to stop its supporters from committing further attacks. At the same time, Human Rights Watch said the Kenyan police should urgently deploy extra officers to the region to protect displaced people and resident Kikuyu communities.

“Opposition leaders are right to challenge Kenya’s rigged presidential poll, but they can’t use it as an excuse for targeting ethnic groups,” said Georgette Gagnon, acting Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “We have evidence that ODM politicians and local leaders actively fomented some post-election violence, and the authorities should investigate and make sure it stops now.”

Research by Human Rights Watch in and around the town of Eldoret, which has borne the brunt of the Rift Valley violence, indicates that attacks by several ethnic communities against others, especially local Kikuyu populations, were planned soon after the elections.

will be interesting to see if HRW pursues the accounts of planning & arming of organized provocateur prior to the elections.

there was a story two weeks back that quoted nyanza's "police boss" grace kaindi advising the local residents to not let the outsiders come in and incite violence. i'll have to dig a bit to retrieve that one.

rumours out of nyanza laid some of the blame for the violence on provocateurs - possible ugandan - brought in by ??.

there was a rpt in the daily nation on the 14th that read Youths hired to cause chaos at Coast, say elders

Youths who caused chaos in Mombasa recently were hired, local village elders claimed Sunday.

Led by Pwani for Peace interim chairman Abdulswamad Nassir, they said the youngsters were induced with money to cause mayhem in the guise of protesting against election results.

Speaking at the Aga Khan Hall in Mombasa, Mr Nassir called on the village elders to expose the individuals who financed the youths to cause violence that resulted in the death of more than 30 people, looting and burning of buildings.
...
"It has come to our attention that some people hired thugs to cause violence in Mombasa to protest the election results. I call on elders to name the financiers of the violence so that they could face the law", he said.

Posted by: b real | Jan 24, 2008 2:30:22 PM | 26

IPS Analysis by Sisule F. Musungu: Media’s Role in the Election Fallout

As Kenyans and the international community try to come to terms with what happened, it would be useful to systematically think about the role played by the key institutions of democracy. In Kenya, the media, together with a robust civil society, has been a key force for democratisation. But as things unravelled after the elections, one could not help but wonder whether the Kenyan media could have done better, whether media could have helped forestall the fallout.
...
There is no doubt that the biggest culprit in the Kenyan chaos is the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) led by Samuel Kivuitu.

Furthermore, no one seriously thinks that the Kenyan High Court would objectively address the presidential election dispute. Not after Kibaki appointed new judges a few days prior to the elections and when the chief justice is said to have been waiting to swear in a particular candidate even before results had been announced.

The appointment of judges was a significant event that went largely unnoticed. The protests of the Law Society of Kenya and a few other groups could hardly be heard above the din of the election euphoria.

But, Kenyans have always known the weakness of the ECK and the courts, which is why looking at the conduct of the media becomes important in thinking about what went wrong.

In successive polls over the years, Kenyans have consistently ranked the media as the most trusted institution coming ahead of even the church. Public institutions such as the courts and parliament have never won the confidence of the country.

While there has been intense discussion about how the international media reported the post election violence, there has been little discussion about how the local media handled the whole situation.

The media could, and should have provided credible and useful information regarding the issues and numbers in the disputed constituencies.

The media also failed to appreciate the importance of the dispute, and reduced it to a two-man affair. The "it depends on Kibaki and Raila" approach did not, and will not help.

After what was widely believed to be a stolen election by Daniel Moi in 1992, there was a big push -- and blood was shed -- by Kenyans to establish mechanisms to guard against rigging and therefore to ensure the credibility of results. Everyone was clearly aware that evidence of rigging or lack of credibility would lead to violence in different forms -- including ethnic based violence which had been seen around that time in the Rift Valley.

Apart from safeguards related to the composition of the electoral commission -- which Kibaki ignored in appointing most of the current commissioners -- 1997 reforms established a cornerstone safeguard; the rule to count votes and announce the results for local elections, Members of Parliament, and presidential candidates publicly at each polling station and in constituencies.

This rule was not just meant to guard against stuffing of boxes or disappearances of ballot boxes during transportation etc., as happened in 1992. This rule was meant to allow the media, observers, political parties and the general public to know local results without relying on centralised tallying. Results would be put into the public domain allowing observers and any interested parties, including the political parties to compile their own tallies independently.

It is because of this rule that European Union (EU) observers of the Dec. 2007 election were able to authoritatively talk about alteration of figures at some of the constituencies they observed.

Why did the Kenyan media fail to play the role of a watchdog and use the publicly announced results at the polling and constituency level to ensure that there was no fiddling or allegation of fiddling?

Hours before the ECK declared Kibaki the winner, it was clear that the mainstream media -- with their extensive network -- had possession of most, if not all, the publicly announced results and could therefore independently come up with the tally.

pambazuka: The poverty of international journalism
John Barbieri writes about the pervasive and dangerous myths that have characterized the coverage of Kenya's post election crisis in the US and elsewhere

Posted by: b real | Jan 24, 2008 2:52:31 PM | 27

kumekucha: Kenya Politics Headed to a Grand Coalition

It looks like Kenya is headed for a power sharing deal that may also see the country establish a truth, justice and reconciliation committee. The grand coalition will operate on consensus and will see significant decentralization of executive power by the president.

As a matter of priority, the current Electoral Commission of Kenya will be disbanded and a new representative one constituted to oversee preparation for future (general) elections.

Whereas the ODM was initially pushing for a short term transitional government that would prepare for a re-run of the presidential polls, the party has significantly thawed and is ready to accept a power sharing deal with its bitter rival PNU. On the other hand, the PNU camp feels its candidate won the presidential polls 'fairly' and that a re-run is not an option. The ruling party prefers to incorporate members of the ODM into Kibaki’s vacant cabinet positions as a way of appeasing them and their supporters. The PNU is also open to the coalition idea but are reluctant to see presidential powers devolved.

It would appear that ODM/NARC are seeking permanent and independent share of political power for their parties as opposed to being mere appointees of PNU’s President Kibaki. In other words, ODM/NARC are avoiding the same treatment the LDP received during the initial days of Kibaki’s first term as a NARC president.

Posted by: b real | Jan 24, 2008 2:58:38 PM | 28

My local fishwrap reports that human rights watch blames the opposition for turning violent after loosing the election. Smells rotten...

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Jan 24, 2008 4:10:36 PM | 29

haven't had time to follow it too closely, but it looks like thursday's meetings in nairobi finally gave kibaki the image of presidential authority that he's been unable to project for himself as of late. the office... "duly elected"... photo op & "presidential" stmts... the timing of the HRW stmt...

the media, capitalists & internationals will milk that PR udder dry

ODM has their work cut out for them now

daily nation: ODM criticise Kibaki remark

ODM Thursday swiftly criticised President Kibaki over remarks that he was the duly elected Head of State.

Led by secretary-general Anyang Nyong’o, the ODM leaders said President Kibaki’s statement negated “the whole rationale for international mediation.”

“The African Union-mandated mediation team is in the country only because it is recognised that the stalemate over the stolen presidential elections cannot be resolved without neutral international mediation,” they said at a press conference.

They termed the statement unfortunate saying it could only worsen the crisis if left unchallenged.
...
The Orange leaders demanded an agreement on mediation principles and agenda with PNU for the process to formally commence.

Expressing outrage over President Kibaki’s remarks that the stalemate could be resolved internally, ODM said the mediation guidelines and agenda should be expeditiously set in writing.

Pentagon members Musalia Mudavadi, William Ruto, Charity Ngilu and Najib Balala and MPs Henry Kosgey, Omingo Magara, George Khaniri, Joseph Nkaissery and Oburu Odinga attended the meeting. They said ODM will review the process and insist on principle before continuing with further dialogue.

As far as ODM was concerned, Prof Nyong’o said, there was no government in Kenya and that his party was only having talks with PNU and its presidential candidate in the last election.

Posted by: b real | Jan 24, 2008 6:02:27 PM | 30

re organized violence

the quote that i mentioned (#26) from kaindi was in a january 14 article in the east african standard, GSU sent to quell skirmishes at border

The Government has sent the General Service Unit (GSU) to the troubled Bureti-Bomet-Nyamira border to quell clashes.

On Sunday, Bureti OCPD, Mr Charles Mukira, said least one person was killed in fighting between two communities.

"There is a lot of tension between the two communities, but we are dealing with the aggressors from either side," he said.
...
Nyanza PPO, Ms Grace Kaindi, said security teams from Rift Valley and Nyanza provinces would patrol the border until peace was restored.

She asked residents to shun external forces igniting the violence and continue co-existing peacefully.

also, the associated press ran an article on january 10,
Human rights workers say politicians paying militias in worst of Kenyan violence

Two leading human rights organization says some of the worst violence in Kenya's deadly disputed presidential election has been perpetrated by paid militias directed by politicians. They cite a long history of orchestrated political violence in Kenya.
...
Some of the attacks took on an ugly ethnic twist, with other tribes turning on Kibaki's Kikuyu people.

But the independent Kenyan Human Rights Commission said there is more to it. And it appears to involve politicians from both sides.

"What happened in the Rift Valley was portrayed as some primal irate rising up of (ethnic) communities against each other," said commission chairwomen Muthoni Wanyeki. "But our investigations indicate it seems to be very organized militia activity ... (the violence) very much seems to be directed and well organized."

As an example, she pointed to the torching of a church where hundreds of Kikuyu were sheltering near Eldoret, a western town. Dozens of people burned to death.

"One group was watching the church, and then another took over," Wanyeki said. "We say it's organized because they are working in groups of 10 to 15 people and in shifts."

She said information that could be used as evidence is being compiled in a report to be published next week and was being given to another body, the state-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, for investigation by appropriate authorities.

"Their (militia) training areas have been identified, some of the people from whom they get money have been identified," she said. "They are being paid 500 per burning and 1,000 per death."
...
[Maina Kiai, chairman of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights] said the government has promised Mungiki future immunity in return for protection for the Kikuyu people. He said his information came from several sources including Mungiki members. In a crackdown last year, police killed dozens of alleged Mungiki.
...
Wanyeki said some Mungiki gangsters have been deployed in recent days to the troubled western towns of Eldoret and Kisumu.
...
Wanyeki said reports from monitors and other sources in the countryside indicated other militias had been activated in Narok, west of Nairobi, Nakuru, northwest of the capital, in Kuresori along the western border with Uganda, and near Kisii along the western border with Lake Victoria.
...
In the run-up to elections, police questioned an assistant Cabinet minister when they found his official vehicle loaded with more than 100 swords, clubs and bows and arrows. The minister said he knew nothing about them.

from a 2002 HRW report, PLAYING WITH FIRE: Weapons Proliferation, Political Violence, and Human Rights in Kenya

The Participation of "Outsiders"

There has been much speculation as to the origin of the well-armed, highly trained soldiers who were described as outsiders. Several reports have suggested they might have been mercenaries from Rwanda or Uganda. Human Rights Watch was not able to establish the background of these men. The raiders' group clearly included Kenyans with prior military experience on whom they relied greatly, as well as some active duty members of the armed forces. The raiders, however, described one group of experienced fighters in different terms, as outsiders. In one case, a raider said that Bempa had told him the majority of the soldiers were foreigners, which he also believed to be true because of what he observed:
There were soldiers who would come for a few days at a time (about four days) to give training, then they'd shift to somewhere else. There were about fifty of them, some from Kenya, but most were from [abroad...]. Bempa would communicate with these people and he'd arrange for them to come to do the training. These soldiers would do more rigorous training, including exercising a lot (running and jumping) and using guns. They had their own guns, but I don't know where they got them. Bempa said that when the raid happens we should follow the instructionsof these soldiers, and the commanders, and that once we'd raided we too would get guns and also grenades. [...] I don't know how many of the soldiers were foreign. I just followed orders and didn't count the number to know for sure. I never spoke to them directly. I just took instructions from them. Some of the soldiers, the ones from Kenya, spoke in Swahili and the others I couldn't understand. The Kenyan soldiers would translate. Of the whole group, only a few soldiers could speak Swahili.

The testimony of a second raider also supports the contention that this group was formed largely of non-locals, possibly not of Kenyan origin. Speaking separately, he described non-Swahili-speaking soldiers who would communicate orders via the local leaders; the latter could understand the soldiers, perhaps because they were more educated and spoke English. The outsiders, as both raiders explained, only took part in early operations and soon withdrew.

A third raider said that he had heard rumors about soldiers. He said, "We tried to ask Swaleh [bin Alfan] about the soldiers because he'd said he had some. He told us, `You're not alone.' But it was a deep secret between him and the top people." He added that he had heard that "the foreigners" were at another training site. Two raiders indicated they had never seen any outsiders and, while they were aware of such claims, were convinced all the raiders on the South Coast were Digos. This view accorded with that of the authorities, who rejected claims that external actors participated in the fighting.

Posted by: b real | Jan 24, 2008 9:28:26 PM | 31

from African Studies Quarterly

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE IN KENYA UNDER DANIEL ARAP MOI, 1978-2001

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When Kenya entered the second multi-party era it was assumed that by allowing opposition to exist, the government would create an enabling environment for its citizens to freely exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights. What resulted, however, was continuity in human rights violations by the police, and government-supported armed militia and hired thugs. The arbitrary arrests, detentions, and the practice of the interference of the judiciary by the executive, also continued for most of the 1990s.

In the early 1990s, the KANU government went as far as instigating ethnic violence in order to portray the multi-party system as inappropriate for Kenya. Ethnic cleansing was introduced in order to eliminate opposition in "KANU-only zones." From various independent human rights reports, the 1992 and 1998 ethnic violence in the Rift Valley Province was deliberately inflamed for political purposes by members of the government. Violence spread in the Likoni-Kwale (Coast Province) prior to and after the 1997 general elections, in areas where opposition to KANU was strong.
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Independent investigators again confirmed state complicity in these 1997 violations of human rights. A task force appointed by KANU as well as a parliamentary committee reaffirmed the findings of the National Christian Council of Kenya (NCCK) that the state was involved in widespread ethnic cleansing in the Rift Valley.
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The use of militia to instigate violence on behalf of KANU and the government began with the 1991-1993 ethnic clashes. To attack opposition groups, "Kalenjin warriors" donned traditional attire and used arrows from South Korea transported by helicopters. Political violence also occurred in 1997 and 1998 in the Rift Valley Province, particularly in Trans Nzoia and Nakuru Districts. As in the 1992 ethnic clashes, the conflict was between pro-KANU supporters and ethnic communities that were deemed sympathetic to the opposition.
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According to human rights groups, the fact that the Provincial Administrators, the GSU, and the police were involved in the conflicts again implicated the state. An investigative report into the Likoni-Kwale violence of August 1997, produced by the Kenya Human Rights Commission, for instance, established that the causes of the violence were essentially the politicization of the socioeconomic situation in the region by local politicians. The report implied involvement of the government in that Mombassa KANU politicians, Rashid Sajad and Karisa Maitha, had paid a visit to an armed militia training camp in Shimba Hills. They reassured young men recruited from Uganda, Rwanda (mainly Hutus), and Ukunda (Coast Province) that the government was not only behind but also supported the expulsion of "up-country" people from the area.

Apart from the assumption based on evidence that the clashes were not being perpetrated by indigenous people, there are also other instances that indicate that the government was either not concerned about the human rights violations against opposition inclined ethnic groups or it was behind the attacks.

Posted by: b real | Jan 24, 2008 10:12:54 PM | 32

the creation of news & shaping of perception w/i a controlled medium


the standard: Envoy defies broadcast ban

United States Ambassador Michael Ranneberger participated in a live radio interview in spite of a Government ban on live media broadcasts.

Ranneberger said on Thursday he used the interview to reiterate his criticism of the ban.

He maintained that there should be no restrictions to media freedom.

"I’m even happy that this is a live show. I hope I’m violating the ban because I do not agree with it," said the Ambassador during a live morning show broadcast by Kass FM.

The station hosted the live interview a day after editors gave the Government 24 hours to lift the ban, failure to which they would resort to, among others, legal redress and silent protests.
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Ranneberger was hosted at Kass FM following his request to speak to Rift Valley residents through the station.

The province has been most hit by the post-election violence.

He appealed to the residents to set an example for the country by being the first to restore peace and even spoke in Kalenjin to drive his point home.

"Please, cham chit ab kokwet (love your neighbour). Set an example for the nation by establishing peace committees. Work with religious and political leaders as well as civil societies to restore peace in Rift Valley," he said.

Ranneberger in turn assured them that the US would push for justice and truth over what he termed as a flawed presidential election.

"We will use all weight and prestige of the US to get President Kibaki and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga, to talk and get Kenya out of this crisis," he said.
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Ranneberger further said his country did not recognise Kibaki since the US only recognises States and not governments.

"We cannot therefore cut aid because we have a special relationship with the Kenyan people and not Kibaki or Raila," he said.

But he was quick to point out his government’s position on the crisis, saying it had made it clear to the Government that it would not be business as usual if there were no meaningful efforts to resolve the current crisis.
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Ranneberger also poured cold water on calls for a presidential re-run, saying that could only be possible if some constitutional and electoral reforms were carried out.

Posted by: b real | Jan 24, 2008 11:30:59 PM | 33

daily nation: Chaos in North Rift unmask historical disputes over land and cattle rustling

A new wave of violence has hit the North Rift region casting doubt on the position that the ongoing mayhem was purely a result of the disputed presidential election results.

Initially thought to have targeted just one community from Central province, the violence is now targeting two other groups this time from western Kenya, raising the possibility of other causes.

Already, one church says there are indications that there could be other reasons fuelling the violence.

On Tuesday, Kitale Catholic Justice and Peace Commission official Leonard Barasa attributed the violence in Trans Nzoia to unresolved land issues.

Mr Barasa spoke immediately after Salama trading centre was set ablaze by arsonists.

His remarks came less than two weeks after Bishop Cornelius Korir of Eldoret Catholic diocese indicated that attacks in Uasin Gichu that followed the disputed election appeared anchored more on unresolved issues.

On Tuesday, more than 1,400 people from Western Province were displaced and over 200 animals stolen in Nandi North.

The district neighbours Uasin Gishu, where more than 150,000 people have been uprooted from their farms and about 100 killed in election violence.

Local residents have since renamed the farms that were predominantly occupied by people from other communities, a clear indication that they be taken up.

Currently, thousands of the displaced families camp in churches, police stations, schools and some Agricultural Society of Kenya showgrounds.

A Nation investigation points out to competition for land, tribalism and poverty as the key reasons why the violence was inevitable.

The clashes that seem to recur in the run-up to General Elections, are confined to the expansive region, especially the North Rift which is the agriculture basket of the country.

“There are several underlying factors on top of them land that the Government has never addressed to resolve skirmishes in Rift Valley during every election,” said Bishop Korir.
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Local communities strongly believe that President Moi failed to return the farms to their community when he was in power, a claim that partly explains why they ignored his advice to vote for President Kibaki during the elections campaign. “We cannot allow settler communities to continue occupying our land and vote for candidates not favoured by our people. They had to leave,” adds Eldoret South resident James Mosbei.

A number of residents interviewed said land was among the key causes of the clashes and that the polls were just a catalyst.

“Most of them found Eldoret and other towns in the North Rift as a potential places to invest. They bought fixed assets including land but failed to respect local communities,” notes Mr Mosbei.

At the same time, host communities were uncomfortable with the increasing population of the “outsiders” after some of them started venturing into political leadership.

“How can they come and rule us in our land? It is disrespectful for them to take advantage of their large numbers to oppress us,” added Mzee Jonathan Kosgei of Uasin Gishu.
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Aldai MP Sally Kosgei, who was among the first leaders to quell the tension among area residents, said most of them had intermarried and blamed the clashes on some politicians.

“All of you voted for me. Why should you turn against each other at this time?” Dr Kosgei posed.

The district has experienced fighting in virtually every General Election in what has been viewed as meant to uproot “aliens”.

also

irin: The Rift Valley’s deadly land rows

Kenya's breadbasket Rift Valley Province has experienced some of the worst ethnic clashes since December's disputed polls. But there is nothing new to the violence in this volatile region.

Posted by: b real | Jan 25, 2008 12:01:27 AM | 34

jeffrey sachs points out one of the u.s. tactics i left out of my article - attempting to assign equal blame in order to shift the heat off of kibaki

Recount Kenyans’ votes — Jeffrey D Sachs


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The election is a disaster for Kenya, but the response of the international community, led by the US, is no less distressing. American foreign policy in Africa is in the hands of Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer, a former student of Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice. From the start of the post-election crisis, Frazer took three flawed positions.

First, she declared that the vote could not be re-assessed by an independent tally. In fact, most observers on the scene believed that there was a long paper trail, from the polling sites all the way to Nairobi, which could be re-assessed in detail.

Second, she claimed that there had been vote rigging “on both sides”, and suggested that the true election results were very close and that perhaps Kibaki had won. Given the vast amount of direct and circumstantial evidence that the rigging was on behalf of Kibaki, Frazer’s assignment of equal blame to each side was met with astonishment and dismay by the opposition. She also failed to acknowledge an exit poll carried out by a US foundation, which showed a clear Odinga victory.

Finally, Frazer argued that the two sides needed to compromise and share power. Instead, Kibaki disdainfully appointed 18 key cabinet members even as “mediation” from abroad was about to begin. The opposition, of course, was perplexed by the US call for compromise without any serious call to review the vote itself.
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In dismissing such a recount, Frazer told Kenyans that they shouldn’t expect their vote to be tallied accurately, and that power can be seized or perhaps even negotiated in a backroom. She also sent an unmistakable signal to those who would steal votes: at worst, they might have to share a few cabinet positions with the opposition.

Perhaps a recount would show that the election was too close to call. Perhaps, as the opposition insists, it would demonstrate a clear victory for Odinga. Either way, Kenyans and their votes would be taken seriously, and tempers could well subside. Only if both sides accept that there was no clear winner is it reasonable to call for power-sharing (or a new election).

There is still time to get this right. The international community should stop pushing for a backroom “compromise” that ignores the popular will. Let the world stand with neither Kibaki nor the opposition, nor for an arbitrary compromise, but with Kenya’s voters.

If Kibaki rejects an independent recount, his refusal will reverberate around Kenya and the world. Those who ignore voters should quickly learn that they have no place to hide.

Posted by: b real | Jan 25, 2008 11:17:12 AM | 35

strange headline - "alleged?" - but it's a u.s. propaganda organ, so...

voa: Kenya’s Opposition ODM Unhappy With Alleged Kibaki Antics

Kenya’s main opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has described embattled President Mwai Kibaki as a fraud who the party claims is not interested in solving the political crisis in the country. The accusation followed the first face-to-face meeting between President Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga. President Kibaki reportedly said during the meeting that he won the disputed December presidential election. But the opposition accused Kibaki of hijacking the meeting and wasting the mediators’ time.

The meeting, which was orchestrated by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan aims to resolve the ongoing post-election violence blamed for the loss of lives and property. William Ruto is a leading member of the ODM who was at the meeting. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Nairobi that Kibaki’s move is distasteful.
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“While Honorable Raila went there genuinely and in good faith to try and find a lasting solution to the problem in our country, Mwai Kibaki used the occasion to talk about being duly elected and things like those,” he said.

Ruto described Kibaki’s claim as not only shameful but also detrimental to the ongoing peace talks, which is mediated by the former UN secretary general Kofi Annan.

“We have issued a statement as a party that we reject the statement of Mwai Kibaki about him being elected president because he knows the primary reason why Kofi Annan and the AU team are in Kenya is because of a stolen election. And he knows the presidency in this country is in contest. It is unfortunate that this mediation started off on a bad note,” Ruto said.

He said the opposition protested Kibaki’s action at the meeting to the former UN Secretary General.

“We have since met Kofi Annan this evening and we have expressed our dissatisfaction with the statement made by Mr. Mwai Kibaki. And they too agree with us that, that was a statement in bad faith and it was meant actually to scuttle this effort to return Kenya to normalcy and to solve the crisis that is there. It just shows Mwai Kibaki in his true colors, a fraudulent man,” he maintained.

Ruto said the opposition presented three demands to the former UN Secretary General during the first face-to-face meeting.

“We have presented three scenarios actually. One is that Mwai Kibaki lost the election and every indication supports that particular position. And therefore, if Mwai Kibaki was a reasonable person, he should have packed his bags and gone home and Raila Odinga should have been sworn in as president. Position number two, if Mwai Kibaki is in doubt that he did not lose the election we have invited him for a re-run. And now that he has Kalonzo Musyoka on his side who was candidate number three, he shouldn’t have a problem winning, if at all he won the last election. Lastly, we have told him we are prepared to sit on equal terms and negotiate how we are going to look at the options available to us. And see who would run the government because we believe in ODM we have the numbers in parliament to run government,” Ruto pointed out.

kibaki's backers are very powerful & it must be questioned just how impartial mr. annan actually is. remember that he was put into his u.n. role only because he was willing to serve interests that boutros boutros-ghali was not.

Posted by: b real | Jan 25, 2008 11:25:55 AM | 36

reuters: Kenya's Odinga rules out becoming Kibaki's PM


NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga ruled out on Friday taking a new post of prime minister in President Mwai Kibaki's government as a solution to the post-election dispute crippling the east African nation.

"I never said I was considering taking up a position of prime minister under Kibaki," Odinga told Reuters.
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..Odinga said the only three acceptable options would be Kibaki's resignation, a vote re-run, or power-sharing leading to constitutional reform then a new election.
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..he was offended by Kibaki's comments afterwards that he was Kenya's "duly-elected" president.

"Those remarks were unfortunate, calling himself duly-elected and sworn-in president. That is the bone of contention. We want negotiations with integrity," he said.

Asked if he would, however, meet Kibaki again, Odinga replied: "Yes, sure. But I would ask him to desist from making those kind of embarrassing remarks, which will definitely undermine the process of mediation."

In his first comments on the contents of the closed-door meeting, the ODM leader said it was a constructive step.

"In the meeting, we held useful discussions. We were able to give as much as we took," he said.

"The issue of post-election violence was discussed. We also expressed concerns, not just about the communal violence, but about the excessive use of force by the police."
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Odinga, who called off street protests when Annan arrived on Wednesday, said mass action was still a possibility.

"It is an option that will be looked at among other peaceful protests, like boycotts, strikes and so on. There's a whole package that is considered," he said in the telephone interview.

Posted by: b real | Jan 25, 2008 2:39:23 PM | 37

jAnam has added a link to the original post as you suggested/requested and greatly apologized for not doing so initially. Thanks

Posted by: janam | Jan 25, 2008 5:49:41 PM | 38


the Yankees had their Boston Tea Party and never looked back. Kenya had its Mau-Mau and 50 years later, self-interested Eurocentrics still have a major voice in Kenya's affairs.

A great Yankee, Tip O'Neal, once said, "All politics is local". Kenya needs to rally all its communities to build themselves up. Nobody can do for you better than you.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 25, 2008 9:18:58 PM | 39

the standard: Army helps out as Nakuru erupts

Thirty-Two people were killed in fresh flare-up in Nakuru and Molo. And Rift Valley’s capital was put on 7pm-6am curfew. Military officers in fatigues, and armed to the teeth, were brought out of the barracks to enforce law and order. Another 5,000 people were displaced in Nakuru and adjoining areas.

In Molo 20 people were killed and two guns recovered when rival groups engaged in fierce battle in By-Gum area in Sirikwa on Thursday night.

That was the sordid picture of gloom and desperation, the nasty game of guns, pangas and arrows that took shape as international mediation effort widened its scope.
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The Government deployed military personnel from Lanet barracks to contain the violence that sent terror across Nakuru, turning it into a ghost town. Businesses closed and residents fled the streets.
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The DC had hectic time controlling the angry youths from the warring communities who were baying for each other’s blood. Police struggled to clear a section of the Nakuru-Eldoret Highway that had been barricaded.

Angry youths who were armed with pangas lit born fires at Kolen bus stage near Total Junction and blocked the road with huge logs and stones.

Gunfire rent the air for the better part of Thursday night and Friday as police dispersed youths who attempted to regroup and unleash terror on their neighbours.
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A resident, Mr Joseph Kamau accused the police of failing to respond to the distress call by the residents on time, saying the attackers moved from house to house setting them on fire.

"We had to flee to Eveready junction along the Nakuru-Eldoret Highway for safety after the raiders burnt our houses and shooting at us with bows and arrows," he said.
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In Nakuru, Wanyagah led a security team backed by military personnel from Lanet barracks, as he toured Kaptembwa slums calling for peace.

"This problem has been fuelled by rumours circulating among local communities. We have received reports that members of the Mungiki gang and armed militiamen have been transported to the town to cause mayhem," he said.

Following the violence, angry youths barricaded all roads leading in and out of Nakuru town for the better part of the day as police made frantic efforts to clear the highway.


the standard: Rights group seeks evidence on killings

On Friday, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, which was created through an Act of Parliament, said it is gathering evidence. The commission revealed it has enlisted the assistance of high-level investigators from an international body based in Italy. The organisation known as ‘No Peace Without Justice’ has provided similar expertise in the Sierra Leone and Kosovo conflicts.

Ms Winfred Lichuma, a commissioner with KNCHR, said the purpose of the investigation is to find out what happened and who is responsible for the human rights violations.

"The investigation will seek to establish where alleged ‘ethnic cleansing’ took place, who incited this, planned, funded and directed the actions. Where security agents used excessive force we shall seek to know under whose direct command they executed the instructions," Lichuma said.

Lichuma said core to the investigations is the need to create a database of evidence that will be used to prosecute those found guilty of human rights violations.

"The primary purpose of the documentation and investigation is to find out what happened, why the violations occurred, who is responsible and what can be done to deal with the persons responsible," she said.

The report from the investigations will be made public in two months.
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"Information arising from the exercise will support the work of other processes, including the proposed truth and justice commission. It will also be forwarded to the ICC, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN security council," [KNCHR vice-chairperson Florence] Jaoko said.

This gives a new twist because both the Government and ODM have also said they will also be seeking justice in the international court. ODM will, if it goes ahead with its threat, and the international body accepts to adjudicate, be seeking indictment against the Government over the flawed elections and the murderous rage with which the police treated its supporters. Most of those killed by police through use of live bullets were ODM supporters.

The Government would on the other, if it is not bluffing, be seeking justice for the victims killed in the violence it has tagged ethnic cleansing. But all the groups have to first satisfy the ICC that the local court system is either unwilling or incapable of giving a judicious ruling on what is at hand.

Posted by: b real | Jan 25, 2008 11:33:11 PM | 40

kinda weird how, in his commentary i linked to in #35, sachs's third-to-last paragraph begins w/ two "perhaps" stmts

Perhaps a recount would show that the election was too close to call. Perhaps, as the opposition insists, it would demonstrate a clear victory for Odinga.

as did mine

Perhaps more light will be shed on the Kenyan government's roles earlier last year in the secret detentions and other violations of international law and human rights. And perhaps, as more information comes out on the connections of the Kibaki regime in the U.S. GWOT, a fuller understanding and awareness of the U.S. role in the unfolding tragedies that have betrayed all meaningful definitions of the words democracy and sovereignty will develop and attempts at true accountability can begin.

hmmm

Posted by: b real | Jan 26, 2008 1:03:09 AM | 41

Latest Kenya ethnic clashes kill 69

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 27, 2008 1:01:00 PM | 42

the standard: Weekend violence claims 90 lives

Thirty more people were feared dead, bringing the toll of the weekend bloodletting to almost 90 as the epicentre of the violence shifted to Naivasha, 70km from the capital, Nairobi.

And in a chilling episode, at least 16 people — most of them women and children — were burnt to death in a house torched by attackers in Naivasha.
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In yesterday’s incident only comparable to that visited on victims sheltering at an Eldoret Church early this month, charred remains of the 16 victims were crammed in a small, two-room house, where — according to witnesses — they had locked themselves up to escape the wrath of bloodthirsty youths.

"When the attacks started, youths burnt the house, trapping them inside," a resident said.

Another four were hacked to death as they fled from the marauding gangs targeting members of one community.

Others were killed and lynched after being fished out of public service vehicles on account of their tribe.

Policemen watched the unfolding chaos helplessly as Nairobi was temporarily cut-off from western Kenya.

Independent reports put the death toll in Naivasha at more than 20, but police confirmed only 10. The number could be higher as several people were reported missing.

In Nakuru, the death toll hit 60, with the number expected to rise as rival groups continued to clash. Witnesses said some of the attackers, believed to be members of the proscribed Mungiki sect, were armed with guns and wore police uniforms.

emphases added. granted, two different communities, but only roughly 40 miles apart on the highway from nairobi.

many gruesome accounts of rampage in that article - skipping over the details to

For hours, the highway was a no-gone zone as the youths searched car after another. After the chaos, the group then marched to Kabati Estate — as police watched from a distance — and moved from house to house flushing out men and women and hacking them to death.

Others took advantage of the situation to loot and torch the houses as war cries rent the air. On the highway, more cars were torched before the Kenya Army personnel intervened.

Later in the afternoon, an uneasy calm returned to the town with the Army and the police manning the streets as gun shots continued to be heard.

"Police should not take sides in this matter. Why are people being killed and robbed on the highways on their way to Western Kenya and yet the police are patrolling the roads?" Raila told The Standard by telephone.

"As a party, we are concerned about the state of insecurity," said Mudavadi, adding: "Deployment of the military is not a good sign... Police and security agents should take the lead in quelling the unrests and not the military."

Posted by: b real | Jan 27, 2008 5:33:27 PM | 43

the standard: Human Rights’ officials threatened

Human rights’ officials fear for their lives following a report released by an international group on post-election violence.

The Human Rights Watch report accuses opposition leaders in the Rift Valley of planning skirmishes in the province. Eldoret human rights organisations said the report was being linked to them yet they did not participate in its preparation.

Led by the Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRD), Mr Ken Wafula, the officials said their lives were in now danger.

"We are accused of feeding Human Rights Watch with information that led to the compilation of the report," Wafula told the Press in Eldoret.
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The Eldoret Centre Against Torture Programme Officer, Mr David Koros, described the report as "biased, lopsided and against one community".

"The report is dangerous. It singled out one community as perpetrators of the violence and overlooked where other communities were aggressors," he said.

and the timing of the report makes it highly suspect, too, coming on the same day of the photo op coordinated by mr. annan.

from a sunday article, Facing the bitter truth, in the standard

Annan’s biggest boardroom coup, so far, was on Thursday when he brought Kibaki and Orange Democratic Movement leader Mr Raila Odinga for one-on-one talks.

The leaders pleaded for peace but there was discordance — it later emerged the speech President Kibaki read with the line "your duly elected President" was not the one the other two present agreed was acceptable for the ‘occasion’ that was meant to defuse national tension.
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That, sources say, was contrary to a condition the former UN Secretary General had set that his office would ensure the statements coming out of the meeting would be promoting peace and mediation.

Before the meeting, Annan’s team had asked Raila to prepare "a two-paragraph statement" that was to be approved by Annan’s office before the ODM leader could read it to the public.

According to sources, Annan was to do the same with President Kibaki’s statement.

The President’s statement, sources say, turned out to be different from what the mediators had seen.

did annan make any public stmts about that? nothing that i saw reported. surely the wire services would have mentioned that, right?

continuing w/ the article

The key difference between ODM leaders and Kibaki emerged at the meeting where the President is said to have steered clear of mentioning disputes over election.

Sources tell The Sunday Standard that while Raila went to the meeting to discuss the disputed and discredited presidential poll results and how to end its chilling consequences, Kibaki did not mention anything to do with election.

At OP, Kibaki insisted that the leaders needed to discuss stoppage of the violence and resettlement of victims.

"There was no mention by Kibaki of what caused the violence and the use of excessive force by the police," a source familiar with what transpired said.

ODM, sources say, had yielded grudgingly to meet Kibaki, after they earlier dismissed the talks as a public relation gimmick.

as i said earlier, they got snookered.

on museveni's meetings,

ODM’s demand for a re-run appears to have been shared by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, whose mediation efforts have been clouded by mystery and public cynicism. He is one of the few leaders who congratulated Kibaki on being declared winner. His government has also been fighting off claims that Uganda soldiers are deployed to harass protesters in western Kenya.

The Sunday Standard established that Museveni presented Kibaki with a proposal in which he argued that he needed "a process that would legitimise his win".

In the document, Museveni asked Kibaki that one option was to institute a judicial commission of inquiry of prominent personalities from outside Kenya to investigate the polls.

Museveni is said to have told the President that he needed legitimacy to govern. He is said to have even used a football analogy arguing that even in the sport, "you may score a goal but the referee can cancel it".

When that happens, Museveni argued, "It does not mean you never scored. It only means you never played according to the rules".

Museveni is said to have suggested that Kibaki allows a team from the Commonwealth to investigate the polls.

He suggested that if such a team agrees that there were problems with the tallying of presidential vote, then Kibaki should organise a re-run.

If the team finds no anomalies, the East African Community chairman argued, it would give Kibaki the legitimacy he needs to rule.

Museveni’s position, sources say, was that with Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka now with Kibaki, the President should be comfortable with a re-run, counting on the Mwingi North MP to top up his vote tally.

...among others ;-)

Posted by: b real | Jan 27, 2008 6:03:51 PM | 44

the standard: Arsonists burn ECK offices in Kilgoris

Arsonists broke into the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) stores in Kilgoris and set it on fire, burning all ballot boxes and other essential materials.

The attackers raided the store 100 metres from the heavily-guarded DC’s office, then fled after accomplishing their mission. Trans-Mara District Election Co-Coordinator, Mr Pius Kangano, said the commission had lost essential documents and assets in the incident.

The raid occurred just as the ECK was planning to send a team of investigators to Kilgoris, whose parliamentary results had been nullified.

and the standard (again) w/ a short look at annan & his team
The Big Three on Annan’s peace team

Whether for real or cameras, the momentous handshake after a face-to-face meeting between Mr Mwai Kibaki and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga, gives an inkling of the credentials of the Kofi Annan-led mediation team.
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And as they embark on a healing mission to bridge the rift between the troops allied to Kibaki and Raila, The Sunday Standard looks at the credentials of the three eminent Africans.

on kofi annan
what is his likely approach to the current mess? Is he more inclined to fixing the humanitarian or political angle of the crisis? Answers to these questions could quickly help determine the direction of Annan’s mission.

Annan’s background paints him as one with more interest and ability to fix humanitarian and conflict challenges as opposed to political disputes.

Kibaki’s PNU team is more interested in sorting out the humanitarian aspect and restoring normalcy while the priority for Raila and colleagues is a political remedy since they maintain Kibaki stole the December 27 presidential election as a baffled nation watched.

Annan’s perceived leaning towards the United States is another possible pointer to the path he plans to pursue. The former UN boss, who has lived, worked and studied extensively in the US, has variously been described as the super-power’s blue-eyed boy.

When he took over from Egypt’s Boutros Boutros-Ghali as UN chief, it was anticipated that Annan would serve for a single term to complete the ten-year period slotted for Africans. The second term of Ghali was vetoed by the US.

When he sought a second term in 2001, the US President George W Bush spearheaded the global campaign for him.

And the US media, even in the current crisis, has not done Annan good service by over-praising him and by projecting him as having done all in his power to be sensitive to American priorities.

The US priorities in the Kenyan question, to quote former Law Society of Kenya Mr Abdulahi Ahmednassir, are driven by "enlightened self-interests".

The US, he says, is interested more in short-term peace and not democracy.


on graca machel
Having had a brush with the political and tribal realities in Kenya during Nepad audit in 2005 and 2006, Machel is best placed to understand the crisis.

She is therefore suited to guide her colleagues through mediation.
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But there are situations that Machel’s APRM panel failed to capture right. On conflict resolution, the team notes that "Kenya’s role in pacifying her neighbours and bolstering various conflict resolution mechanisms is admirable and to be emulated." Curiously, Kenya is now unable to resolve her own political quagmire — the reason Machel is around.

In her findings, Machel also lauds the Electoral Commission of Kenya, stating it is a credible body judging from "the manner it conducted the referendum. The body not only exercised its independence, but the results were also declared 24 hours after voting with neither camp disputing the outcome."

Today, the body stands indicted. It is largely responsible for the current crisis and most Kenyans now this.
...
Over the years, she has gained international recognition for her achievements and won several global awards.

The awards have mainly been in recognition of her human rights efforts, especially those of women and children. This could mean she is keen on a long-term solution that takes into account human rights.


on benjamin mkapa
The only politician in the panel, Mkapa’s inclusion is an informed decision that takes into account the fact that the problem at hand is political.

The former Tanzanian President (1995-2005) understands best the situation Kibaki finds himself in and the relentless push by ODM’s Raila for justice and democracy.

Mkapa gives the panel the impetus to arrive at an apt political solution.
...
Incidentally, Mkapa is familiar with the Kenyan situation, having suffered an almost similar fate in 2001.

Then, an estimated 2,000 Zanzibaris, mostly from the Pemba Island, fled to Kenya following the post-election violence in January.

The Opposition Civic United Front party chairman, Mr Ibrahim Lipumba, wanted a re-run of the presidential poll, claiming the elections had been rigged.

It will be interesting to see how Mkapa, who ignored the plea, handles the Kibaki-Raila standoff.

that's the objective political mediator, eh?

Posted by: b real | Jan 27, 2008 6:41:59 PM | 45

the east african: Can Annan rescue Raila and Kibaki from the clutches of hardliners?

According to our sources, Annan had argued that a meeting between Kibaki and Odinga would not only be an important signal to the country but would also symbolise hope.

Consequently, Annan’s team quickly worked out the terms of engagement for the meeting between Raila and Kibaki.

First, it was agreed that the meeting, which was scheduled to be held at Harambee House in Nairobi’s city centre, would have very few people.

Second, that during the face-to-face meeting, Kibaki and Raila would show each other and agree — in advance — on the contents of the public statements that they would make after the meeting, after having shaken hands before the cameras.

Apparently, things did not go according to Annan’s plans. As the parties prepared to meet, the staff supporting his team were surprised to learn that almost the whole of the Cabinet had been invited to the meeting at Harambee House.

On the ODM side, Odinga turned up accompanied by Pentagon member William Ruto and personal aide Salim Lone.

Our sources told us that neither the Cabinet ministers who flocked to Harambee House nor Ruto were allowed to attend the one-on-one parley. Only Annan joined the duo in the discussions.

What transpired during the one-on-one discussions is still a closely kept secret.

But apparently, Annan’s staffers and the ODM side say that the statement that Kibaki read during the photo opportunity was not the same as the one that had been approved by the mediation team.

Did somebody alter the president’s speech between the short time of the one-on-one meeting with Odinga and Annan and the time they emerged from Harambee House for the photo opportunity?

This remains an open-ended question.
...
Our sources from Annan’s team also told us that he lodged a quiet protest note to Kibaki against his “having been duly elected” remark.

“All issues are on the table including the issue of leadership,” he said in the note.

yea, "quiet" as in silent...

..What is emerging is that a very influential constituency on President Kibaki’s side consider the mediation process a mere tactic to buy time — providing the breathing space for a return to the business-as-usual game.

The stakes are very high indeed for them, because they fear that the mediation process will reveal the sins the Electoral Commission of Kenya may have committed and — therefore — expose their culpability in the fiasco.

The standard refrain from this group is that elections can only be challenged in a court of law.

the writers consider these to be the "hardliners" surrounding kibaki. as i pointed out in my original post, this "standard refrain" arguing "that elections can only be challenged in a court of law" has also been a u.s. talking point. infer as you will.

Odinga’s side is not easy to please, either. First, there are hardliners on his side who do not even believe that a power sharing deal is a realistic option. They want Kibaki to step down. Period.

is this really a "hardliner" position? if kibaki did not win and then engaged in blatant authoritarian tactics to secure a 'victory', a "coup", if you will -- employing an internal security apparatus to remove everyone from the building, announce some highly contested totals, and then immediately have himself sworn in before declaring a ban on live media & all public protest -- then why should one comprise w/ him on recognizing the legitimacy of his authority?

if the coup had been ran in this situation by any other than the insurgent (to the detriment of his external backers), would anyone seriously be now refering to those who object to legitimating that seizure of power as 'hardliners'?

anyway, what is entirely left out of this line of thinking in the linked article, as in so many reports & analyses post-election, is the will of the people & what their votes actually expressed.

where are the 'negotiators' that will respect the process of representative democracy?

Posted by: b real | Jan 27, 2008 11:44:33 PM | 46

kenya today: ICJ calls for interim government

The Kenyan chapter of the International Commission of Jurists has proposed that the ongoing negotiations work on the formation of an interim government based on some form of power sharing.
...
The ICJ further argues that the Electoral Commission of Kenya can actually cancel the presidential poll results, saying that section 123 (11) of the Constitution confers holders of public office in Kenya with the powers to invalidate their actions.

The section of the constitution indicated by the ICJ states: “Where a power is conferred by this Constitution to make an order, regulation or rule, or pass a resolution or give a direction or make a declaration or designation, the power shall be construed as including the power, exercisable in the same manner and subject to the same conditions, if any, to amend or revoke the order, regulation, rule, resolution, direction, declaration or designation.”

The ECK has on several occasions indicated that it has no authority to cancel the disputed results unless a court orders the measure be taken.

The ICJ proposal indicates that an interim political settlement is the best option because there was minimal trust in the country’s judicial system, and the ECK had proven to be ineffective going by the way it conducted last year’s election.

ICJ is proposing that the interim government institute legal reforms in the Judiciary and the ECK, and then organise a fresh election. The ICJ proposal states that challenging the election results within the current laws may not help solve the current stalemate.

According to the commission’s chairperson, Mr Wilfred Nderitu, the caretaker government would operate on a power-sharing basis and be made up of persons selected by the two sides, but who are not politically active.

“This government should be made up of civil servants and technocrats, and would be mandated to first stabilise the country and resettle the displaced people,” said Mr Nderitu.

The group is suggesting that the reforms in the Judiciary be structured in line with proposals made in the Bomas Draft Constitution of 2005.

--------------


upstream i've mentioned the jendayi frazer interview @ CFR a couple times already. time for another citation

Given that Kenya has played such a strong role in both Somalia and in Southern Sudan with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, where does this leave U.S. policy toward East Africa?

frazer: On Sudan, the most immediate impact of the crisis in Kenya is on our approach to implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement [CPA]. Kenya was the lead of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development—the IGAD countries—which we had hoped would convene a major conference to bring both the north and the south together to see how the region and the international community could address such questions as the impasse over Abyei [disputed oil-rich territory in Southern Sudan], and the issues of preparing for the elections. Now it’s unlikely that conference is going to take place anytime soon, so we will probably have to look at a different approach to mobilizing the region and the international community to support CPA implementation.


monday's sudan tribune is running this article
Kenya bans critical study on Igad role in Sudan peace process

The Kenyan government banned a critical study on the IGAD mediation of Naivasha peace talks between the Sudanese government and the former rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, Sudan Tribune has learned.

The fact is back to July 2007 when Kenya, chairman of the IGAD, objected the presentation of an evaluation of role of the regional body in Sudan’s peace process commissioned by the IGAD because it was very critical to the role of the mediation team headed by Lazaro Sumbeiywo, Kenya special envoy for peace in the Sudan talks.

The Sudanese researcher, John Young, was surprised to learn when he arrived to present his study at an IGAD meeting held in Mombasa on 9 July 2007 that Kenya took exception of his paper and threatened to cancel the conference if his paper was accepted by the IGAD secretariat.

Young criticized the fade role of the regional organization and said in his paper that the real player was the US Administration and deplored the absence of regional actors.

"The US, and not Kenya, dominated the peace process and that Kenya has for many years been widely held to be under the influence of the US and Britain, and hence represented their interests at the negotiations." He told Sudan Tribune.

For some months after the conference, IGAD demanded that he makes a series of changes to my paper to satisfy the Kenyans. "Since there was no provision in my contract with IGAD to make any changes, I refused." He added.

study Sudan Igad Peace Process: An Evaluation May 30, 2007

some excerpts


...
In the wake of the 9/11 attack on the US, the Americans increasingly called upon Kenya to assume a major role in the war on terror because of its strategic location its large Moslem population who lived on the coast across from the volatile Gulf. The terrorist bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi in August 2000 in which most of the victims were Kenyans served to further link Kenya to the US and its policy objectives in the region. As a result and in addition to British bases that had long been in the country, land was granted to the US military in north-eastern Kenya, Mombassa became a major centre for Western warships patrolling the Gulf, and intelligence cooperation expanded. And with the growing link being drawn in the US between national security and the Sudan peace process, the Americans would be reassured that Kenya was designated to play the dominate role and that the negotiations were to be led by General Sumbeiywo who had received education in the US, previously directed the Kenyan intelligence service, was the head of the army, and developed relations with the leadership of the SPLM/A during the retreat from its bases in Ethiopia in 1991.

...

Although IGAD received the mandate for conducting the mediation, provided the mechanism for the mediation, gave it legitimacy, and received funding, it had the least influence on the mediation of any of the groups considered here. The mandate, as noted elsewhere, was clear in giving IGAD the authority to conduct the mediation and establish a secretariat, but after that power largely passed to the Government of Kenya. IGAD’s continuing role was not made clear and the CPA did not provide for it to play any role in the post-peace agreement period. Moreover, it appears to have had no say in the appointment of the chief peace envoy whose selection was formally made by President Daniel arop Moi. And while the mandate stipulated that Sumbeiwyo must report back to the IGAD Secretariat it would appear that was only a nominal charge and he understood that the real power holders lay elsewhere.

...

For the most part, the influence of Britain, Norway, and Italy was limited, while US influence was widely felt, although not easily calculated. The significance of the US to the peace process was in the words of one diplomat ‘inevitable given its status as the sole super-power’ and also given the timing of its intervention, while Presidential Advisor Ghazi Salahdien said that the US was as integral to the peace process as the SPLM/A and the GoS (Khartoum, 26 May 2004). The US did not usually lead or dominate the actual peace process and there is only minor evidence of direct American manipulation of the negotiations, and hence the claim that it ‘brokered’ the talks is not strictly speaking true. But its influence was felt at many levels and probably most significantly by contributing enormously to the context in which the peace process took place and the climate of the talks.

...

The US oil industry was well placed to influence the Bush Administration since the president and a number of his leading colleagues had close links with the industry. The oil industry was upset that the benefits of its efforts at establishing the industry in Sudan were being reaped by a handful of Asian companies and Talisman Company of Canada. The American oil companies saw, however, that without a peace agreement the US Congressional embargo would continue. Thus it is can be surmised that the oil companies urged Bush to achieve a peace agreement in Sudan that would permit the embargo to end and provide the necessary security for them to consider operating in Sudan. The oil industry’s interests thus dovetailed with government policy which linked US security to diversifying its energy sources away from the unstable Middle East and increasing its share of oil from Africa.

However, in the wake of the Islamist attacks on the US, acquiring information on Islamist groups through cooperation with the Sudanese security services, protecting allies in the region from Islamists, and deepening engagement in the Sudan peace process all flowed from the growing perception that America’s security was linked to the course and outcome of conflicts like that in Sudan. And all of these endeavours could be subsumed as part and parcel of the ‘war on terrorism’. ... Against that background, the US found it expedient to heighten its engagement in the peace process by, first, utilising the framework of IGAD; second, operating through a Quartet of loyal allies, and accepting the local management of the process by Kenya, which had long done the bidding of Britain and the US. What had been a genuinely regional peace initiative became, with trappings to provide the necessary legitimacy, an American sponsored, if not led, process.

...

US policy on Sudan was also strongly influenced by the close personal relations of three of their leading officials with Garang –Brian de Silva in the Department of Agriculture, Roger Winters at USAID, and Andrew Natsios, formerly in USAID and currently the special envoy of President Bush. Strongly committed to Garang over many years, they were instrumental in both advising Garang on how to win the acceptance and later support of the USG and to convince the American Government that a rebel leader widely assumed to be a communist could become a valued ally. Indeed, they never failed to boost the image of Garang, to the point that he acquired a personality cult in some circles of the US by the late 1990s.

...

the experience of IGAD has been one of administrative and political weakness on the one hand, and the domination of the resulting peace process on the other by the US and its close allies operating through Kenya, a state which has a history of subservience to Western interests. Although it provided a measure of legitimacy and a formal structure, the IGAD Secretariat had almost no other role in the Sudan peace process. The financing was largely funnelled through the Government of Kenya and GTZ, the Special Envoy reported to Nairobi, and IGAD had no control over him. The Secretariat staff reported to the Special Envoy, the observers were responsible to their respective countries, as were the ambassador-envoys. The Council of Ministers rarely questioned the Kenyan led mediation. Moreover, IGAD had no capacity to structure the peace process, influence its course or objectives, and was not even permitted under the CPA to play a role in the post-conflict
era.

Although not clear in the actual negotiations, the real power behind the peace process largely lay with the US. And the US held contradictory objectives; on the one hand it wanted to build up the mediation and security capacity of the AU and its sub-regional components like IGAD so that they could be given increasing responsibility for security concerns on the continent, in particular the war on terror, and on the other, President Bush and his administration wanted to reap political benefits in the domestic forum for their leadership in the peace process, particularly at a time when the US was being widely criticised for its aggressive policies in Iraq and elsewhere in the Moslem world.


finally, from the study's exec summary

The conclusion of the US and its allies that their security and the ‘war on terror’ necessitates heightened military and diplomatic involvement in the Horn raises fears that the region could again – as it was during the Cold War – become a focus of competition and conflict for external interests.

reshift your interpretation of the GWOT as 'the global war on resistance'. do away w/ much of the specious (& racist) arguments on 'terrorists' and just maybe a clearer understanding of the role of proxy nations will take shape.

GWOT, however, and similar to the imminent communist menace of yore, provides the cover story for more imperialist designs. re kenya, that pretext is outlined in the case study i linked to earlier, from west point's combatting terrorism center, which operates w/ a specific definition of terrorism -- "we use 'terrorism' with reference to Islamic 'extremism'". concluding the specious attempts at building up the case for GWOT focus on the east african nation, it concludes

Painting Kenya as a stronghold for al-Qa'ida and other terrorist activity is an overstatement. In many ways, it remains East Africa's leader in both political and economic terms. Yet it is Kenya's very stature that makes it such a decisive battleground between al-Qa'ida and the West in the Horn of Africa as a whole. Its track record as a target for terrorists, combined with the underlying conditions of weak governance and religious-ideological influence on the Coast, suggest that future terrorist attacks are likely. Efforts to defeat al-Qa'ida will require the U.S. and its allies to wade through a complicated set of actors and issues. Without the predictable operating environment offered by Kenya, it is unlikely that al-Qa'ida would have been able to mount effective operations in the Horn in the past. We therefore believe Kenya is the decisive point in the Horn of Africa.

Posted by: b real | Jan 28, 2008 2:03:30 AM | 47

kenya today: ICJ calls for interim government

The Kenyan chapter of the International Commission of Jurists has proposed that the ongoing negotiations work on the formation of an interim government based on some form of power sharing.
...
The ICJ further argues that the Electoral Commission of Kenya can actually cancel the presidential poll results, saying that section 123 (11) of the Constitution confers holders of public office in Kenya with the powers to invalidate their actions.

The section of the constitution indicated by the ICJ states: “Where a power is conferred by this Constitution to make an order, regulation or rule, or pass a resolution or give a direction or make a declaration or designation, the power shall be construed as including the power, exercisable in the same manner and subject to the same conditions, if any, to amend or revoke the order, regulation, rule, resolution, direction, declaration or designation.”

The ECK has on several occasions indicated that it has no authority to cancel the disputed results unless a court orders the measure be taken.

The ICJ proposal indicates that an interim political settlement is the best option because there was minimal trust in the country’s judicial system, and the ECK had proven to be ineffective going by the way it conducted last year’s election.

ICJ is proposing that the interim government institute legal reforms in the Judiciary and the ECK, and then organise a fresh election. The ICJ proposal states that challenging the election results within the current laws may not help solve the current stalemate.

According to the commission’s chairperson, Mr Wilfred Nderitu, the caretaker government would operate on a power-sharing basis and be made up of persons selected by the two sides, but who are not politically active.

“This government should be made up of civil servants and technocrats, and would be mandated to first stabilise the country and resettle the displaced people,” said Mr Nderitu.

The group is suggesting that the reforms in the Judiciary be structured in line with proposals made in the Bomas Draft Constitution of 2005.

--------------


upstream i've mentioned the jendayi frazer interview @ CFR a couple times already. time for another citation

Given that Kenya has played such a strong role in both Somalia and in Southern Sudan with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, where does this leave U.S. policy toward East Africa?

frazer: On Sudan, the most immediate impact of the crisis in Kenya is on our approach to implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement [CPA]. Kenya was the lead of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development—the IGAD countries—which we had hoped would convene a major conference to bring both the north and the south together to see how the region and the international community could address such questions as the impasse over Abyei [disputed oil-rich territory in Southern Sudan], and the issues of preparing for the elections. Now it’s unlikely that conference is going to take place anytime soon, so we will probably have to look at a different approach to mobilizing the region and the international community to support CPA implementation.


monday's sudan tribune is running this article
Kenya bans critical study on Igad role in Sudan peace process

The Kenyan government banned a critical study on the IGAD mediation of Naivasha peace talks between the Sudanese government and the former rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, Sudan Tribune has learned.

The fact is back to July 2007 when Kenya, chairman of the IGAD, objected the presentation of an evaluation of role of the regional body in Sudan’s peace process commissioned by the IGAD because it was very critical to the role of the mediation team headed by Lazaro Sumbeiywo, Kenya special envoy for peace in the Sudan talks.

The Sudanese researcher, John Young, was surprised to learn when he arrived to present his study at an IGAD meeting held in Mombasa on 9 July 2007 that Kenya took exception of his paper and threatened to cancel the conference if his paper was accepted by the IGAD secretariat.

Young criticized the fade role of the regional organization and said in his paper that the real player was the US Administration and deplored the absence of regional actors.

"The US, and not Kenya, dominated the peace process and that Kenya has for many years been widely held to be under the influence of the US and Britain, and hence represented their interests at the negotiations." He told Sudan Tribune.

For some months after the conference, IGAD demanded that he makes a series of changes to my paper to satisfy the Kenyans. "Since there was no provision in my contract with IGAD to make any changes, I refused." He added.

study Sudan Igad Peace Process: An Evaluation May 30, 2007

some excerpts


...
In the wake of the 9/11 attack on the US, the Americans increasingly called upon Kenya to assume a major role in the war on terror because of its strategic location its large Moslem population who lived on the coast across from the volatile Gulf. The terrorist bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi in August 2000 in which most of the victims were Kenyans served to further link Kenya to the US and its policy objectives in the region. As a result and in addition to British bases that had long been in the country, land was granted to the US military in north-eastern Kenya, Mombassa became a major centre for Western warships patrolling the Gulf, and intelligence cooperation expanded. And with the growing link being drawn in the US between national security and the Sudan peace process, the Americans would be reassured that Kenya was designated to play the dominate role and that the negotiations were to be led by General Sumbeiywo who had received education in the US, previously directed the Kenyan intelligence service, was the head of the army, and developed relations with the leadership of the SPLM/A during the retreat from its bases in Ethiopia in 1991.

...

Although IGAD received the mandate for conducting the mediation, provided the mechanism for the mediation, gave it legitimacy, and received funding, it had the least influence on the mediation of any of the groups considered here. The mandate, as noted elsewhere, was clear in giving IGAD the authority to conduct the mediation and establish a secretariat, but after that power largely passed to the Government of Kenya. IGAD’s continuing role was not made clear and the CPA did not provide for it to play any role in the post-peace agreement period. Moreover, it appears to have had no say in the appointment of the chief peace envoy whose selection was formally made by President Daniel arop Moi. And while the mandate stipulated that Sumbeiwyo must report back to the IGAD Secretariat it would appear that was only a nominal charge and he understood that the real power holders lay elsewhere.

...

For the most part, the influence of Britain, Norway, and Italy was limited, while US influence was widely felt, although not easily calculated. The significance of the US to the peace process was in the words of one diplomat ‘inevitable given its status as the sole super-power’ and also given the timing of its intervention, while Presidential Advisor Ghazi Salahdien said that the US was as integral to the peace process as the SPLM/A and the GoS (Khartoum, 26 May 2004). The US did not usually lead or dominate the actual peace process and there is only minor evidence of direct American manipulation of the negotiations, and hence the claim that it ‘brokered’ the talks is not strictly speaking true. But its influence was felt at many levels and probably most significantly by contributing enormously to the context in which the peace process took place and the climate of the talks.

...

The US oil industry was well placed to influence the Bush Administration since the president and a number of his leading colleagues had close links with the industry. The oil industry was upset that the benefits of its efforts at establishing the industry in Sudan were being reaped by a handful of Asian companies and Talisman Company of Canada. The American oil companies saw, however, that without a peace agreement the US Congressional embargo would continue. Thus it is can be surmised that the oil companies urged Bush to achieve a peace agreement in Sudan that would permit the embargo to end and provide the necessary security for them to consider operating in Sudan. The oil industry’s interests thus dovetailed with government policy which linked US security to diversifying its energy sources away from the unstable Middle East and increasing its share of oil from Africa.

However, in the wake of the Islamist attacks on the US, acquiring information on Islamist groups through cooperation with the Sudanese security services, protecting allies in the region from Islamists, and deepening engagement in the Sudan peace process all flowed from the growing perception that America’s security was linked to the course and outcome of conflicts like that in Sudan. And all of these endeavours could be subsumed as part and parcel of the ‘war on terrorism’. ... Against that background, the US found it expedient to heighten its engagement in the peace process by, first, utilising the framework of IGAD; second, operating through a Quartet of loyal allies, and accepting the local management of the process by Kenya, which had long done the bidding of Britain and the US. What had been a genuinely regional peace initiative became, with trappings to provide the necessary legitimacy, an American sponsored, if not led, process.

...

US policy on Sudan was also strongly influenced by the close personal relations of three of their leading officials with Garang –Brian de Silva in the Department of Agriculture, Roger Winters at USAID, and Andrew Natsios, formerly in USAID and currently the special envoy of President Bush. Strongly committed to Garang over many years, they were instrumental in both advising Garang on how to win the acceptance and later support of the USG and to convince the American Government that a rebel leader widely assumed to be a communist could become a valued ally. Indeed, they never failed to boost the image of Garang, to the point that he acquired a personality cult in some circles of the US by the late 1990s.

...

the experience of IGAD has been one of administrative and political weakness on the one hand, and the domination of the resulting peace process on the other by the US and its close allies operating through Kenya, a state which has a history of subservience to Western interests. Although it provided a measure of legitimacy and a formal structure, the IGAD Secretariat had almost no other role in the Sudan peace process. The financing was largely funnelled through the Government of Kenya and GTZ, the Special Envoy reported to Nairobi, and IGAD had no control over him. The Secretariat staff reported to the Special Envoy, the observers were responsible to their respective countries, as were the ambassador-envoys. The Council of Ministers rarely questioned the Kenyan led mediation. Moreover, IGAD had no capacity to structure the peace process, influence its course or objectives, and was not even permitted under the CPA to play a role in the post-conflict
era.

Although not clear in the actual negotiations, the real power behind the peace process largely lay with the US. And the US held contradictory objectives; on the one hand it wanted to build up the mediation and security capacity of the AU and its sub-regional components like IGAD so that they could be given increasing responsibility for security concerns on the continent, in particular the war on terror, and on the other, President Bush and his administration wanted to reap political benefits in the domestic forum for their leadership in the peace process, particularly at a time when the US was being widely criticised for its aggressive policies in Iraq and elsewhere in the Moslem world.


finally, from the study's exec summary

The conclusion of the US and its allies that their security and the ‘war on terror’ necessitates heightened military and diplomatic involvement in the Horn raises fears that the region could again – as it was during the Cold War – become a focus of competition and conflict for external interests.

Posted by: b real | Jan 28, 2008 2:04:48 AM | 48

reshift your interpretation of the GWOT as 'the global war on resistance'. do away w/ much of the specious (& racist) arguments on 'terrorists' and just maybe a clearer understanding of the role of proxy nations will take shape.

GWOT, however, and similar to the imminent communist menace of yore, provides the cover story for more imperialist designs. re kenya, that pretext is outlined in the case study i linked to earlier, from west point's combatting terrorism center, which operates w/ a specific definition of terrorism -- "we use 'terrorism' with reference to Islamic 'extremism'". concluding the specious attempts at building up the case for GWOT focus on the east african nation, it concludes

Painting Kenya as a stronghold for al-Qa'ida and other terrorist activity is an overstatement. In many ways, it remains East Africa's leader in both political and economic terms. Yet it is Kenya's very stature that makes it such a decisive battleground between al-Qa'ida and the West in the Horn of Africa as a whole. Its track record as a target for terrorists, combined with the underlying conditions of weak governance and religious-ideological influence on the Coast, suggest that future terrorist attacks are likely. Efforts to defeat al-Qa'ida will require the U.S. and its allies to wade through a complicated set of actors and issues. Without the predictable operating environment offered by Kenya, it is unlikely that al-Qa'ida would have been able to mount effective operations in the Horn in the past. We therefore believe Kenya is the decisive point in the Horn of Africa.

Posted by: b real | Jan 28, 2008 2:05:21 AM | 49

the british govt have moved on now

the standard: Britain states its stand on Kenya

The British Government has denied claims that it does not recognise President Kibaki and his Government.

British Minister for African Affairs, Mr Mark Malloch-Brown, said his Government respects Kenya and has never at any one time said it does not recognise Kibaki and his Government, adding that Britain remains a great friend of Kenya.

Speaking today at State House, Nairobi, after delivering special greetings to Kibaki from British Prime Minister, Mr Gordon Brown, Mr Malloch-Brown said the British Government was impartial in the political impasse in the country.

Malloch-Brown also conveyed the British Government’s donation of £1 million (Sh135m) towards the resettlement of those affected by the violence.

President Kibaki welcomed the clarification from the British Government, saying Kenya was surprised by earlier reports that had alleged an unfavourable stand against the Government by Britain.

But when contacted, the British High Commission Head of Press and Public Affairs, Ms Charley William, said: "The issue of recognition was not discussed by either side during Malloch-Brown’s visit to State House on Monday. The British Government’s stand on the election is very clear".

Williams said Britain recognises states, not governments.

daily nation: UK impartial, says visiting minister

The British Government is impartial in Kenya’s current political crisis, the visiting minister for African Affairs, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, has said.

He was speaking at State House, Nairobi, after delivering a special message to President Kibaki from Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Present were British high commissioner to Kenya Adam Wood and Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Thuita Mwangi.

UK deputy minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Meg Munn was last week reported to have told the House of Commons that Britain did not recognise President Kibaki’s Government and that it would not give aid to Kenya until the dispute over the results of the presidential election was resolved.

Yesterday, President Kibaki welcomed the clarification saying he was surprised by earlier reports that had alleged an unfavourable stand against the Kenyan Government by Britain.

Lord Malloch-Brown said Kenya was a highly regarded country in the region and that the post-election violence that had caused loss of lives and destruction of property was regrettable.

saying one is impartial on such a matter is a more polite way of stating that you don't disagree w/ it, or rather, you're quite alright w/ it

Posted by: b real | Jan 29, 2008 12:09:52 AM | 50

kofi annan is moving the negotiations beyond the goal of settling the election results

daily nation: Annan’s peace agenda

Mediator Kofi Annan has spelt out the terms of reference and agenda for the peace talks aimed at ending the political crisis facing the country.
...
The documents setting the negotiations framework, that were sent to the two sides in the political crisis on Sunday evening, are being highly guarded with only a select two or three people accessing them.

Yesterday, the Nation learnt from a UN official and the two sides in the dispute, that Mr Annan, whose team includes former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa and Mrs Graca Machel, had ranked an end to the violence as the first item that the negotiators would have to address.
...
The killings have increasingly taken a new pattern with Mr Annan, Government MPs and ODM leaders conceding that the clashes were no longer confined to protests against disputed election results.
...
Yesterday, the British minister of State in charge of Africa Affairs, Lord Mark Malloch Brown, and US ambassador Michael Ranneberger held talks with Mr Odinga and urged ODM to speak out against the violence in which at least 600 people have been killed. The British minister also held talks with President Kibaki at State House, Nairobi.

Mr Odinga’s press secretary Salim Lone said after the meeting at the Serena Hotel: “The meeting discussed the issue of violence and noted that it was getting out of control. That it was bad enough, must be stopped and that it was not acceptable to justify the latest turn of killings to elections protests,” he said.

While agreeing with them, Mr Odinga was understood to have stated that for the fighting to end totally, the elections dispute must be resolved.

ODM later held a press conference where they condemned the violence and urged Kenyans to stop killing each other with a promise that both sides were seeking peaceful solutions to the election dispute.

The second item on Annan’s mediation agenda was finding a solution to the disputed Presidential elections in which the Electoral Commission announced that President Kibaki won with 4.5 million votes against Mr Odinga’s 4.3 million.
...
A top officer in the mediation team told the Nation that a number of issues had been presented for consideration, among them the question of leadership in the country. It is understood to have stated that ODM must recognise President Kibaki as the President and that a legitimate Government had been constituted.

The Government also wants ODM leaders, who they accuse of being behind the violence, to condemn the killings and urge their supporters to end the chaos.

The Kibaki team also wants their rivals to move to court to challenge the President’s re-election, saying only the courts can declare that the President was in office illegitimately.

In addition, they have ruled out a power-sharing deal and a re-run of the Presidential elections.

On their side, ODM have demanded that President Kibaki accept that he lost to Mr Odinga and should resign to pave way for a re-run of the presidential election.

Their last option was an interim government where they would share power in line with a formula to be determined by each party’s strength in Parliament as they await for a fresh election.

Posted by: b real | Jan 29, 2008 12:21:21 AM | 51

the AU never even felt the need to move on ... it never contested kibaki's coup to begin with

voa: Kenyan President to Attend AU Summit

The African Union has accepted Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki as his country's sole representative at this week's A.U. summit. VOA's Peter Heinlein at summit headquarters in Addis Ababa reports African leaders rejected a request by Kenya's opposition for equal treatment.

Kenya's Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula Monday confirmed that President Kibaki would attend the gathering of African heads of state and government beginning Thursday in the Ethiopian capital. At least 40 African leaders are expected to be on hand, along with several other dignitaries, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The Kenyan foreign minister told reporters A.U. officials would recognize only the Kibaki delegation, effectively rejecting a request from the opposition Orange Democratic Movement that he be denied recognition on the grounds that his election is in dispute.

"The African Union has no basis for not recognizing the government of President Kibaki. As you can see, I'm here as the foreign minister of Kenya, representing the government of President Kibaki, and the people of Kenya," he said.

Wetangula said African Union Commission Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare had refused to meet ODM leaders.

"I had a meeting today with the chairman of the Commission, Konare, saying they had requested an audience and he had told them no. The Union cannot accept agitating oppositionists to come here and foul the environment," he said.

Orange Democratic Movement Secretary-General Peter Anyang Nyong'o confirmed that he had been denied an audience with Konare. He said he had wanted to argue that by accepting Mr. Kibaki but denying the opposition ODM the same privilege, the African Union is taking sides in Kenya's election dispute.

"We told them because there is mediation going on, the very subject of mediation, about the legitimacy of Kibaki's administration and therefore Kibaki should not be allowed to address the summit if the ODM is not allowed to address the summit. But you know the A.U., in spite of its many principles, is like peace of God, it passeth all understanding," he said.

Anyang Nyongo'o said opposition leader Raila Odinga would not attempt to attend the summit unless he received a formal invitation.


meanwhile

The christian science monitor: Kenya's infamous Mungiki sect gears up for reprisal killings

NAIROBI, Kenya - They gave warning to the unwelcome neighbors to leave. Then they came – dozens of young men with machetes – and hacked away at any members of the Luo tribe that they could find.

They are the Mungiki, a quasi-religious militia recruited to protect the interests of Kenya's largest and most prosperous ethnic group, the Kikuyus. Nearly finished off last summer during a government crackdown, the Mungikis have reemerged in a series of recent attacks in the Nairobi slum of Mathare that killed three and maimed more than a dozen others.

"When you see that your tribesmen are being sidelined and then slaughtered, you have to stand up and say 'No.' We fight back," says Peter, a senior Mungiki, who spoke on condition that his real name be withheld.

"Mainly our strategy is to be brutal and to send a message," he shrugs. "Sometimes it means beheading or dismembering. But the goal is to instill fear and send a message that unless they don't change what they are doing something bigger will happen to them."

Human rights activists say that militias like the Mungiki are the main reason why the postelection death toll has been so high.

Unlike spontaneous violence between neighbors, organized militias like the Mungiki sect have the capability and motivation to keep the murderous cycle of revenge attacks going for weeks.

"Initially, we were seeing three kinds of violence," says Muthoni Wanyeki, executive director of the Kenyan Human Rights Commission. Disorganized violence in villages tended to rise up suddenly, but fizzle out quickly. Organized militias – with paid, motivated members – have kept the violence going and have largely led the charge in expelling minority ethnic groups by force. Police use of extreme force – live bullets rather than water cannons or tear gas – has also stirred ethnic passions.

A fourth type of violence has now emerged, as displaced people carry back stories of horror and spur on calls of revenge in communities that had previously been peaceful. "Now we are seeing a communal response in areas where it has not happened before," says Ms. Wanyeki.

Posted by: b real | Jan 29, 2008 1:06:51 AM | 52

@juan moment

ips: Dubious Aid Handed to Kenya

BRUSSELS, Jan 30 (IPS) - Just one day after Kenya's bitterly disputed presidential election took place in December, Nairobi received an aid payment worth nearly 41 million euros (60.5 million dollars) from the European Union.

In their defence, EU officials have said the money was dispatched before they saw any evidence that the poll had been rigged in favour of incumbent president Mwai Kibaki.

Now that the Union's own electoral monitors have confirmed that major questions surround the conduct of the election, should the Brussels institutions suspend direct aid to the Kenyan authorities?

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) think they should.

This week, several of them expressed frustration with the stance taken by EU's Council of Ministers, which bands together the Union's 27 member governments.

In a statement, the governments warned that a "failure to find a sustainable and consensual political solution" would have implications for aid donors' relations with Kenya. But it ruled out taking any concrete action for the time being, given that Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations, is seeking to broker an agreement between Kibaki and his rival Rila Odinga to end the current impasse.

Glenys Kinnock, a Welsh Labour MEP, believes that this is too timid a response to the violence that has erupted in recent weeks, killing over 800 people and driving 300,000 from their homes.
...
Kinnock said that she was not calling for no aid to Kenya but that it should not be paid into its national coffers.

Between 2002 and 2008, the EU gave 290 million euros (425 million dollars) to Kenya. This is set to increase to 383 million euros between now and 2013. Roughly one-third of that sum is to be funnelled directly to the Nairobi administration.

The decision to allocate such a high proportion to the national authorities came despite a high-profile corruption scandal.
...
Kinnock added that it is questionable whether direct aid has brought tangible benefits to Kenya's poor. "Kenya has seen a 6 percent rise in GDP (gross domestic product), yet it has more people living below the poverty line," she said. "The trickle-down effect is not happening in Kenya."
...
Louis Michel, European commissioner for development and humanitarian aid, has made no secret of his desire to see greater use of direct budgetary assistance. Earlier this month, he announced that he wishes to see half of all aid administered by the European Commission paid out in this way by the time his stint in the EU executive concludes next year.

Anti-poverty activists recognise that there can be advantages to direct aid, instead of spending it on a wide variety of different projects. Recurring costs such as the salaries of teachers, doctors and nurses can be met more easily, for example, if there is a guaranteed flow of funds to central authorities.

In practice, though, they complain that no assurances have been given that direct aid will be used to meet the most critical needs of the poor.
...
Slovenia, the new holder of the EU's rotating presidency, opposes freezing direct aid.

Andrej Ster, Slovenia's minister for development aid, said that doing so could hurt people living in poverty. "Actions that trigger off any negative consequences would hardly be justifiable," he said.

But Portuguese MEP Ana Gomes drew a parallel between the Union's position in this case and what she described as the "weak and miserable EU reaction" to the political crackdown that followed a 2005 election in neighbouring Ethiopia.

"All the opposition in Ethiopia were arrested and stayed in jail for two years," she added. "The EU is giving a signal to Kenya that it could go the same way. We are sending the wrong message."

currently foreign powers -- u.s. as well, if only in rhetoric -- are using the threat of sanctions to compel kenyan officials to produce something out of annan's mediation attempts.

Posted by: b real | Jan 30, 2008 12:12:57 PM | 53

reuters: INTERVIEW-Rwanda suggests military option for Kenya crisis

KIGALI, Jan 30 (Reuters) - The leader of Rwanda, which suffered a genocide in 1994, said intervention by the military may be the only way to halt Kenya's escalating ethnic bloodshed.

"This is a case of emergency where certain things have to be done very quickly to stop the killings that are going on. There's no time to go into niceties and debates when the killings are taking place," President Paul Kagame told Reuters.
...
Kagame said the Kenyan army might have to take over before things get worse. "I know that it is not fashionable and right for the armies to get involved in such a political situation. But in situations where institutions have lost control, I wouldn't mind such a solution," he said.
...
Kagame said he knew his suggestion of military intervention was a radical one. "I might sound controversial but in the wake of such senseless killings with no immediate solution, if anybody suggested that (military) option to me, I would say I agree with it," he said.

"It is not too late for Kenyans to look back and see how our country went down the drain in the past and I don't think we would wish a similar thing for any country."

plenty of reasons the army hasn't been used extensively yet - questions of troop loyalty, as pointed out in the first part, being only one of them

Posted by: b real | Jan 30, 2008 3:30:52 PM | 54

press release from u.s. senator feingold's office today

SENATE PASSES FEINGOLD-SUNUNU MEASURE SUPPORTING PEACEFUL RESOLUTION TO KENYAN ELECTORAL CRISIS, CONDEMNING RECENT VIOLENCE

Bipartisan Resolution Also Calls for International Audit of the December 2007 Kenyan Election Results

Washington D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution authored by U.S. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and John Sununu (R-NH), condemning the recent violence in Kenya following the country’s December 2007 elections and calling on both of Kenya’s leading presidential candidates to support a peaceful resolution to the electoral crisis. The bipartisan resolution introduced by Feingold and Sununu, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs respectively, also calls for an international audit of the election results.
...
Feingold said. "The U.S. Senate is also now on record in support of an independent and transparent review of the entire electoral process and its outcome. I hope President Bush joins us in calling on Kenya’s political leaders to refrain from igniting violence and remain engaged in the U.N.-led international effort to bring peace to a troubled nation."

what is the u.n. position on recognising the announced results as legitimate?

Posted by: b real | Jan 30, 2008 6:27:07 PM | 55

the standard: Faces that hold key to Kenya’s future

The Standard reliably learnt that four items top the agenda to be tabled in the Annan mediated talks between President Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga. They include immediate action to stop violence and restore fundamental rights and liberties.

Talks will also centre on measures to be taken to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis and promotion of reconciliation and healing.

Discussions on the political crisis would include power sharing, constitutional review and reform of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK).

But with a political settlement for the disputed December 27 presidential election still far off the radar and with a breakdown of law and order threatening the very fabric of the nation, police issued a shoot-to-kill order.

Already, the Government has partially involved the military in restoring order in spots perceived as highly volatile as the crisis that has claimed more than 800 lives and displaced at least half a million continued to spiral out of control.
...
The shoot-to-kill order outlined the categories of law-breakers the police will target.

"There are four categories of people who will face tough police action: Those [1] looting property, [2] burning houses, [3] carrying offensive weapons and [4] barricading roads," AFP quoted a commander of police, who sought anonymity, as saying.

The officer added: "We have orders to shoot to kill these categories of people if they are caught in the act."

On Wednesday night, Commissioner of Police, Maj-Gen Hussein Ali, said police were now under instructions to "enforce the full force of the law".

"Any person found engaging in these crimes (as categorised above) must be prepared to face the full force of the law. Police will take robust action at all times to protect the lives and property of Kenyans in accordance with the law," the top cop said in a statement.

The order was conveyed to all police commanders a day after Annan launched crisis talks between President Kibaki and Raila.

The shoot-to-kill order followed an announcement by President Kibaki that officers would "firmly" deal with criminals who destroy property or breach the peace.

Earlier, Raila had expressed concern over what he described as an unofficial shoot-to-kill order being "applied selectively".

"There is a shoot-to-kill order which is being selectively applied in parts of the country friendly to ODM," the Lang’ata MP said. "Illegal gangs are enjoying the backing of police in Kibera and perpetrating violence."

(in the previous admin, michuki had issued shoot-to-kill orders last march for anyone even seen w/ a weapon at some point.)

Internal Security minister, Prof George Saitoti, gave an assurance that police would intensify highway patrols and provide armed escort to convoys heading to Uganda.

But even as Saitoti spoke, Kikuyu township exploded into violence as marauding militias evicted members of some communities, blockaded roads using boulders, lit bonfires and robbed motorists at will.

Police responded using batons and teargas.

"We have decided to act tough on those manning extortionist roadblocks. We have put in place measures to make sure our roads and those that link us to Uganda and other countries are cleared of any interference," Saitoti said.

Adding to Saitoti’s voice was Defence Permanent Secretary, Mr Zachary Mwaura, who said the military would continue operating within the law under their mandate according to the Military Act.

Mwaura said the Government had made arrangements to provide military escort to trucks and trains carrying goods.


the standard: Military accused of brutality

A group of army officers frog-marched and whipped youths while forcing them to remove illegal roadblocks in Eldoret.

The officers caught on camera, used sticks and gun butts to beat up youths, who had allegedly erected the roadblocks at Ngeria along the Eldoret-Nairobi highway.

An officer was seen kicking one of the youths as they frog-marched them from one roadblock to the next for about five kilometres.

The youths raised their hands in surrender but the officers continued whipping them and forcing them to walk on their knees.

The incident sparked outrage from locals who accused the army of using force to quell internal conflicts.

"The police and GSU do not treat us in this manner. They prevail upon us to open the road temporarily and we heed their pleas. The use of force by the army has angered us," said Mr Peter Toroitich.

the standard: Raila laments violence and killings

The ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga, has condemned widespread violence.

He also lamented the killing of people, including his Langa'ta constituents, and warned that such acts would jeopardise peace talks.
...
He asked President Kibaki to honour his commitment to the mediation process. Raila said: "Yesterday (Tuesday), Kibaki called for peace and order, but moments later, his officers opened fire on my constituents."

He added: "I am making a direct appeal to Kibaki to order an end to the senseless killings. It either stops or the talks would be derailed."

Kibera DO, Mr Kepher Maruge, accompanied Raila at a charged security meeting where residents complained of excessive police force.
...
Raila demanded that police be withdrawn because they were aggravating the situation and causing tension.

"Let the police arrest criminals and take them to court rather than use excessive force," he said.

On Tuesday, Kibaki and Raila met under the chairmanship of former UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, and promised to travel the road to peace and reconciliation through mediation.

"We will do everything possible, but I do not see much commitment from the PNU side," Raila said.

He singled out the pledge to stop police shootings of innocent people during protests.

"There is still a shoot-to-kill order that is being selectively applied in parts of the country friendly to ODM," Raila claimed.

He alleged: "Illegal gangs are enjoying the backing of police in Kibera and perpetrating the violence."

The Langa'ta MP said Kibera should be spared alleged police anarchy.

"I have come to Kibera because my people are being killed by police like flies. These are martyrs of the struggle for justice," said Raila.

Posted by: b real | Jan 30, 2008 11:33:43 PM | 56

(headline writer w/ a sense of humor? or on the dole)

daily nation: US threatens to intervene

Foreign countries may impose a solution on Kenya to end the post-election crisis if its leaders fail to reach a workable settlement, the United States warned Wednesday.

Its tough message came as international pressure mounted on the rival factions led by President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga to reach settlement to the poll dispute, which has left more than 850 dead and over 350,000 displaced in one month.

Dr Jendayi Frazer, the US top diplomat for Africa, said she planned to consult African leaders meeting in Addis Ababa this week on the way forward, and warned that a solution from outside the country could be imposed on Kenya if it does not solve its own problems.

“We’ll find an international mechanism if they can’t find it internally,” she said.

Her comments were echoed by the Secretary of State, Dr Condoleezza Rice, who stressed the urgency for Kenyan leaders to find a solution.
...
On Wednesday, Australia’s Foreign minister Stephen Smith announced that his government officials in Kenya would limit their contact with Cabinet ministers over the disputed election result.

Mr Smith said Australia did not want to perceived as supporting any of the parties in the conflict.

“I’ve indicated today that we will start now to limit ministerial contact in Kenya as part of our responses to seeking to encourage all the political leaders in Kenya to commence sensibly the mediation processes which Kofi Annan is trying to affect,” he said.
...
Separately, a group of international donors announced that they were freezing Sh2.9 billion to the Governance, Justice, Law and Order programme which has helped reform the country’s prisons, the prosecution department in the Attorney-General’s office and the police department.

daily nation: Donors suspend key funding

Donors have suspended funding worth millions of dollars to one of the most important government programmes.

The affected programme is the Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector Reform Programme. State agencies benefiting from the programme dating back to 2005 will lose funds to the tune of Sh2.9 billion.
...
The decision affects Medium Term Strategy Three funding, which was supposed to begin this financial year.

Police, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights the National Registration Bureau and National Youth Service are affected by the move. Others are the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Law Reform Commission, the Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee, the AG’s Office, and Prisons Service.

Police and prisons workshops, equipment purchase, and law reform human rights campaigns in the media are specifically affected.

The commission stands to suffer the most, as 90 per cent of its programmes are funded by the governance reform programme, with the Government only paying staff salaries and office rent.
...
Swedish ambassador Anna Brandt confirmed the aid suspension pending the outcome of mediation brokered by former UN chief Mr Kofi Annan.

“We are not going to enter into new contracts with the Government following the current political crisis,” she said, and expressed disappointment that violence currently being witnessed in Kenya had taken ethnic dimensions and must be stopped.

Posted by: b real | Jan 31, 2008 12:00:49 AM | 57

McClatchy has a good piece detailing the election fraud:

How Kenya's election was rigged

The spark for Kenya's firestorm of ethnic violence was lit inside a cavernous meeting hall in downtown Nairobi, where election officials over four days doctored vote counts, dismissed eye-popping irregularities and thwarted monitoring by independent observers to deliver a razor-thin victory to President Mwai Kibaki.
...
The extent of the commission's deceptions has faded into the background as more than 800 Kenyans have been killed in ethnic clashes and police crackdowns. The events also have deeply unsettled the Bush administration, which has relied on Kenya as an ally in the war on terror and a bulwark of stability in East Africa.

Official results gave Kibaki an edge of 231,728 votes, or 2 percent, out of about 10 million cast. Initial results of an exit poll by the U.S.-funded International Republican Institute found that rival Raila Odinga had won by an 8 percent margin.

Election officials allowed five accredited Kenyan observers into the tallying center in Nairobi only in the final phase of vote-counting, and three of them shared their accounts with McClatchy. All said that the gravest cheating occurred in that room, where commissioners — all appointed by Kibaki — compiled returns before announcing them to the public.
...
The long-serving chairman of Kenya's election commission played an active role in the deception, the observers said. When a tallying officer presented results showing voter turnout at 115 percent in Maragua, a Kibaki stronghold in the central highlands, commission Chairman Samuel Kivuitu didn't invalidate the result as required by law, but allowed a commissioner to reduce the figure to 85 percent and announced the results an hour later.

That was the pattern that observers reported: Results were announced even when documents were missing, incomplete, unsigned by officers or party representatives, incorrectly tabulated, photocopied or forged.
...
In at least 44 out of 210 constituencies, officials in Nairobi had announced vote totals without any supporting documents from the polling centers. In most places the announced totals were off by hundreds or thousands from what journalists, party agents and foreign observers had witnessed at polling places.
...
At his table, Melli saw numerous constituencies that lacked tally sheets or official signatures, but whose results had been certified anyway. In one folder, he found two tallies for the same place — one a signed original, the other an unsigned photocopy that had been altered to give Kibaki about 3,000 more votes.

The photocopied version had been used.
...

See also this graphic

Posted by: b | Jan 31, 2008 8:35:05 AM | 58

that article is based in large part on the observers cited and documentation compiled in the 'countdown to deception' report that Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice put out a couple weeks ago.

another excerpt from the mcclatchy article

The Electoral Commission of Kenya, an independent body [ha-ha] whose members are appointed by the president, had run national elections in 2002 and 2005 that were praised for their openness and accuracy.

But except for Kivuitu, who'd served as chairman since 1997, this was a largely different commission. As members faced term limits in the months before the vote, Kibaki — facing the stiffest presidential challenge ever in Kenya — packed the 22-person body with 17 new commissioners. All were considered Kibaki allies, and none had ever run an election.

there's a story around kivuitu too, involving kibaki trying to get rid of him last year but ODM and outside actors pushing for him to remain chairman, which would be worth exploring further. see Kivuitu's Yes And No On His Exit

Polls boss Mr Samuel Kivuitu reacted strangely to his re-appointment, which was welcomed by a guarded and skeptical Opposition that called for renewed vigilance.

"I am happy but I would not have died. I already had many plans for my retirement. I would have enrolled for theology studies or engaged in writing," Kivuitu, speaking at his Nairobi office soon after his re-appointment, stated.

Saying Yes and No to the renewal of his five-year term by President Kibaki yesterday, Kivuitu said yes, he would oversee this year's election but retire immediately thereafter as the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) chairman.

This statement left most political observers baffled, considering that he had set his own terms for accepting a renewal of his tenure.

"Five years or nothing," Kivuitu famously declared only days ago, as a storm brewed over his future. But last night, he denied having given conditions for his re-appointment saying that he had only stated the law.

"I was merely stating what is obvious because I realised that some people wanted my term extended to use me for the election only. The law is very clear on the duration and I am not foolish," Kivuitu said.
...
The Party of National Unity (PNU) termed the renewal of Kivuitu's contract as a good move.

"By retaining him, the Opposition will now be made to look elsewhere for excuses after losing. But most importantly, Kivuitu has been there for many years and the President wants to use that experience," said Information minister Mr Mutahi Kagwe. "Those who were complaining loudly have been proved wrong".
...
A commissioner with the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights (KNCHR), Mr Hassan Omar Hassan, described the polls boss' reappointment as a first step towards free and fair elections.

"Kivuitu has the confidence of the public and he is capable of ensuring that the elections are free and fair," Hassan said shortly after news of the reappointment broke.

He, however, added that it was unfortunate that President Kibaki had to wait for pressure from the Opposition, diplomats and human rights groups to make the decision.
...
The East Africa Law Society (EALS) welcomed Kivuitu's re-appointment, saying it would preserve the integrity of the General Election. But the society's president, Mr Tom Ojienda, said there was need to review the framework under which ECK operated with regard to appointment of commissioners.
...
Kaddu chairman, Mr Cyrus Jirongo, commended the President and said the extension of the chairman's term would allay fears the Government wanted to rig the elections using ECK commissioners.

"By retaining Kivuitu, the President has restored stability at the ECK. Had he ignored demands that the chairman be retained, then the credibility of the entire process would have remained questionable," Jirongo said.

and right after that reappointment there was another controversy over kivuitu which called his integrity into question. will have to do a bit more research - however, there are hundreds of people reading this thread so please share any insight/info/links/observations/feedback that helps connect all the dots.

Posted by: b real | Jan 31, 2008 11:31:43 AM | 59

ap: US Backs Off 'Ethnic Cleansing' in Kenya

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department backed away Wednesday from its top African envoy's description of postelection violence in Kenya as "ethnic cleansing," saying it was too early to characterize the situation in such terms.

In comments aimed at easing emotional reactions to the phrase and potential comparisons to Rwanda's genocide and the ongoing conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, department spokesman Sean McCormack indicated that Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer had been speaking for herself when she used the term "ethnic cleansing."

"She made some comments based on her firsthand assessment from a trip several weeks ago," McCormack told reporters, pointedly refusing to repeat the words, which refer to targeted attacks on and forcible displacements of specific ethnicities by people from other ethnic groups.

Asked repeatedly if the Bush administration shared Frazer's assessment, he replied: "She said what she said. I am going to stick to what I said." He also said that much of the violence was the result of "political tensions."
...
McCormack said it was more important to restore security to Kenya than it was to define the violence.

"All of this points to the need for the two political leaders, President Kibaki and Mr. Odinga, to come together, work with (Annan) to find a political solution, because the violence springs from the political tensions that have arisen in the wake of the contested election," he said.

excerpt from a letter by the executive director of the ugunja uommunity resource centre

Much has been speculated about the causes of the ongoing civil violence in Kenya. With the perspective of more than two decades of experience in community work, my own view is that the root problems are not tribalism, and not even politics (which has only been an inciting spark), but rather, a long history of trenchant poverty and the once-simmering, now boiling desperation of a generation of Kenyan youths who have been denied basic life opportunities. The primary perpetrators of the ongoing violence and unrest are ambitious young men, aged 15 to 35, with nowhere to go thanks to a soaring unemployment rate. Their anger has seethed at the surface for a long time. The post-election fracas has merely provided an opportunity for tensions to explode, and the aggression by youth has been carried out in an effort to gain attention to their “cause,” which, truth be told, is a thoroughly just one: economic opportunity, the ability to lead a life of purpose, the ability to provide for one’s family.

For this reason, the solution to the crisis lies not in combating tribal enmity or perhaps even in bringing our country’s political feuding leaders to a peaceful compromise. Rather, at the local level at least, we believe the solution requires addressing the deep-seated and psychologically debilitating material needs of our young people.

Posted by: b real | Jan 31, 2008 11:49:38 AM | 60

The next mixed message from the U.S. Government will likely be the result of differences not within the State Department, but between the department and Congress.

The State Department has been calling for a power-sharing agreement because diplomats believe it would be very difficult to determine who won the elections. The ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, contributing from Nairobi to a recent Washington panel discussion, dismissed a recount. Documents had gone missing or been altered, he said, and a new election would be a "huge trauma".

But on Wednesday the United States Senate passed a resolution supporting an international audit of the election results. Next Tuesday, the House of Representatives will enter the action, holding a hearing on Kenya.

U.S. Govt Sends Mixed Messages on Crisis

Posted by: b real | Jan 31, 2008 11:59:11 AM | 61

the peacock report: US-Funded Kenyan AIDS Project Could Be Cash Cow for Multinational High Tech Firms

Though the U.S. may consider suspending some financial assistance that it sends to Kenya, such a freeze is not slated to affect a large-scale HIV/AIDS initiative that the U.S. plans to embark upon in that embattled African nation, a State Department spokesman said today. Consequently, multinational corporations such as Lockheed Martin, MAERSK Line, Bearing Point, and Chemonics likely are breathing a sigh of relief, as the technology divisions of those companies are seeking a piece of the $500,000,000 "Pharma Project" pie.

Dozens of representatives from these and other government contractors in Nov. 2007 attended a State Dept. conference in Nairobi to discuss potential contracting opportunities related to the endeavor, according to documents that The Peacock Report located through a routine search of the FedBizOpps database. However, this half-billion-dollar segment of the Pharma Project "will not entail actually procuring laboratory materials and equipment such as rapid test kits, reagents or machines," a presolicitation document shows. On the contrary, the document notes that funds instead will be used "to establish and operate a safe, secure, reliable, and sustainable supply-chain management system [emphasis added] to forecast, procure, store, and distribute the drugs, supplies, and equipment needed to provide care and treatment of persons with HIV/AIDS in Kenya."

Posted by: b real | Jan 31, 2008 5:18:32 PM | 62

it doesn't take a lieutenant columbo to solve this one...

from the CSIS forum cited previously

Q: ..with regard to parliament, parliament seems to be quite weak in Kenya. What can they [ODM] do if they wanted to make the country ungovernable? I mean, are we talking about holding up the budget? What could they really do? Thanks.

Ranneberger: Well, in terms of parliament, which is important, the parliament does have very limited authority. You’ve got an awfully strong executive; I mean, of course ODM can shut down Kibaki’s desire for a legislative agenda. There were over a dozen pieces of legislation being pushed by the government that were pending in the last session of parliament, that’s one avenue. The other is, of course, the budget; they do have real authority on the budget and that’s about it. And of course, you can also have a push within parliament. I mean, there’s a huge potential there of a vote of no confidence, but that has a real downside. You know, I don’t think ODM will pursue that. It’s only a simple majority, which they’re very close to, they’re within one or two votes and might be able to get that, to have a vote of no confidence. If they have that, then that precipitates a new election.

...

The other is to try to push through an agenda, again, for institutional reform. Some of that would require constitutional changes, which would require two-thirds in the parliament and, you know, all of that but some of it, things like land reform or reform of the electorate commission, some of that as I understand, although we haven’t gone into a lot of detail, but some of that can be done without constitutional change, so they could do that with a simple majority. So, you know, a simple majority gives them the ability to push a lot of different types of legislation, some of which – including on corruption and this sort of thing, some of which might not be to the government’s liking. So it’s a pretty powerful tool if they can get a majority, and that’s going to depend on there’s still three seats that have not been decided because the elections were disrupted. They think they’re going to get two, if not all three of those seats, and they’ve also got the appointed members of parliament that they’ll be doing six. So they’ll be hovering right on the cusp of a majority of 112. So I do think it’s a powerful tool, and that’s why I think it does change the dynamic.

The speaker in the parliament, by the way, has a lot of power and basically does pretty much dictate the agenda of parliament. On the other hand, Kibaki’s got a fair amount of power because he has the ability to, you know, to adjourn the parliament after a certain period of time. I’m not quite sure what that is right now, but – so anyway, that’s the answer.

the standard: ODM shock as second MP is killed

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) was reeling in shock after another MP from its ranks was shot dead in just three days.

The killing of David Kimutai Too of Ainamoi touched off a fresh wave of violence in Kericho, Eldoret, Kisumu and Kakamega and stunned former UN chief Kofi Annan, who ordered a temporary suspension of mediation talks.

It was another dark day for the Orange party — which has had its majority in the House sliced by two MPs — as it soaked another sledgehammer blow.

Too was gunned down in cold blood by a traffic policeman in Eldoret town. A female traffic police officer, Constable Eunice Chepwony, who was in the company of the MP, was also shot and wounded by the same policeman. She died two hours later at Moi University Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH).

With the death coming just four days after another ODM MP, the late Melitus Mugabe Were, was killed in Nairobi, Police Commissioner, Maj-Gen Hussein Ali, moved fast to explain the circumstances of killing, saying initial investigation pointed at what he described as "a crime of passion".

But ODM and the family of the slain officer last night took offence with the attempt to pass off the crime as a love triangle gone sour, even as it emerged that the killer policeman was married with children.

ODM said it was concerned by losing two MPs in 36 hours, and termed yesterday’s killing a political assassination.

Dismissing the love triangle theory, Pentagon member, Mr William Ruto, said the MP was related to the slain policewoman.

"For the Police Commissioner to conclude the cause of death of the MP without conducting investigations is an insult to the intelligence of Kenyans," Ruto said while receiving the body of the MP at Wilson Airport, Nairobi, on Thursday night.
...
And the elder brother of the slain policewoman, Mr David Kirui, said: "I have known the late MP as a close friend to late Geoffrey Ng’etich, the husband of my sister, and during his burial, the legislator was the master of ceremonies."

The family said the MP and the officer were killed as they viewed a parcel of land in Eldoret town, which the legislator wanted to buy.

And the National Assembly has given the Government a 24-hour ultimatum to provide MPs with round-the-clock security.
...
In what seemed to be a mind-boggling coincidence, the news of the MP’s death was received at the ODM headquarters just as party MPs were discussing, among other things, death threats issued to some of them.

Kimutai’s name was top on the list of six MPs allegedly targeted, the ODM Parliamentary Group meeting at Orange House was told.

Other MPs that the party claimed were in the hit list included Ruto, Aldai MP, Dr Sally Kosgey, Kuresoi MP, Mr Zakayo Cheruiyot, Starehe MP, Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, and Kasarani MP, Ms Elizabeth Ongoro.

The meeting was shaken when, at about 11am, news that Too had been shot dead filtered out.
...
While receiving the body at Wilson Airport, Ruto read a political motive to the killings given the slim majority in Parliament.

"All the assassinations going on have a political implication; they cannot scuttle the mediation talks by killing. Blackmail or intimidation or threats will not scare ODM from finding a lasting solution (to the current crisis) and justice," he said.

The MP’s murder sparked riots in Eldoret town and its environs, with hundreds of ODM supporters jamming the MTRH mortuary to view the body.

the standard: MP family denies Ali's love theory

Chaos reigned in Kericho town on Thursday as Ainamoi constituents mourned their MP, Mr David Kimutai Too.
...
The MP’s family denied Too was a victim of a love triangle. A family spokesman, Mr Julius Langat, said the MP flew to Eldoret from Nairobi as he could not drive straight to Kericho due to the ongoing post-election violence.

He said a policewoman who was with him, Eunice Chepkwony, was his neighbour.
...
Langat said the MP had gone to inquire about the situation on the roads, adding that Too had complained that his life was in danger.

"Eunice was a neighbour and a family friend. They were not in a love affair as the Police Commissioner claimed," said Langat.

He continued: "This is a cover-up by the police in an attempt to distort information. The police should tell Kenyans the truth instead of taking us in circles."

He said the woman was a relative and there was no way they could be involved in an affair.

The news of the death sparked chaos in the town that was regaining calm after days of riots.

Armed youths burnt six petroleum tankers headed for Uganda, as roadblocks were erected on the Kericho-Sotik road.
...
MPs and parliamentary staff huddled together as they discussed the death in hushed tones. "The circumstances in which the MP has died are shocking," said a staff member who sought anonymity.

the standard: Shocked leaders cry out for protection

MPS abandoned a peace meeting at Parliament Buildings following the killing of Ainamoi MP, David Kimutai Too.

There was confusion in Parliament as MPs walked out of the meeting shouting. Bureti MP, Mr Franklin Bett, said: "How many more are police and thugs going to kill? We are not going to allow this lawless state of affairs."

Bett said the Amani Forum of Inter-Parties Parliamentary Group suspended its meeting over post-election violence following the MP’s death.

Bett told The Standard that the MPs were shocked over the death of another MP only two days after the shooting to death of Embakasi MP, Mugabe Were.

"This is a sad state of affairs. We cannot continue with a peace meeting when fellow MPs are being killed," added Bett.
...
Meanwhile, Rift Valley MPs reacted angrily at the way the police were treating Too’s death.

The MPs said the Police Commissioner’s assertion that the MP could have been killed because of a love affair gone sour was an insult.

MPs Jason Kiptanui (Keiyo South), Langat, Mr Joshua Kuttuny (Cherangany) and Mr Boaz Keino (Marakwet West) said the police boss should conduct thorough investigations and stop acting on hearsay.

Too, they said, had received an SMS on his phone threatening him and said matters of love should not be used to cover his killing.

"The MP had received the same SMS that some of our colleagues have received. The police should not joke of the killing," said Magerer.

Keino showed the Press an SMS he had received threatening him to "keep off somebody’s wife" which he said was calculated at making murders look like they are not politically motivated.

Kuttuny said there was a scheme to reduce the ODM MPs in Parliament especially in Rift valley and many more were on line for killing.

Posted by: b real | Jan 31, 2008 10:47:04 PM | 63

the standard: UN speaks on Kenya as its boss expected


...
On Wednesday, the Security Council condemned the violence in the country and has given full support to the mediation efforts led by former UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan.
...
At the same time, indications have emerged that international leaders might isolate allies of the Kibaki Government to force them to resolve the crisis.

Australia said it would limit contact with Cabinet ministers. Canada has also said that with the absence of progress in resolving the crisis, "it will be very difficult to contemplate the maintenance of prior methods of direct government-to-government cooperation".

The Canadian Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Ross Hynes, said Canada would not work directly with the Government in the absence of concrete progress toward resolving the crisis and "restoring the confidence of the Kenyan people and the international community in the institutions of the Kenyan government.

"With respect to official contact and visits, Canadian law precludes the admissibility to Canada of foreign nationals responsible for subverting democratic institutions and processes," he said in a statement sent to The Standard.
...
France, Germany and the United Kingdom, together with the EU, have also said the Annan-led talks should be pursued urgently to put in place a government "representative of the will of the Kenyan people".
...
Separately, the UK has stated that it has stopped conducting "business as usual" with the Government.

Ms Charley Williams, a spokeswoman of British Ambassador Mr Adam Wood, however, said they were engaging leading political figures from both sides to push them to resolve the stalemate.

At the UN in New York, the president of the UN Security Council, Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi of Libya, said in a statement on Wednesday: "Council members deplored the continuing violence following the disputed elections in Kenya."
...
On its part, Australia said that it would reduce contact with Cabinet ministers, giving an indication that President Kibaki’s Government is increasingly getting isolated internationally.

Australia’s Foreign Affairs minister, Mr Stephen Smith, said: "We will also be keeping under review our development assistance programme provided to Kenya under our African regional programme. In 2006-2007, this assistance was worth $7.2 million," he said.
...
The developments followed reports that the UK had returned military equipment destined for practice by its soldiers in Kenya.

The EU has already suspended direct budgetary aid to the Government, but said it would continue supporting projects not involving the State.

bbc: West 'embraces sham democracies'

The US, EU and other democracies are accepting flawed and unfair elections out of political expediency, Human Rights Watch says in its annual report.

Allowing autocrats to pose as democrats without demanding they uphold civil and political rights risked undermining human rights worldwide, it warned.

HRW said Pakistan, Thailand, Bahrain, Jordan, Nigeria, Kenya and Russia had been falsely claiming to be democratic.
...
The World Report 2008 summarises human rights issues in more than 75 nations.

n the report, HRW said established democracies such as the US and members of the European Union were increasingly tolerating autocrats "claiming the mantle of democracy".
...
"In 2007 too many governments, including Bahrain, Jordan, Nigeria, Russia and Thailand, acted as if simply holding a vote is enough to prove a nation 'democratic', and Washington, Brussels and European capitals played along," it said.
...
HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth said it had become too easy for autocrats to get away with mounting a sham democracy "because too many Western governments insist on elections and leave it at that".
...
HRW said the West was often unwilling to criticise the autocrats for fear of losing access to resources or commercial opportunities, or because of the perceived requirements of fighting terrorism.

"It seems Washington and European governments will accept even the most dubious election so long as the 'victor' is a strategic or commercial ally," Mr Roth said.

HRW highlighted Pakistan as an example.

It said the US and UK, its largest aid donors, had refused to distance themselves from President Pervez Musharraf, despite his "tilting the electoral playing field" by rewriting the constitution and firing the independent judiciary ahead of February's election.

It also argued that Washington's acceptance of the result of the Nigerian election in February 2007, "despite widespread and credible accusations of poll-rigging and electoral violence", had encouraged the Kenyan government to believe that fraud would be tolerated in December's presidential poll.

And it said the US and some allies like Britain and France had made it harder to demand other countries uphold human rights by committing abuses themselves in the "war on terror".
...
When asked about the claims made by HRW, US state department spokesman Sean McCormack said ... "I don't think there's any question about where we stand in terms of promotion of democracy"

Posted by: b real | Jan 31, 2008 11:22:44 PM | 64

from a daily nation article on the MP execution

On Tuesday the Opposition condemned Mr Were’s killing as an assassination by their political enemies. On Thursday ODM secretary-general said Mr Too’s murder was also political and constituted a wider conspiracy of terror.

“The MPs are targeted so that the other side can have a majority in Parliament,” Prof Nyong’o told a news conference at Orange House, Nairobi. He spoke in the presence of ODM leader Raila Odinga and MPs Omingo Magara, Jonathan Kiptanui, Zakayo Cheruiyot and Lucas Chepkitonyi.

The MPs’ deaths, together with the election of Emuhaya MP Kenneth Marende as National Assembly Speaker, has changed the balance of power in parliament.

PNU and friendly parties now have a majority of two, with 103 MPs against the 101 MPs of ODM and Narc.

Elections in three other constituencies, Kamukunji in Nairobi, Trans Mara in Rift Valley Province and Wajir North in North Eastern Province have yet to be held afresh and the country will now have to hold by-elections in six constituencies.

Posted by: b real | Feb 1, 2008 12:07:54 AM | 65

better description of the situation wrt to parliament in a daily monitor article

"The second killing of an MP belonging to Orange Democratic Movement is part of a plot to reduce our majority in Parliament," ODM leader Raila Odinga told the AFP news agency.

Indeed, following Too's death, the balance of power in Parliament has tilted in favour of President Kibaki's Party of National Unity (PNU) and "friendly" parties, which now boast of a majority 103 seats against ODM's 101 seats.

While Mr Kibaki was declared the victor of the presidential election, the ODM won twice as many seats as the PNU in the parliamentary race held on the same day. But PNU has since merged forces with "friendly" parties to upstage the opposition.

The ODM now has 101 out of 222 seats in the House and has lost two seats in just one week, after the deaths of MPs Too and Mugabe Were, who was gunned down on Monday.

The number of vacant seats in the Kenyan Parliament has increased to six. ODM's Kenneth Marende relinquished his seat following his election as Speaker of the 10th Parliament. But three other seats had remained vacant due to electoral irregularities. In one constituency in Mandera District, two candidates vying for the same seat polled equal votes

Posted by: b real | Feb 1, 2008 12:20:43 AM | 66


and we are to dispel any suspicion of political motivation even though the assassination of two opposition members of parliament puts the government in the majority.

how very timely & incidental

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Feb 1, 2008 8:06:39 PM | 67

the standard: Kibaki insists ODM should go to court

Kibaki, addressing the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa where the Kenyan post-election crisis formed part of top agenda, said the allegations of irregularities should be referred to the legal system.
...
On Friday, he said: "In such situations, the accepted rule is to resort to the established constitutional and legal mechanisms."

Kibaki told African presidents and members of the international community: "For us in Kenya, the Judiciary has over the years arbitrated many electoral disputes, and the current one should not be an exception."

He said the Kenyan dispute was nothing new, noting, "few close-to-call elections have passed without being marred by allegations of irregularities, even in advanced and long-established democracies".

"Your Excellencies, Kenya has since Independence, on a consistent and regular basis held general elections every five years without interruption. Where disputes have arisen, they have been resolved through the existing legal mechanisms under our constitutional framework. Indeed, controversies over election results are a reality in any democracy," said Kibaki.

He added: "Unfortunately, the Opposition rejected the adherence to this key democratic principle, and chose, instead, not to respect the rule of law."
...
"Indeed, the ongoing crisis erupted after the Opposition disputed the outcome of the Presidential elections, and went ahead to instigate a campaign of civil unrest and violence. There is overwhelming evidence to indicate that the violence was pre-meditated, and systematically directed at particular communities," he added.
...
On possible power-sharing with the Opposition, Kibaki said: "The solution does not lie only in power sharing ... If the democratic process has to be followed to the end, and the final end should be sharing of the cake, then we shall never have peace because there will always be unsatisfied and dissatisfied parties."

He added: "We view the ongoing dialogue as essential to long term strategies to address these challenges, and in providing us with durable solutions." The President, at the same time, reiterated his commitment to finding a lasting political solution that will seek to identify and address, not just the immediate actions that would restore full normalcy, but also long-term measures that respond to the underlying problems.

Noting that he had embraced fully national dialogue, President Kibaki said his Government had put in place mechanisms to address all underlying problems rather than rush for quick-fix solutions.

"We view the ongoing dialogue as essential to long term strategies to address these challenges and in providing us with durable solutions," said President Kibaki.

Saying that Africa has a responsibility to defend her nascent institutions that must be allowed to develop, President Kibaki invited the African Union Commission to lend its voice and support these efforts.

In this regard, President Kibaki said his Government is in the process of setting up a Truth and Justice Commission to address all the issues as part of the long-term solution to Kenya’s problems.

he obviously feels pretty secure(d)

the standard: Army using excessive force in Eldoret

Police have shot dead 16 people and injured 58 others in four days in Eldoret town.
...
The victims were shot in protests sparked by the killing of Ainamoi MP, David Kimutai Too by a police officer.

Mr Makui Maker, 37, a Sudanese was shot by a GSU officer.

"He was sitting in the compound when the officer with a red beret burst open the gate, cocked his gun and shot him twice in the stomach and left leg," said Emmanuel Sebit, a cousin who witnessed the incident.
...
"I was walking home at 4pm to Maili Nne estate, when army and police officers arrived and started shooting and I was shot on the right leg," said Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, a businessman in Eldoret.

"They just alighted from their vehicles and started shooting," he said, from his hospital bed.
...
"They came to our estate (Kapsoya) with one mission; to kill. I was not part of the protesters but they shot me on my left shoulder," said Misoi.

One of the victims who sought anonymity said he heard one of the officers saying: "Nyinyi ndio munauwa watu Eldoret kama kuku, hata nyinyi mutauwawa vile vile (You are the ones killing people like chicken. You will also die the same way)."
...
Meanwhile, a senior officer in one of the police units based in Eldoret, told The Saturday Standard that 200 police officers who hail from Eldoret and neighbouring towns have been transferred. "We have received the letters. They are basing our transfers to re-organisation in the (police) force aimed at enhancing security," he said.

Separately, the North Rift branch of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has condemned the use of excessive force by the police.

a guess.. the police there have killed 16 and shot another 58 in just four days? they're probably getting promoted to another area where they'll have no ties and in which they can improve their marksmanship.

Posted by: b real | Feb 1, 2008 11:46:52 PM | 68

and speaking of feeling pretty secure(d)

daily nation: Traffic officer in court over killing of Ainamoi MP

A traffic police officer who allegedly shot dead Ainamoi member of Parliament David Kimutai Too and a female colleague was Friday arraigned before a Nakuru court.

Constable Andrew Mauche, 35, however did not appear before the High Court to plead to murder charges. He was whisked away by CID officers into senior resident magistrate Teresia Matheka’s chambers where a charge and cautionary statement was read out to him.

Armed police officers and CID detectives had a hectic time clearing the public and journalists who jammed the entrance to the chambers.

In an unprecedented move, journalists were locked out of the chambers as Ms Matheka read out the charge and cautionary statement in the high-profile murder case that has also attracted international attention.

Defence counsel Julius Ombati, George Mboga and Evans Juma Matunda said the suspect had informed the court that he was not aware that police intended to file murder charges against him.

Mr Matunda said the magistrate had ordered the suspect be remanded in police custody pending his arraignment in the High Court where he is expected to take the plea within 14 days.
...
Mr Mauche chatted animatedly with his colleagues outside the magistrate’s chambers as he waited for his turn to have the charge and cautionary statement taken.

The policeman, who was not handcuffed, smiled and perused newspapers carrying the MP’s murder in their front pages. At one point he waved at a team of journalists that crammed the corridors outside the chambers.

Posted by: b real | Feb 2, 2008 12:25:37 AM | 69

daily nation: Clergy: Criticism no solution to violence

Leaders from various indigenous churches in Western Kenya Saturday asked the international community to help Kenya solve its crisis, instead of taking hard-line positions.

The leaders especially took issue with a recent comment made by Dr Jendayi Frazer, the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, who said: “We will find an international mechanism if they cannot find it internally.” She made the statement in Addis Ababa where she was attending the African Union summit.

The church leaders, while addressing a press conference in Nairobi, said that the international community, in particular the US and EU member states, were part of the current political problem.

“They have to know that they are part of the problem facing Kenya because they took sides during the campaign period,” the leaders said in a statement read by the secretary-general of the Kenya Assemblies of God Kawangware branch, Mr Dan Ehayonga.


before, during and after, actually

Posted by: b real | Feb 3, 2008 1:50:29 AM | 70

daily nation: Church’s stand puts us at risk, claim priests

Thirty Catholic priests from the Diocese of Homa Bay Sunday claimed that they were targeted over the church’s stand on the political crisis dogging the country.

Speaking during the ordination of four deacons at St Paul’s Cathedral, the clerics led by the Rev Pascal Otieno accused the church leadership of having taken sides.

And made statements that were potentially divisive in the run-up to the elections, they added.

The Rev Otieno said that even before the polls, the country was polarised along ethnic lines, and that it was unwise for the Church to criticise policies being advocated by some political parties.

In the run-up to the polls, John Cardinal Njue spoke against the devolution system of government, which was proposed by both the ODM and the ODM-Kenya.

The latter political party has since joined the Government.

This, the priest said, was seen as the Church’s endorsement of the Government, although the faithful had been advised to use their discretion in picking leaders.

The priests said the Catholic Church had earned a negative reputation in the Opposition strongholds, with some believers even staying away from church.

the standard: Museveni censured over troops allegations

Uganda’s opposition leaders have tasked President Yoweri Museveni to respond to persistent accusations about the country’s military involvement in the raging unrest in Kenya.

They warned Museveni that he would be held personally responsible for possible disintegration of Kenya.

"It is completely absurd to expect that sending troops to Kenya under the guise of protecting Uganda transit goods will provide the answer as that country disintegrates into a Somalia fiasco," Mr Jaberi Bidandi Ssali — one of the respected opposition leaders — told Museveni.

In an open letter published on Friday, Bidandi observes: "The media have been awash with Uganda’s involvement in what is happening in Kenya. Unfortunately, there has been no categorical response about these accusations from you (President Museveni)."

Reports published in Uganda’s media show that Ugandan troops are now attached to the Kenyan police. The reports, which have not been refuted in Uganda, reveal that embattled President Kibaki is now guarded by members of Ugandan Presidential Guard Brigade — an elite force — and has scaled down his Kenyan guards.

Posted by: b real | Feb 4, 2008 1:15:28 AM | 71

daily nation: Govt Rejects Ramaphosa

South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa has withdrawn from the Kenya mediation following his rejection by the Government side.

Mr Ramaphosa, who had been invited by Kofi Annan, announced his withdrawal from the talks shortly before 1pm today. He said he withdrew following reservations by the Government/ PNU adding that he could not join the process without the consent of both parties involved in the negotiations.

‘My experience in Northern Ireland and South Africa convinced me that a mediator can be effective only when he has full consent and support of all parties. Unfortunately that is not the case,’ he said.

Mr Annan expressed regret over Ramaphosa’s withdrawal saying that the South African was the most experienced and qualified for the job. He said the search for another mediator will continue and hoped it would not set back the ongoing dialogue.

Sources from the Party of National Unity (PNU) had earlier accused Mr Ramaphosa of being a key ally and business partner of opposition leader Mr Raila Odinga.

Mr Ramaphosa denied any links with the ODM leader. He also denied accusations that he had funded Odingá’s presidential campaign. Last week Odinga termed the allegations as ‘wild and unfounded.’

bbc: Fragile path of Kenya peacemaking

I understand that Mr Annan and his team have rejected one possible solution; a re-run of the election, something that the opposition has said it might favour.

The fear is that another election would simply lead to more violence, and there would be no guarantee that either side would accept the outcome of a second presidential poll.

The government says it is open to anything that "falls within the constitutional and legal framework of Kenya".

This is a very limiting set of conditions.

There is nothing contained in the existing constitution which would satisfy the opposition ODM, and the much repeated advice from government figures that "if ODM have a problem with the vote they should go to the courts" is equally unpalatable.

The opposition says that Kenya's judiciary has been filled with Kibaki-pliant men and women, and even if they were to get a fair hearing, the justice system in the country is so cumbersome and slow it would take an entire parliamentary term to get a decision.

So what remains as the only possible option is a form of power-sharing; and this is the area where Mr Annan and his team hope agreement might eventually be found.

At present, most executive power in Kenya is in the hands of the president.

Among other roles he appoints the cabinet, assembles and dissolves parliament, appoints all the parastatal heads and is the commander-in-chief of the military.

There is no prime minister in Kenya's constitutional make-up.

For Mr Odinga to agree on a "power-sharing deal" he must be given a powerful executive position.

He will not settle for anything else.

The government/PNU will only agree to give Mr Odinga a powerful post if they feel it will not undermine the authority of Mr Kibaki.

not a bad deal, eh? you blatantly steal the election from your opponent, start a killing spree, lie your ass off, and still manage to keep the upper hand in the "mediation" process.

and annan wants to open a "truth and reconciliation" commission but will not consider a rerun in the next year or so...

don't think other african "leaders" aren't paying attention.

Posted by: b real | Feb 4, 2008 3:08:33 PM | 72

the standard: US, Canada ban threat as talks register gains

Pressure mounted on the warring parties to reach a negotiated settlement to the crippling crisis caused by disputed presidential elections, even as South African negotiator, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, was sent packing after the Government rejected his involvement.

On Monday, the US and Canada gave the first hints of a plan to ban top leaders considered to be subverting democracy from travelling to their countries.

The United Nations also sent a warning: Sort out this crisis or risk the relocation of the global body’s office from Nairobi.

And as the South African negotiator was leaving in a huff — barely 48 hours after jetting in to give mediation efforts a new impetus — the Kofi Annan-led talks made progress and concluded Agenda Three on the humanitarian crisis. This set the stage for the team to zero-in on the sensitive Agenda Four — the disputed re-election of President Kibaki and the crisis that it plunged the country into, including killings and massive destruction of property.
...
The US and Canada were categorical that some personalities engaged in what the latter described as "subverting democratic institutions and processes" would be blacklisted and denied entry into the two major world economies.

"With respect to official contact and visits, Canadian law precludes the admissibility to Canada of foreign nationals considered responsible for subverting democratic institutions and processes," said the High Commissioner, Mr Ross Hynes.

On its part, the US said it had identified high-profile personalities — in Government and Opposition — who would be slapped with a visa ban on suspicion of fanning violence.
...
Earlier, Ramaphosa was forced out of Nairobi because he was not agreeable to PNU. Long before he was introduced to the Annan team, a senior Government official had told reporters that they would not accept his inclusion in talks owing to "the interests he represents".
...
Meanwhile, the Director-General of the UN office in Nairobi, Dr Anna Tibaijuka, said staff had been put on "heightened alert", meaning that they and their families had been warned against "non-essential mobility".

Should the mediation talks fail, the UN would take necessary measures, starting with a caution, but ultimately leading to closure and re-location.

Under UN regulations, Kenya is now at Phase Two (Caution) and if chaos persists, it would move into Phase Three (Heightened Alert) at which point staff and their families would have to leave their workstations and be evacuated.

Canada’s envoy Hynes noted that millions of Kenyans had on December 27 performed their civic duty and demonstrated their commitment to democracy by turning out to vote in the presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

"But since then, the voters and millions of other innocent Kenyans have been badly — and tragically — failed by their governing institutions and leaders," he regretted.

Hynes said only a political agreement between Kibaki and Raila offered any hope. He underlined the urgency at which the two senior protagonists must come to an agreement.

Ranneberger, on his part, described reports that Ramaphosa would not take part in the mediation talks as "unfortunate", noting that the business magnate was a "good and effective negotiator".

But the diplomat said as a sign of goodwill, the participation of any person in mediation talks should be acceptable to both parties.

Annan regretted the withdrawal of the negotiator, who he said was unanimously picked by the Panel of Eminent African Personalities to serve as the chief mediator.

annan, among others, appears to be setting the ODM up. word today is that he's taken a re-run of the elections as a negotiating point off the table. and, supposing the u.s. does back up its threats this time, the suspiciously-timed HRW report two weeks ago could come into play real soon.

the standard: Ranneberger explains US stance on crisis

The United States has identified high profile personalities — both in Government and Opposition — who will be slapped with a visa ban soon on suspicions of fanning violence, The Standard has learnt.

The ambassador to Kenya, Mr Michael Ranneberger, said the US Government would "shortly" contact the affected individuals who would face visa restrictions alongside their families.

The envoy, however, declined to divulge the names of the individuals during an exclusive interview with The Standard at his Nairobi residence, on Monday.

Should the US make good its threat, it would be joining Canada, which has since announced it would deny visas to individuals who undermine democracy and sabotage ongoing mediation efforts.
...
The following are excerpts of the interview:

What is your assessment of the political situation?

... Kenya is an important country to the US. Our relationship is founded on democratic principles. We want to see the country stable and encourage both sides to promote dialogue and support the Annan-led talks so that Kenya can emerge from the crisis a stronger democracy with stronger institutions.

You cannot apportion blame. Both leaders bear responsibility, perhaps of not having exerted leadership earlier enough.

what, pray tell, definition of "democratic principles" is this man operating from? surely not "free and fair elections" or majority rules. what about govt accountablity? of course not. an independent judiciary? ha ha ha. but that's what he bosses say make up the principles of democracy, which they define, in part, as

  • Democracy is government in which power and civic responsibility are exercised by all citizens, directly or through their freely elected representatives.

  • Democracy rests upon the principles of majority rule, coupled with individual and minority rights. All democracies, while respecting the will of the majority, zealously protect the fundamental rights of individuals and minority groups.

  • Democracies guard against all-powerful central governments and decentralize government to regional and local levels, understanding that local government must be as accessible and responsive to the people as possible.

  • Democracies conduct regular free and fair elections open to all citizens. Elections in a democracy cannot be facades that dictators or a single party hide behind, but authentic competitions for the support of the people.

  • Democracy subjects governments to the rule of law and ensures that all citizens receive equal protection under the law and that their rights are protected by the legal system.

  • Citizens in a democracy not only have rights, they have the responsibility to participate in the political system that, in turn, protects their rights and freedoms.
  • back to the interview...

    Is US considering revoking visas of politicians linked to the on-going violence?

    A week ago, I stated that any perpetrator, supporting or inciting violence, and their families, would not be issued visas.

    We will certainly be in touch with a number of individuals to tell them that they may be affected by that (directive).

    We have taken the lead on that and it is important that Kenyans know that people who do not co-operate to achieve peace and those responsible for violence will not be viewed positively (by US).

    Who are these people?

    We have identified a number of people that could potentially be subject to these visa restrictions. Obviously I’m not going to disclose names but suffice it to say that the people in question are from both sides. These are, however, cases being reviewed. Those who jeopardise talks will also be considered.

    this are probably pressure tactics to force the challenger to compromise away his strengths as the critical negotiations get underway. the PNU blocked the expert, raila seems to be getting strung along, next week the ambassador will have already forgotten his nebulous warnings.

    from ranneberger's remarks in the CSIS transcript from january 16th -- back when anyone truly serious about "taking the lead" could have proven so -- which i've cited throughout this thread

    Some of you may have seen the statement that we issued on the weekend, which was pretty strong and got everybody’s attention, by using that phrase no business as usual. And the purpose of that was deliberately to sort of rattle the cage, as you might say, and to make them clear that we’re awfully serious about the need for a political solution and – (audio break) – others. So that’s had a pretty strong impact here.

    and his reponse, later, to a question on that

    You said that the U.S. and I assume some of the other international community are awfully serious about not permitting the sense that this is business as usual. How serious is that? In other words, you know now who the most recalcitrant are around Kibaki, for example. Is there any possibility that there might be some mention of targeted sanctions against those individuals if they continue to be obstacles to a reasonable compromise?

    Yeah. Well, Mark, as you can imagine we don’t want to get into speculation about what, you know, no business as usual means. But what I’ve said, and pretty honestly and publicly as well here, is that no business as usual means that our sole focus is to try to promote a political solution because without that, you know, the country won’t be stable, it won’t be able to move ahead economically or any other way. And I have deliberately said that, you know, sanctions are not on the table at this point and that sort of thing. I don’t think it’s productive to speculate too much about that kind of thing. ... I don’t want to speculate too much, but we’ve been delivering certainly some very tough messages.

    back to the interview...

    The Kenya/US relationship is worth $2 billion in trade, remittances and aid. We want peace with truth and justice.

    If the country is not stable, that partnership will be affected. At this point, it is important to give dialogue a chance, although politicians have rapidly resumed their war of words.

    ...

    Raila claims the US is among the countries pushing his quest for the presidency. Is this true?

    We are not supporting anyone. In fact, we stated ahead of the elections that we would remain neutral with respect to the candidates, but not the process. We, however, condemned the electoral process, particularly the tallying of the presidential vote that was deeply flawed.

    Dr Frazer reportedly said if Kenyans did not resolve the crisis the international community would provide a solution. How is this possible?

    If a solution to the crisis is not found, the problem will inevitably become of more concern to the international community. The UN Security Council and the AU will become more involved because Kenya is too important to be left to destroy itself. But we are confident that Kenyans will resolve the crisis.

    The US says it supports institutions and Kibaki has instructed the Opposition to take the dispute in court. What’s should happen?

    We respected the ECK’s announcement of the winner because the law mandates it. But the ECK is an institution and tallying was flawed, hence the need for a political solution. Even though the Government has urged those disputing results to go to court, everyone knows the courts’ credibility is questionable and all petitions have taken too much time to be resolved.

    What do you take of the recent murder of the two Opposition MPs?

    Certain elements have not been satisfactorily explained. Within hours of each murders, we (US) offered the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigations to work with Kenyan authorities to probe the cases.

    Although I have formally notified the Government, it has still not responded to our offer.

    good to see, despite all the hypocritical diplomat-speak, the ambassador is backing away from the "take it to court" talking point. after all, he was on the record promoting that propaganda line even before the final result was announced. from the wapo article that b first drew attention to in the foot in mouth thread

    U.S. Ambassador Michael E. Ranneberger said that although there were "problems with the process," the United States would accept Kivuitu's announcement.

    "Look at the U.S.," he said, just before Kivuitu announced the results. "The results are often disputed, and if there's a dispute, there are the courts. I'm optimistic that what happens today will not alter the course of Kenya."

    Posted by: b real | Feb 4, 2008 11:18:52 PM | 73

    annan set the tone early on tuesday when he met w/ local CEOs prior to commencing the negotiations on the election itself

    daily nation: Annan: Kenya solution not about Kibaki or Raila

    Mediator Kofi Annan has warned that a resolution of Kenya’s disputed presidential poll will not be about individuals as the parties begun discussing crucial political issues today.

    Speaking when he met company chief executives before today’s session of the talks started, Mr Annan said the mediation process between the Government/Party of National Unity and the Orange Democratic Movement will focus on building of strong institutions and not on individuals.

    The Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation team which he is facilitating will be working on possibilities of coming up with a whole package whose key pillars will be land and constitutional reforms as well as ways and means to fight poverty.

    “Resolving of the current crisis is not about individuals. It is not about Honourable Raila Odinga or President (Mwai) Kibaki but about strong institutions that will ensure the country will not have to return back to this kind of crisis every couple of years,” Mr Annan said.

    it was pretty obvious that annan would be steering the topic away from the fact that kibaki did not win the election & focusing on institutional reform, while protecting the executive office.

    a current reuters article indicates more confirmation of this

    Kenya opposition makes new protest threat

    NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's opposition on Tuesday threatened new street protests if a meeting of regional foreign ministers chaired by the government goes ahead this week while the two sides are locked in political negotiations.

    The rivals on Tuesday began the toughest part of their talks so far to try to end the crisis over a disputed election that has killed at least 1,000 people and hurt the east African country's reputation for stability and economic promise.

    Former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, mediating talks, said the opposition threat should not have been made in light of the negotiations and a pledge by both sides to avoid provocative statements.

    "We have a demand that the parties avoid provocative statements outside negotiations," Annan told reporters. "We are going to be vigilant on that. I think there is a clear understanding that it should not have been done and there will be no mass protests."

    "We are going to be vigilant on that [very selectively]"

    so where was that vigilance WRT kibaki's stmts at the AU last week or numerous other PNU provocations & tactics? it's pretty clear that two MPs were assasinated for the purpose of gaining control in parliament. does annan consider kibaki to negotiating in good faith? of course not. so it's obvious that he's facilitating this unjustice. please prove me wrong.

    The opposition had attacked plans to hold a meeting of foreign ministers from the seven-member east African regional bloc IGAD, chaired by Kenya. The foreign ministers are due in Kenya on Wednesday, with talks due the next day.

    "If the IGAD meeting goes on in spite of our call for it not to go on, we shall call upon Kenyans to come out in their big numbers for a peaceful demonstration in Nairobi to strongly protest," ODM secretary-general Anyang' Nyong'o said.

    and that reuters article also helps the status quo by creating the sense that there is a lot of confusion over what really happened

    On Tuesday, Annan pushed the two sides to focus on the third item on their agenda -- "the political crisis arising from the disputed presidential electoral results."

    Odinga argues the president was illegally returned to office through vote-rigging, and Nyong'o said the IGAD regional meeting would "legitimise Kibaki's position through the back door."

    International observers have said the vote counting was so chaotic that it was impossible to tell who won.

    The government says Kibaki was elected under Kenya's laws, and has pressed that position through African diplomatic channels including the African Union and IGAD, where it has goodwill from its role brokering peace for Somalia and Sudan.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 5, 2008 11:38:53 AM | 74

    b real
    -
    Who is paying Kofi Annan for this job?
    Who pays his flights and other expenses?

    Posted by: b | Feb 5, 2008 12:10:17 PM | 75

    those are good questions & ones which none of the reporting seems to have looked into. immediately after ghana's kufuor left nairobi, the UN announced that annan was headed to nairobi, but would be delayed due to illness.

    a january 18th report stated

    Former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan will go to Kenya on Tuesday to help mediate in the country's violent political crisis, the UN said on Friday.

    A statement said that Annan, who had called off a planned trip last Tuesday after contracting flu, "is making a good recovery".

    annan is there officially as the head of the "Panel of Eminent African Persons", but i find little reference matching that name outside of the present context, including at the u.n. & affiliated websites.

    ban ki-moon was just in nairobi to "reiterate" his support for annan, though i don't recall seeing & cannot currently find any official notice that annan is there on behalf of the united nations.

    at any rate, his "facilitation" is very closely adhering to the policy points outlined by u.s. officials, which i have documented above.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 5, 2008 1:17:32 PM | 76

    un radio has a piece that mentions

    Mr. Annan, who is in Kenya under the auspices of the African Union, told reporters he has not come with a solution.

    "We are here to insist on a solution for the sake of Kenya and its people and for the sake of Africa."

    the AU is widely seen as having limited autonomy (and funding) and subservient to the larger interests of its international donors/supporters.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 5, 2008 1:34:15 PM | 77

    @ - 76 - Annan - as I linked in the older thread, Kibaki in a first reaction didn't want Annan to come at all. It was a rather brisk rejection.

    Annan's "flu" that "hindered him coming", i.e. Kibaki's rejection was somehow cured in negotions with Kibaki.

    Who faciliated those negations? What was promised? What did Annan concede (if anything)?

    Posted by: b | Feb 5, 2008 2:33:58 PM | 78

    "infiltrate" is probably the wrong term, as it implies unsanctioned penetration. nonetheless, this is an interesting report

    mail & guardian: Gang infiltrates Kenya police

    A quiet rebellion and near-total collapse of the chain of command has exposed Kenya’s police force as incapable of dealing with the growing national crisis in the country, amid growing fears that it has also been infiltrated by the outlawed pro- government Mungiki sect.

    Speaking to the Mail & Guardian on condition of anonymity following the chilling murder on last Tuesday of an opposition MP, a senior police inspector and an officer in the criminal investigations department admitted that all was not right in the police force.

    “The police are angry that they are being used to solve a political problem. Our remit is maintenance of law and order, but we are being dragged into politics. It is known that the election outcome was manipulated; who does not know that?” asked the officer.
    ...
    Gangs of youths believed to be members of the Mungiki sect claimed responsibility for the killing of Mellitus Mugabe Were, the opposition MP. Youths suspected of being members of Mungiki also took control of the highway linking Nairobi with the nearby town of Nakuru, a scene of much of the recent violence.

    Most members of the much-feared Mungiki sect hail from the Kikuyu tribe, the same ethnic group as President Mwai Kibaki.
    ...
    Were’s death on Tuesday co-incided with the formal launch of international mediation and reinforced the perception that Mungiki, which allegedly enjoys the patronage of influential politicians and businessmen in the government, is on the rampage again after a six-month lull.

    Police have confirmed that 20 out of the 115 people killed in Nakuru and Naivasha towns in the Rift Valley province were beheaded in grisly circumstances reminiscent of Mungiki’s decapitation of 200 people in Nairobi early last year. Human rights groups, including United States-based Human Rights Watch, estimated last week that nearly a quarter of the 900 people shot dead post-election were executed by Mungiki gang members disguised as police.
    ...
    The opposition says that it has also received reports of Mungiki’s infiltration of the police force.

    “We have been receiving reports about despondency in the police force and the military that has been forcing the government to resort to criminal gangs to control escalating violence,” Orange Democratic Movement MP Omingo Magara said.

    He added: “The same sources told us about how two weeks ago the government acquired 4 000 guns and armed Mungiki to kill protesters in Rift Valley. I leave it to you to judge who is running the show in the police force,” he said.


    Posted by: b real | Feb 5, 2008 2:36:20 PM | 79

    the standard: Disputed election too hot for rivals to handle

    Finally, the hotly disputed presidential votes tally, responsible for the post-election falling out which touched off mayhem on a scale never witnessed before in independent Kenya, found its way to the mediation talks table.

    "It was too hot," Mr Kofi Annan, the former UN chief tasked with brokering a deal out of the crippling impasse, declared soon after adjourning the afternoon session.

    So high strung was the afternoon sitting that the respected Ghanaian mediator conceded that he could not proceed without the assistance of former South African First Lady Mrs Graca Machel and former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa — both of who were unavailable.

    They began on the presidential election dispute by looking at the state of affairs now and how to resolve the problem. Proper talks, however, begin today.

    Like hot bricks, ODM is said to have dropped the matter of the allegedly stolen presidential election complete with alleged evidence and a raft of demands for electoral reforms.

    Sources also intimated that the issue of a transitional government briefly featured, forcing an immediate stalemate.
    ...
    Earlier in the day, The Standard reliably learnt that the delay to put the issue of the disputed presidential vote, which to a large extent is to blame for the crisis that has engulfed the country, was beginning to cause jitters within sections of the mediation circles.

    The sense of unease appeared to stem from concerns — according to sources — that someone or a group of people seemed to be succeeding in bogging down the talks with the unfolding humanitarian crisis at the expense of the equally more urgent matter of what triggered it.

    It was inevitable, therefore, that the matter, according to a source, "forced its way onto Annan’s table like a hot potato".
    ...
    ODM stood its ground that President Kibaki steps down, arguing that its candidate, Mr Raila Odinga, won the election but it was stolen from him.

    ODM’s clarion call has been: "Truth, Justice and Reconciliation" — which they expound to mean that though the party is for peace and reconciliation, truth and justice must first prevail.

    On its part, PNU dug in with the oft-repeated call that the Orange party should take its grievances to court.

    Both sides are said to have tabled proof of a stolen election. Evidence and exchanges prompted Annan to adjourn the session and said they would be examined once Machel and Mkapa rejoined the team today.
    ...
    Annan demanded the position of a co-chair to help him, as it appeared the slow pace of the talks had began to take toll on him.

    Before Annan called for a time-out to refocus and wait for reinforcement, ODM had tabled not just what they said was evidence of a rigged election, but also a raft of demands — among other things the disbandment of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), claiming its composition was skewed and that it was solely responsible for the disputed election.

    ODM also demanded key reforms in the Office of the President and a review of electoral laws before a new calendar guiding the re-run of presidential elections.

    But in a spirited fight-back, the Government team also presented reports allegedly implicating ODM of rigging in parts of Rift Valley and Nyanza.

    Both teams, however, did find some common ground and agreed that the constitution of the ECK was not representative and needed comprehensive reforms to guard against future flaws in elections.
    ...
    Annan insisted that the parties must avoid provocative statements touching on the matters in discussion.

    "We have agreed that no leakage to the media should be made on matters discussed before the mediation table," the chief mediator stated.
    ...
    He also clarified that the team he chairs is the only mandated authority to negotiate and that the meeting of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) Council of Ministers had nothing to do with the talks.
    ...
    The mediator hinted at his temporary exit, saying: "Even if I’m out of town, I want to leave a structure that would ensure the talks go on."

    He added: "I want to leave no gap in the mediation. The panel will be structured with two other co-chairs that will be named so that he or she can carry on with the mantle."

    daily nation: Team discusses disputed presidential poll results

    The Annan-led mediation team Tuesday started hearing presentations from ODM and PNU in support of their claims of victory in the presidential election.

    The Orange group was the first to present the argument that Mr Raila Odinga won the presidential race. But the Government side refuted the claim in a preliminary presentation set to continue today.

    Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, who is leading the talks, captured the mood in the meeting room when he noted that the issue on the table was hot, but he had not been shocked by arguments advanced by any of the two groups.

    “Although the issue on the table is hot, the talks are going on well. There are no hardliners in the group. Nobody has said anything that has shocked me,” he told a press conference at Serena Hotel.
    ...
    Sources close to the talks said that ODM presented a tough argument backed with evidence to show that Mr Odinga floored President Kibaki.

    In their presentation, they argued that PNU rigged the elections before and after the voting day, giving as evidence deployment of Administration Police officers in ODM strongholds such as Nyanza and Rift Valley.

    They also cited what they described as higher voter turnout in pro-Kibaki areas of Central Province, use of Provincial Administration and the manipulation of presidential poll results at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre where the Electoral Commission was based.

    Owing to the “open and blatant manipulations at KICC”, they submitted, glaring discrepancies were identified between the original Form 16As sent by returning officers and the ones that ECK was holding. The result, they said, was reflected between the difference in the presidential votes and parliamentary votes cast countrywide.

    They further claimed that all original Form 16As were taken to the city’s Industrial Area on December 31, 2007 and destroyed.

    Later, all returning officers were called to Nairobi to fill in new Form 16As.

    In addition, they stated that Mr Odinga, whose vote was placed at 4.3 million by the electoral commission, won in six provinces compared to President Kibaki who only led in two and that their close scrutiny had shown that ODM was the winner.

    That was why they had ruled out the option of re-tallying the votes and were pushing either for a re-run of the presidential election or formation an interim power-sharing government to prepare a fresh poll.

    However, the Government side gave a brief overview of their argument in support of Mr Mwai Kibaki’s presidential victory. They are expected to continue with their presentation today.

    Through Mr Kilonzo and Ms Karua, PNU submitted that the election results announced by the ECK were verified by representatives of all presidential candidates before the verdict was made public.

    They argue that Ms Karua, the Justice minister was President Kibaki’s agent at the verification of votes while Mr Orengo represented Mr Odinga and they both endorsed the results.

    The Government side also claimed it was ODM that rigged elections in its strongholds. They have lined up more than 10 constituencies in Nyanza and Rift Valley where voter turnout per constituency ranged between 85 per cent and 96 per cent.

    Defending the issue of the difference between the presidential and parliamentary votes, the Government submits that the discrepancy has existed since 1992 elections when the record gap was 652,832 votes. In 1997, they add that the gap was 363,709 votes.

    The Government, further, argues that the Constitution has clear mechanisms of settling election disputes, including the Presidential elections and suggests that ODM should go to court to present their grievances.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 5, 2008 11:11:35 PM | 80

    new vision (uganda): EAC may send troops to Kenya

    The East African Community is considering sending a peace-keeping force to Kenya as one of the options in case the situation deteriorates, reports Anne Mugisa.

    “Currently, there are negotiations within the East African set-up. A decision has not yet been reached but negotiations are on,” Fred Opolot of the Uganda Media Centre told journalists yesterday.

    The East African Community, chaired by President Yoweri Museveni, is made up of Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya.

    Opolot, who just returned from Nairobi, said Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki had given assurances for the protection of Ugandan goods transiting through Kenya.

    “The Government of Kenya has deployed the police and the army, as well as provided air cover, to enhance the security of the Ugandan goods. As a result, the flow of goods has improved.”

    Kampala was supportive of the mediation efforts by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, he stressed, adding that EAC affairs minister Eriya Kategaya remained in Kenya to facilitate the dialogue which was initiated by Museveni.
    ...
    Uganda, Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia decided to dispatch their foreign ministers to Nairobi today to show support for “government efforts to restore stability,” said a Kenyan foreign ministry official.

    The countries are member states of the Inter-Governmental Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), chaired by Kibaki.

    But the opposition has threatened to hold a big protest if the ministers went, saying they could not meet with Kibaki when “the very legitimacy” of his position was in question.

    “If the IGAD meeting goes on in spite of our call for it not to go on, we shall call upon Kenyans to come out in big numbers for a peaceful demonstration in Nairobi to strongly protest,” said Anyang Nyongo, secretary general of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement.

    daily nation (kenya): Crisis looms over Igad meet

    The Opposition party said Tuesday it is opposed to the holding of a meeting to be attended by Foreign Affairs ministers from member countries of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (Igad) in Nairobi on Friday.

    ODM secretary-general, Prof Anyang Nyong’o warned that the party will mobilise its supporters to protest against President Kibaki’s Government hosting the meeting while the political impasse occasioned by the disputed presidential election remains unresolved.

    But Mr Kofi Annan, the chief mediator in the political crisis, warned against the protests, saying they will be an act of provocation.
    ...
    Speaking on phone, a Foreign Affairs ministry official said Kenya had been chosen to host the regional meeting which will be attended by ministers from the Igad member states of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti.
    ...
    President Kibaki is the current chairman of the Igad Heads of State summit
    ...
    Asked whether President Kibaki was overstepping his mandate by inviting Igad ministers, Mr Annan said that the Head of State could call any meetings in as long as they were not aimed at mediating in the country’s crisis.

    “President Kibaki is free to invite whoever he wants. They are not here to mediate. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one mediation going on and it has the support of the UN, US, European Union and African Union,” he said.

    from that study on the sudan IGAD peace process linked in #48 above

    ..in the wake of the Islamist attacks on the US, acquiring information on Islamist groups through cooperation with the Sudanese security services, protecting allies in the region from Islamists, and deepening engagement in the Sudan peace process all flowed from the growing perception that America’s security was linked to the course and outcome of conflicts like that in Sudan. And all of these endeavours could be subsumed as part and parcel of the ‘war on terrorism’.
    ...
    Against that background, the US found it expedient to heighten its engagement in the peace process by, first, utilising the framework of IGAD; second, operating through a Quartet of loyal allies, and accepting the local management of the process by Kenya, which had long done the bidding of Britain and the US. What had been a genuinely regional peace initiative became, with trappings to provide the necessary legitimacy, an American sponsored, if not led, process.
    ...
    ..the experience of IGAD has been one of administrative and political weakness on the one hand, and the domination of the resulting peace process on the other by the US and its close allies operating through Kenya, a state which has a history of subservience to Western interests.
    ...
    Although not clear in the actual negotiations, the real power behind the peace process largely lay with the US. And the US held contradictory objectives; on the one hand it wanted to build up the mediation and security capacity of the AU and its sub-regional components like IGAD so that they could be given increasing responsibility for security concerns on the continent, in particular the war on terror...

    connect the dots

    Posted by: b real | Feb 5, 2008 11:29:16 PM | 81

    evidently kibaki's crew want to make sure that annan stays on their side

    Annan's hotel room 'bugged'

    The Kenyan peace talks are in tatters after it was discovered that Kofi Annan's hotel room in Nairobi has been bugged.

    Independent Newspapers has learnt from multiple reliable, impartial sources - both in Kenya and abroad - that the former UN Secretary General's business and personal conversations were being intercepted during the ongoing negotiations after a thorough search was carried out on his Serena Hotel room on Tuesday evening. For how long the room has been planted or by whom is unclear.

    "Kofi's security aides found the device yesterday," one source explained, while the talks were in session. Annan is said to be "livid", but it is not yet known how he intends to act on Tuesday night's revelations or whether he will walk away from the already troubled negotiations.

    Annan arrived in the Kenyan capital on January 15 on an African Union (AU) invitation to head up the talks around Mwai Kibaki's disputed election victory.


    Posted by: b real | Feb 6, 2008 11:52:08 AM | 82

    the house subcommittee on africa & global health held a hearing this morning title The Political Crisis in Kenya: A Call for Justice and Peaceful Resolution. there wasn't a live video feed for it and the transcript for the actual hearing is not up yet, but copies of the prepared stmts are available at the website.

    a couple excerpts from chairman donald payne's opening stmt: [emphasis in original]

    On December 27, 2007, the people of Kenya voted in a hotly contested election, despite the logistical challenges and the long lines. More than 14 million Kenyans registered to vote, that is 82% of the eligible voters. An estimated 2,547 Parliamentary candidates were qualified to run the in 210 constituencies, a clear indication of the desire and determination of Kenyans to participate and to be part of the political process.

    Incumbent president, Mwai Kibaki, was hastily declared the winner by the Electoral Commission of Kenya, after a series of highly irregular events which cast significant doubt on his so called victory. Let me be blunt. The election results announced by the ECK do not reflect the wishes of the Kenyan people. The people of Kenya voted for change. What they were given was the status quo.

    ...

    It is important to point out that while the ECK and the Kibaki government mishandled the 2007 elections, the State Department’s response in the wake of the elections was at best confused and at worst completely inappropriate to the circumstances. A number of statements issued by the State Department not only missed the point, but the actions of some U.S. officials were counter-productive and one-sided. To my knowledge no one else in the international community made such a gaffe.

    The State Department should have waited on the outcome to determine how to respond effectively. Our diplomatic efforts in the wake of the elections have not been stellar. Indeed, the response to the Kenya election crisis proves beyond doubt that some in the Administration are quick to embrace a government that engages in electoral abuses and overlook rather than condemn its electoral and human rights abuses.

    Remember the 2005 elections in Ethiopia? Did we condemn the abuses and killings of innocent civilians in Ethiopia after the elections? And where are those elected members of parliament and the mayor of the capital? Not in parliament. They were imprisoned for two years. The thinking may be: if Prime Minister Meles can get away with a stolen election and still remain a friend of Washington, why not Kibaki?

    What are the lessons learned? Very few. Dr. Frazer’s statement on January 31 about ethnic cleansing played right into the hands of the Kibaki camp, allowing them to portray themselves as victims of an ethnic conflict. The violence is unlikely to end without a mechanism in place to resolve the election dispute.

    ...

    It is critical that a transitional, coalition government is established, with a clear mandate to implement necessary reforms such as a new constitution, a new electoral law, a new electoral commission, address the root causes of the crisis, and prepare the country for transparent presidential elections within two years.

    will chairman payne ever come right out and state clearly what frazer and the state dept are up to?

    Posted by: b real | Feb 6, 2008 2:06:21 PM | 83

    from maina kiai's prepared stmt at today's house subcommittee hearing


    With the benefit of hindsight, there were steps taken that paint a picture of a well orchestrated plan to ensure a pre-determined result. These include:

    i) President Kibaki’s decision to abrogate the agreement of 1997 on the formula for appointments to the Electoral Commission ensuring that all the Commissioners were appointed by him alone;

    ii) An administrative decision within the ECK to give responsibility to Commissioners for their home regions, something that had never been done before, meaning that they appointed all the election officials in the constituencies in their home regions, in a manner that created conflicts of interest;

    iii) The rejection of an offer from IFES to install a computer program that would enable election officials in the constituencies to submit results electronically to Nairobi and then on to a giant screen available to the public making it virtually impossible to change results;

    iv) A decision to abandon the use of ECK staff in the Verification and Tallying Centre in favour of casual staff provided by the Commissioners directly; and

    v) A refusal to ensure that election officials in areas with large predictable majorities for any of the candidates came from different areas so as to reduce the likelihood of ballot stuffing.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 6, 2008 7:10:26 PM | 84

    africa action today released their Africa Policy Outlook 2008, being the anniversary of the brachycephalic's announcement of AFRICOM

    on kenya, (emphases in original)

    As we begin the year 2008, the recent turbulence in the heretofore-stable Kenya brings current U.S. policy into focus. U.S. interests in Kenya are well documented. Kenya’s role as a manufacturing and financial hub for East Africa makes its an appealing partner for Western investments. The country’s geographic location, bordering on a collapsed Somalia also appeals to U.S. security interests, particularly given Mwai Kibaki’s history of unswerving support for the Bush Administration’s "war on terror." It is therefore not surprising that the U.S. initially responded to the dubious official election outcome and immediate swearing in of Kibaki for a second term by calling on the Kenyan people to "...accept the results...calmly."

    Once it became apparent that the elections were clearly tarnished, various U.S. officials have backtracked and engaged in a clumsy game of semantics regarding what was actually said. But all of Africa saw the U.S. rally around Meles Zenawi when he also claimed to win the Ethiopian election in 2005, despite overwhelming evidence that he and his Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) had lost badly. Zenawi immediately cracked down on the opposition and at least 200 people were killed and 700 were injured. The EPRDF never relinquished control of power and two years later, Zenawi’s troops, backed by the U.S., invaded Somalia.

    U.S. support of favored illegitimate regimes like Zenawi’s in Ethiopia and the unhelpful, contradictory U.S. diplomatic response to the aborted elections in Kenya risk encouraging leadership around the continent to ignore the will of their citizens when they have international backing. Do these two instances foreshadow the standard AFRICOM response to contested elections in Africa?

    In 2002, Kenya appeared to be a shining example of the possibilities of democracy and the genuine emergence of freedom and real stability, after frequent government critic Mwai Kibaki was appointed in an election regarded as free and fair. The spectacle of Kenya in turmoil is certainly distressing to other democratic movements across the continent in a year that will see several other important African elections that may experience unhealthy influence from U.S. militarization.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 6, 2008 11:07:21 PM | 85

    re that story on the bugged hotel room, this is interesting in that it is the UN making the denial while annan is reportedly in nairobi "under the auspices" of the AU

    daily nation: UN denies room bugging claims

    The United Nations has denied reports that a hotel room belonging to its former chief, Mr Kofi Annan, in Nairobi had been bugged.

    An official at the UN said the reports appearing in a South African media outlet were false.

    The official said there was a mechanism which was being used on a daily basis to detect whether the room was bugged or not.

    Efforts to get comments from Mr Annan himself were futile as he was held up in mediation talks between PNU and ODM for the better part of Wednesday. His usual press briefings after the talks did not take place.

    initial reaction in the blogosphere is that kibaki is responsible for it, but that's not necessarily the case, as there are many invested parties keying in on the negotiations.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 6, 2008 11:27:26 PM | 86

    misleading headline in the daily nation

    US slaps travel ban on MPs

    Ten MPs are among prominent people facing an imminent travel ban to the United States following the country’s post-election political crisis.

    The US accuses these people of being behind the violence in which nearly 1,000 people have been killed and more than 350,000 others have been displaced.

    And Wednesday, America’s northern neighbour, Canada, followed suit by stating that it would also write demand letters to the same individuals with a view to blocking them from stepping on its soil.

    US ambassador Michael Ranneberger Wednesday confirmed the drastic step, stating his country “decided to apply our travel restrictions on individuals who we believe participated in the instigation of violence, violation of human rights and breaking of democratic practices”.

    Mr Ranneberger said he had sent out letters to “10 individuals who we believe are involved in the activities that we have mentioned.

    “The ban will affect their families — their children who are studying in the US and their spouses. The individuals will also be affected.”

    Thirty more people, he added were being investigated.

    The letters were personally written to the individuals by the envoy, asking them to explain why they should not be blocked from travelling to the US in the wake of the violence and violations of human rights ever since the election results were announced on December 30.

    But the envoy was tight-lipped on the identity of the MPs and prominent persons affected, only stating that it was an “individual issue” those affected have to handle. The MPs, we learnt, include both PNU and ODM members.
    ...
    On Wednesday, we learned that some of the letters were written last week, while others were sent out this week. An embassy official said the decision to target the 10 was arrived at through evidence collected from the ground, the clergy and groups that have been closely monitoring the violence and violation of human rights.

    the east african standard, on the same story, w/ the same type of misleading headline, reports that

    Kenyan MPs banned from US

    Ten high profile PNU and ODM personalities have been banned from traveling to the United States over alleged links to the post-poll violence, The Standard has learnt.

    With this, international pressure appeared to shift from initial subtle threats couched in diplomatic language to concrete action on a day the crisis in Kenya featured both in the US Senate and the UN Security Council and mediation talks proper started in Nairobi.
    ...
    On Wednesday, the US Embassy in Nairobi declined to divulge details of the 10 personalities it has lined-up for blacklisting, only saying that five were politicians and the rest prominent business people.

    The 10 have already been notified, the Embassy said.

    The caution also covers family members of the politicians, including those studying in the US.
    ...
    The Embassy said it was only waiting for the personalities to turn up with their travel papers to enforce the ban.

    Ranneberger said the Embassy was also looking at information on nearly 30 other leaders believed to have funded the bloodletting.
    ...
    The US Embassy in Nairobi, however, clarified that the travel advisory may not be an outright ban but is an indication that the individuals may not be welcome in the US.

    The Mission also said it will not compile an exhaustive list of politicians to be banned from traveling to the US but would deal with applications for visas on an individual basis.
    ...
    This is part of the efforts by foreign countries to pile pressure on Kenyan leaders and push them to resolve the deadly post election conflict.

    On Monday, White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said resolving the conflict in Kenya has a "long way to go".

    Hadley, quoted by Reuters, also said that a re-run might not be in the best interest of the country’s stability.

    "Many people believe that to go to elections now would not be a prescription for bringing stability."

    Comments by American leaders, however, show that they are not all reading from the same script.

    Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Dr Jendayi Frazer had her reference to the violence as ethnic cleansing contradicted by State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack.

    The EU has, however, adopted a more clear approach and has called for a re-run of the elections and has suspended budgetary aid to Kenya.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 7, 2008 12:06:00 AM | 87

    b real,
    CSPAN2 had a bit of Payne and the ranking Republican offering the Kenya resolution on the House floor. Payne had some surprising good swipes at the Administration. At least its not a total vacuum.

    Posted by: biklett | Feb 7, 2008 12:44:02 AM | 88

    Link to House Resolution

    "Whereas the instability in Kenya is not rooted in tribal violence but in a struggle for democracy and concerns that the gains of the past decade may be lost;"

    is good but it may as well say:

    Whereas we'll let the CIA, et al. do whatever they want and investigate in five or ten years...

    Posted by: biklett | Feb 7, 2008 12:57:15 AM | 89

    wonder what the story is on this

    reuters: UN council demands end to Kenya ethnic violence

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 6 (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday demanded an end to what it described as "ethnically motivated attacks" in Kenya, where a wave of post-election violence has left over 1,000 people dead.

    In its second non-binding statement issued since the violence began over a month ago, the 15-nation council ordered Kenya to "immediately end violence, including ethnically motivated attacks, dismantle armed gangs, improve the humanitarian situation and restore human rights."
    ...
    The council statement, much more strongly worded than last week's, also expressed "strong concern at the continuing dire humanitarian situation in Kenya and (called) for the protection of refugees and internally displaced persons."

    It also reiterated the council's support for mediation efforts led by former U.N. chief Kofi Annan.

    An earlier version of the statement drafted by France and Britain said the council "regrets the abuses in the presidential election noted by international and domestic observers." But this was removed due to Russian objections, diplomats said.

    The statement did not say what further steps the council might take if the violence continues.

    ---

    didn't appear to be much agreement in wednesday's meetings. ODM is adamant about an interim govt, rebuilding of an electoral commission, constitutional reform, and a rerun. the govt is trying to stall, trying to dictate the terms. some say that the govt did bug annan to frustrate him to the point where he gives up & leaves. that may be so, but it seems unnecessary, since annan has hardly been tough on kibaki. just today the govt announced that, in addition to the IGAD event taking place in nairobi on friday, kibaki will also host an EAC summit there on the same day.

    two recaps on today's negotiations
    the standard: What Annan team discussed
    daily nation: Sharp divisions over disputed poll results

    ODM is calling for a rerun in 3 or so months. at the house subcommittee hearing linked above, KNCHR chairperson maina kiai laid out a pretty cogent "way forward", which is worth a read.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 7, 2008 12:59:23 AM | 90

    biklett - thanks. i have yet to see it. usually the subcommittee has live webcasts available at their site, but none for this one. back in october payne got several pointed jabs in on frazer over state's policies & actions -- she is such a transparent liar that one would have to be deaf, dumb & blind to not figure out what's going on wrt u.s. policy in the HOA & east africa. and payne recently took a lot of heat for traveling to eritrea. he could definitely use more supporters in the house & senate. i think his heart is in the right place, but not sure how much he can accomplish against the strong lobbyists & congressional apathy/ignorance on african affairs.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 7, 2008 1:12:22 AM | 91


    banning Kenyan MP's is just so classic, just such classic moral-superiority. It's so core to the game. Nothing else but, is anywhere as certain or central. Will the natives see through the scam as quickly as they should ? Probably not quickly enough in todays upside-down Kenya. Its working again just like the old days. Never mind that most every-one else has wised up. Give it up one more time for Kenya. It still works ! Yessir , it still works !

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Feb 7, 2008 9:12:39 PM | 92

    sounding like that story on annan's room being bugged may have been propaganda, as there is only one newspaper report on it, citing info based on "multiple reliable, impartial sources - both in Kenya and abroad". another article where the UN denies it, along w/ annan this time.

    daily nation: Now Annan denies room bugging claims

    Chief mediator Kofi Annan has denied media reports that his hotel room had been bugged by unknown people.

    The former UN secretary-general was surprised when asked about the bugging of his room at the Serena Hotel and described the report as news to him.

    “(My hotel room) bugged? That is news to me,” said Mr Annan through his spokesman, Mr Fred Eckhard.
    ...
    In a statement to media houses Thursday, Mr Eckhard allayed fears that the room could be bugged by stating that UN security forces were under instructions to inspect Mr Annan’s room on a regular basis, adding that they had nothing to hide from any suspicious side in the talks.
    ...
    UN officials said Mr Annan was determined to find a lasting solution to the political crisis and the subsequent violence in which nearly 1,000 people have been killed.

    question coming up. i see a jan 1997 UN press briefing by mr. eckhard, at that time "Acting Spokesman for the Secretary-General" and others on through the rest of annan's term at the UN

    now, is one of the perks of having been the sec-gen of the UN that you get to keep your spokesperson and bodyguards?

    the story is that annan is in nairobi on behalf of the AU, yet the UN is regularly checking his room and he still has his old UN spokesperson dealing w/ the press?

    granted, the AU likely doesn't have the funds to provide for annan's expenses, security, and PR - but why not just come out and state that kofi annan is in nairobi for the UN on behalf of some international agents?

    Posted by: b real | Feb 7, 2008 11:30:51 PM | 93

    link to thursday's senate foreign relations committee hearing - The Immediate and Underlying Causes and Consequences of Flawed Democracy in Kenya

    the panelists were

  • frazer @ DoS
  • the asst admin for USAID's african affairs (whose prepared stmt alludes to jim swan's analysis, though he was on the panel at the house subcommittee hearing)
  • a researcher from HRW (who also calls on the IRI to release their exit poll results)
  • joel barkan @ CSIS, who stated that "While it is impossible to argue with certainty that Raila Odinga won the election, it is possible to argue with near certainty and evidence that Mwai Kibaki did not win. Indeed, Kibaki may also have failed to meet the requirement that the winning candidate received at least 25 percent of the vote in five of Kenya’s eight provinces, a test Raila Odinga easily passed."
  • the director the "Horn of Africa Project" at ICG

    will parse it all later for any useful info but can't resist pointing out that this hearing on kenya featured no kenyans on its panels of experts. at least the hearing at the house had kiai and a former member of parliament on its panels.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 8, 2008 2:46:35 PM | 94

  • the standard: Hope as Kibaki, Raila break fresh ground

    The international mediating team led by former UN Secretary General, Dr Kofi Annan, announced the Government’s notable climbdown so far, on Friday, following joint talks with the two protagonists. Annan’s announcement came along with the caution that it was still premature to conclude a peace deal had been struck.

    The deal, however, was a far cry from the Government’s long-standing position that the aggrieved should "go to court".

    It also was a major shift from Kibaki’s team’s insistence that the President won and that a political settlement of whatever nature was out of question.
    ...
    Signs that ODM and PNU may have moved closer to a settlement emerged when Annan called for an informal session of Parliament to convene as early as Tuesday, "so that we can brief them on the process where we are and where we are going".

    "This (special session of Parliament) should probably be on Tuesday, but this is up to the President on when he will reconvene Parliament," Annan, told an international news conference attended by co-mediators, former South African First Lady Graca Machel and former Tanzania President Mr Benjamin Mkapa.

    Though the parties recognised the need for a political solution to the crisis details of the scope of the political settlement and its implementation remained scanty.

    daily nation: Ray of hope as mediation team clears major hurdles

    The team negotiating Kenya’s political crisis Friday cleared major hurdles, paving the way for a possible power sharing formula between the government and opposition.

    As part of the deal, the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will no longer insist on President Kibaki’s resignation and an immediate election re-run, sources familiar with the talks said.

    Instead, ODM will agree on a power-sharing deal incorporating the government Party of National Unity (PNU) together with its affiliate parties including Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s ODM Kenya.

    not sure about that - the daily nation still leans PNU, while the east african standard leans opposition

    Mr Annan said details of a political settlement would be arrived at early next week and urged patience.

    He said a political settlement his team envisaged was one that would establish institutions that would ensure there was no recurrence of the sort of incidents witnessed in the country recently.

    “We have agreed that a political settlement is necessary and we are discussing the details which will be made public early next week. We are making progress and we are asking for a little patience,” he said at the media briefing.

    He said the mood among the negotiators were “swinging” all the time and urged Kenyans to treat with caution any rumours about the talks.
    ...
    It is expected that the two teams will use the weekend to thrash out the finer details of the agreement to be announced next week. Yesterday’s events were preceded by heavy international pressure on PNU and ODM leaders to reach a negotiated settlement.

    The European Union, US, Canada and the UN, exerted pressure pointing out that any party that will undermine the Annan effort would pay for it.

    The UN Security Council had asked President Kibaki and Mr Odinga to reach a compromise.

    The US and Canada warned that they were watching the situation and any individuals who sabotaged the talks would be targeted for visa restrictions. The restrictions would also apply to members of their families, according to letters sent out to 10 people by the US embassy in Nairobi.

    There have also been threats of an aid freeze to the country and diplomatic isolation.

    so far, it looks like that's exactly what the stories about "visa bans" was for - leverage by talking tough. there haven't been any reports of anyone actually being banned, yet news articles were all over it, w/ reports on thursday that the "bans" were heavily discussed during the negotiations.

    the daily nation article also includes this bit, though i've not yet seen it verified elsewhere but indicates that the push if for any rerun, if there even is one, to be a few years down the road.

    The National Dialogue and Reconciliation Committee which Mr Annan chairs agreed that the Presidential votes would neither be re-tallied nor recounted while the floated proposal of holding fresh elections in a period of six months was also edged out.

    Sources at the meeting said the mediation team will from next week focus on the nature of a political settlement that would bring together the Government and ODM sides in a regime whose task would be to enact far-reaching constitutional, legal and institutional reforms in a period of three years.

    more stalling, if true. there is already a wealth of groundwork laid for constitutional & institutional reform, as many kenyans have pointed out, so movement in this direction would not be starting from scratch. disbanding the ECK and setting up a replacement for a rerun could easily be done w/i twelve months.

    on the state dept psyop move:
    daily nation: US declines to reveal the eight in travel ban

    The State Department has refused to disclose the identities of eight Kenyans who have been warned that they may be barred from travelling to the US.

    But a member of the United States team that monitored the December 27 elections has given the Senate 16 names of reputed “hardliners” associated with both President Kibaki’s camp and the Orange Democratic Movement. The identities of the eight individuals cannot be disclosed “because of the confidentiality of visa records,” State Department spokesman Tom Casey told reporters in Washington on Thursday.

    that listing of "hardliners" is in the footnotes of joel barkan's prepared statement in the senate subcommittee's hearing on thursday which i linked to in an earlier comment. (in his testimony, barkan stated that one of the individuals is on the list by mistake.)

    continuing w/ the daily nation story

    Mr Casey indicated that the eight include “a mixture of politicians and businessmen.”

    He insisted that eight, not 10, Kenyans had been sent letters indicating that their US visas could be revoked if investigations determine they were linked to the post-election violence.

    US embassy officials in Nairobi had earlier indicated that 10 Kenyans had been issued letters of warning.

    those embassy stmts appear to have worked - kenyan media ran w/ the headlines that bans had been issued, rumour mills have been working overtime trying to guess who was on the list, and the kenyan govt spokespersons, such as alfred mutua, have gotten mileage out of claiming that ODM leaders were banned due to their involvement in organized violence per the jan 24th HRW press stmt.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 9, 2008 12:43:14 AM | 95

    i'll point out this associated press story only b/c of how particularly odious the bias in it is.

    Kenya Opposition Drops Conciliatory Tone

    CHEPKIOYO, Kenya (AP) — Kenya's opposition leader demanded Saturday that the president resign and new elections be held, dropping a conciliatory stance that had brought hope for a political settlement to end weeks of postelection violence.

    Raila Odinga, who accuses President Mwai Kibaki of stealing the Dec. 27 election, spoke in his traditional power base in western Kenya before cheering supporters at the funeral of a slain opposition lawmaker.

    Kibaki "must step down or there must be a re-election — in this I will not be compromised," Odinga shouted in East Africa's common language of Swahili.

    It was a sharp turnaround from comments he made in English two days earlier in the capital, Nairobi. He indicated he would not insist on Kibaki's resignation, saying "we are willing to give and take."

    The next day, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan struck an optimistic note after mediating negotiations between the two sides, and Odinga's own political party said a power-sharing agreement was in the works. Annan said he hoped to complete work on a settlement early next week.

    But Odinga returned Saturday to the themes that have rallied supporters, repeating a comparison of which he is fond: "You cannot steal my cow, and I catch you red-handed, and then expect me to share the milk because the cow is mine."

    no mention anywhere in that article that it is the PNU & kibaki that are [1] responsible for the situation in kenya after blatantly stealing the election & using violent force to maintain office and [2] the primary obstacle to reaching any progress in the ongoing negotiations. this is not some conspiracy theory. instead, the AP directs blame to ODM, creating in the mind of the relatively uniformed reader a complete revision of the facts on the ground. it is a stance which i find both disgusting & dangerous.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 9, 2008 7:10:01 PM | 96

    the standard: Annan: Deal could be struck in 48-72 hours

    Hope for a breakthrough in the crippling political crisis rose Monday night after mediator Kofi Annan announced that a deal could be struck within the next 48 to 72 hours.

    In a statement calling for a complete news blackout on progress on the negotiation table, Annan also moved the talks on outstanding political issues to an undisclosed location outside Nairobi "to ensure confidentiality".

    Annan also urged the parties to not to discuss issues under negotiations with anyone outside the negotiating room.

    In the statement issued by spokesman Mr Nassir Musa, Annan added: "At the appropriate time, the Kenya National Dialogue for Reconciliation Secretariat will issue a statement through the press to announce the outcome of the confidential talks".

    This emerged even as all legislators prepared for a special session on the talks this morning, a clear pointer that the House would be the next stop for implementation of any mediated political solution.

    The informal session, known in parliamentary parlance as Kamukunji, was convened at the request of Annan team last Friday. In the meeting — seen as critical in clearing another hurdle in the quest to break the impasse — the former United Nations secretary-general and his team of Eminent African Persons will brief members on progress and roles they are expected to play. The National Assembly Speaker, Mr Kenneth Marende, will chair the Kamukunji.
    ...
    And curiously, President Kibaki and ODM leader Mr Raila Odinga have been asked not to attend the Kamukunji, convened at the Old Parliament Chambers, understandably so that the MPs can air their views freely.

    It is believed that MPs would be asked to be ready to support constitutional reforms to allow the possible sharing of power between the two bitter rivals.
    ...
    In yesterday’s [monday] mediation session, the two negotiating teams agreed to the establishment of an Independent Review Commission that would investigate all aspects of the December 27 presidential elections.

    Sources said the Committee would be expected to make findings and give recommendations for a better electoral process.

    The committee would be made up of Kenyans and members of the international community well versed in electoral issues.
    ...
    The committee is expected to start its work on March 15 and should report it findings within a period of three to six months.

    daily nation: US tight-lipped on travel ban threat list

    Major international airlines operating in Kenya are yet to receive the list of politicians and businessmen who risk travel restrictions to the United States.

    The US embassy in Nairobi has since last week sent letters to 13 leaders in political and business circles, which could see them denied entry visas to the country.
    ...
    Pundits suspect that threats by the US, Canada and the United Kingdom in threatening certain individuals with travel restrictions was meant to force the protagonists in the crisis to strike a deal.

    pundits.. or anyone paying attention

    Posted by: b real | Feb 11, 2008 11:21:02 PM | 97

    the standard: A blot on the talks

    Members of Parliament at an extraordinary Kamukunji session were called upon to put aside their sectarian differences and collectively focus on Kenya to find a lasting solution to the crippling political crisis.

    Lead Mediator Kofi Annan — who was optimistic that an agreement could be concluded "hopefully this week" — urged MPs: "Let us pull together and get it done. We cannot afford to fail".

    However, there was a damper as soon as Annan concluded his briefing of MPs on the ground so far covered by the negotiators in ongoing talks, when discontent became evident within Party of National Unity (PNU) ranks.

    Matters appeared to have come to a head at the plenary session when the former United Nations secretary-general allegedly seemed to suggest that PNU and rivals Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) had agreed on a transitional government and presidential elections after two years.

    Soon after this statement, some PNU and Government-aligned MPs started trickling out of Old Chambers of Parliament — the venue of the Kamukunji — seemingly in quiet protest.

    Thereafter, and after the special session of Parliament concluded, the MPs retreated to a hastily convened Parliamentary Group (PG) at County Hall, where Justice minister Martha Karua — who heads the Government team in the talks — read a letter to protest against the Annan "pronouncement".

    An excerpt of the strongly worded letter obtained by The Standard last night read: "My team is alarmed at some serious inaccurate statement made by Your Excellency at the briefing of parliamentarians today. Namely, you stated that ‘the dialogue team had agreed to have a transitional government for two years after which we shall hold presidential elections".

    in the finest tradition of transparent democractic principles
    Annan teams off to secret location

    Former UN chief, Dr Kofi Annan, and his mediation teams are at an undisclosed location to hammer out the final deal between PNU and ODM.

    The teams will remain sequestered in a luxurious hideout believed to be in one of the game reserves.

    It is understood that members of the teams were requested not to use their mobile phones for the duration of the retreat.

    On Monday, Annan announced he would move the talks to a secret location and called on the teams to keep away from the media.

    He said the talks had reached a crucial stage and hoped a final deal would be reached between 48 and 72 hours.

    and it looks as if the u.s. embassy actually did send out at least one letter demanding a written "essay" (but not one of those on barkan's list)

    MP faults US envoy’s demand

    Mukurweini MP, Mr Kabando wa Kabando, reacted sharply to a demand letter by US Ambassador, Mr Michael Ranneberger, that he writes an essay detailing his efforts and achievements in promoting peace.

    The MP accused the envoy of advocating what he termed as "ethnic profiling" by choosing to victimise him on the grounds that he assisted victims of violence in his constituency.

    Terming the letter "scandalous and obnoxious", the MP described it as shocking and uncalled for. "In case it has escaped your notice, I have not applied for a US visa," he said.
    ...
    An angry Kabando posed: "You expect the people of Mukurweini, who elected me, to see me sitting down in a classroom to write an essay on my efforts and achievements in promoting peace?"

    Posted by: b real | Feb 12, 2008 11:54:43 PM | 98

    this is from a feb 7th CSIS press briefing on the u.s. president's trip to africa

    Morrison: Liberia, for its part, is looking for more from us. ... They very much want AFRICOM to make Liberia its headquarters. And there has been a big push from the president of Liberia to our president. Secretary of State Rice has been lobbying on behalf of this. DOD and the new leadership of AFRICOM are fighting this internally for reasons that we can discuss. I think there may be some compromise position in terms of putting some kind of modest AFRICOM presence into Liberia as a regional presence because AFRICOM is seeking to create four regional offices.

    ...

    Cooke: Some of those fears about AFRICOM have been somewhat allayed kind of by, one, the ratcheting back of the explanations about what AFRICOM is and the postponement of the debate about where to base it.

    Steve talked about Liberia as being one of the big advocates for basing it in Liberia. I think State Department was favoring that option. DOD actually until fairly recently was pushing for Kenya. But just the politics of that, I think AFRICOM has fairly successfully said, look, we’re based in Stuttgart until further notice.

    this is from the FY2008 Congressional Budget Justification - Foreign Operations [4.39M PDF] in the section on kenya

    Kenya is the linchpin of East African stability and is a front-line state in the fight against terrorism. Assistance in this area is vital to prevent Kenya from backsliding into increasing insecurity.

    ...

    Despite excellent military-to-military relations with Kenya, the lack of an Article 98 Agreement currently impedes certain U.S. military assistance funding to the government. Recent changes in legislation allow for the resumption of IMET programs with Kenya. The Department continues to seek an Article 98 Agreement with Kenya and hopes that one will be concluded by FY 2008. U.S. foreign assistance will focus on providing targeted training to increase the professionalism of the Kenyan military and police. The coastal security initiative will expand, with new patrols along the southern and northern borders of Kenya. Training and equipment will assist forces patrolling to secure Kenya's coast and borders, and funding will support efforts to control the flow of weapons through Kenya. Funding will secure police armories in the northern provinces in tandem with the United Nations Development Programme; combat trafficking in persons and alien smuggling; and help to diminish the underlying conditions that spawn terrorism by bringing increased economic and educational opportunities to traditionally marginalized groups.

    one of the criteria for suitable HQ locations listed previously is that the host body must have article 98 and SOFA agreements w/ the u.s.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 13, 2008 11:51:05 PM | 99

    this is an extremely wild job reuters has done here

    Odinga backers want Kenya talks result - or else

    NAIROBI (Reuters) - Some of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga's slum supporters have tough advice for him -- emerge as president in talks or don't show your face around here.

    The group of unemployed young men standing in Nairobi's Kibera slum beside homes torched in post-election ethnic violence also made predictable comments about President Mwai Kibaki's rival Kikuyu tribe.

    They dominate the economy. They stole our land. They have a superiority complex. They won't give us jobs.

    Frustrations are running deep at a sensitive time when former U.N. chief Kofi Annan mediates between Kibaki and Odinga, hoping for a political solution to a dispute over a December 27 election that triggered clashes killing 1,000 people.

    ...

    "If Odinga does not become our president, he will need about 30 policemen to protect him if he comes around here," said Julius Muga, 22, a father of two. "We will not just listen if he gets nothing and tells us to be calm."
    ...
    Kibaki will have to do a lot more than give some of Odinga's supporters ministerial posts to pacify people like Rose, a hefty middle-aged woman, who was peeling potatoes with a knife. [guess the spoon didn't work so well... but why is it even necessary to describe what she's doing?]

    "If things don't really change we will just keep killing each other," she burst out.

    ...

    Kibaki stepping down and handing over power to Odinga would be the ideal solution for many living amid piles of stinking garbage and raw sewage. But that is highly unlikely.

    ...

    For now, there is calm in Kibera, where hairdressing salons in corrugated iron huts and a few vegetable kiosks with more flies than customers are the only signs of economic activity.

    A dozen or so policemen were casually keeping watch. Three officers vowed to crack down on any new unrest, but quietly acknowledged they wanted Odinga as their president.

    Others were not so subtle.

    Slum dweller Julius and his friends referred to Kikuyus as "cockroaches", a term used by Hutu extremists to describe Tutsis to whip up hatred during Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

    "We will not hesitate to kill every one of these Kikuyus if we don't get our rights," he said. We will get rid of them."

    unreal. i'm waiting for reuters' feature on PNU supporters.

    Posted by: b real | Feb 14, 2008 11:30:09 PM | 100

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