Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 31, 2007

Foot In Mouth?

Updated below

President Kibaki appointed 19 of the 21 electoral commissioners earlier this year. One of the new commissioners is Mr Kibaki's personal lawyer.
Kenya in flames over 'stolen election', Independent, Dec 31, 2007


In one area, Mr. Kibaki received 105,000 votes, even though there were only 70,000 registered voters. In another, the vote tally was changed, at the last minute, to give the president an extra 60,000 votes. In a third area, the turnout was reported at 98 percent.
Riots Batter Kenya as Rivals Declare Victory, NYT, Dec 30, 2007


The US State Department Sunday congratulated Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on his re-election, and called on all sides to accept the results despite opposition allegations of ballot fraud.
US congratulates Kenyan president on re-election, AFP, Dec 30, 2007


The EU observer mission cited the example of Molo constituency, where its monitors saw the official tally for Kibaki in the presidential poll marked at 50,145. But when the national election commission announced the results on television yesterday Kibaki was given 75,621 votes.
Kenyans riot as Kibaki declared poll winner, Guardian, Dec 31, 2007


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.
Incumbent Declared Winner in Kenya's Disputed Election, WaPo, Dec 31, 2007


The opposition has not indicated if it will contest the results in Kenya’s courts, which are notoriously slow and corrupt.
Tribal Rivalry Boils Over After Kenyan Election, NYT, Dec 31, 2007

UPDATE: As b real lets us know in the comments, the U.S. State Department now has made a 180 degree turn and retracted its congratulations to Kibaki. (Can Rice get anything right?).
So lets add this to the above:

The US State Department expressed "serious concerns" on Monday about Kenya's disputed presidential vote and withdrew its congratulations to the re-elected leader, Mwai Kibaki.
Despite foreign concern about the vote, expressed notably by European Union monitors, State Department spokesperson Rob McInturff on Sunday had congratulated Kibaki and called on all sides in Kenya to accept the results.

Rowing back, Casey told reporters on Monday that any sense that the United States was happy with the election was an "error".
US withdraws congratulations, AFP, Dec 31, 2007

Foot in mouth - indeed ...

More at b real's collection of election news from Kenia here and down in this thread.

Posted by b on December 31, 2007 at 04:01 AM | Permalink


I'd love to read a history of the US or Europe recast as a series of tribal rivalries.

Posted by: biklett | Dec 31, 2007 12:59:18 PM | 1

the u.s. has been forced to recant

afp: US withdraws congratulations

Washington - The US State Department expressed "serious concerns" on Monday about Kenya's disputed presidential vote and withdrew its congratulations to the re-elected leader, Mwai Kibaki.

"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.
Despite foreign concern about the vote, expressed notably by European Union monitors, State Department spokesperson Rob McInturff on Sunday had congratulated Kibaki and called on all sides in Kenya to accept the results.

Rowing back, Casey told reporters on Monday that any sense that the United States was happy with the election was an "error".

"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," he said.

Casey's comments came after a statement issued by the US embassy in Nairobi fretted about "anomalies" in the vote, noting that some Kenyan constituencies had declared bizarrely high turnout figures.

kenyan's were saying WTF!!! after the earlier state dept congrats stated, in effect, there's democracy, or there's dictatorship -- dictatorship be good for you

opinion piece currently circulating : Kenya joins Ethiopia in America's Most Valuable Dictators club

The American government is historically very famous for supporting dictators as long as its interests are met. Saddam was one example himself, until his value died out for the American imperialist governments. But this imperialist country has welcomed many members inside its America’s Most Valuable Dictators (AMVD) club. Of course the permanent AMVD members will always be Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan.
Throughout the years, America have added and kicked out, and vice versa, many countries in its AMVD club. So membership in the club changes over time. Today, dozens remain inside it, including the newly admitted dictatorship government of Ethiopia that rigged its own elections as well as dictatorships in Nigeria and Libya. Now, another African country has joined after Kenya’s dictator Kibaki rigged and stolen this year’s election. The fact remains, America knew about the existence of Dictatorship in Nairobi long time ago. Kenyan corruption is one of the worst in the world and more than four massacres by police have already occurred just in recent years including massacres in Marsabit and other north & eastern slums of Kenya. Even right before the election, hundreds of people have been killed in the rural areas of Kenya, but as a western darling where all western media is stationed at, Nairobi enjoyed the thumbs up from the American government while the Kenyan dictatorship government kept foreigners restricted inside the urban, far away from the annual massacre festivals in the rural.

But now, nobody can hide the tyranny inside Kenya anymore. America hid the several innocent Kenyans killed by rioters and by policemen during the pre election time, but America can’t do its magic again to hide the anti-democracy Nairobi regime’s crimes. Still, while European Union (EU) and other observers condemned the rigged election in Kenya, only the American government congratulated the dictator. This was a formal reception into the AMVD club. Welcome Nairobi!

Posted by: b real | Dec 31, 2007 3:16:15 PM | 2

the calls for 'letting the courts handle it' are seen as dubious, by many, since the govt is primarily designed by kibaki's party & made up of kikuyu.

odinga's ODM party have postponed a coordinated mass protest until the 3rd.

spiegel online: Over 120 Killed in Kenya Clashes

More than 120 people have been killed in Kenya since Sunday as angry opposition groups clashed with police and rival tribal groups after President Mwai Kibaki was hastily sworn in for a second term despite fierce accusations of election fraud. The country is sliding towards civil war.

Police in the Kenyan capital Nairobi and other parts of the country opened fire on supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga, killing scores of people who were protesting against alleged fraud in the election that returned President Mwai Kibaki to power on Sunday.

In the Nairobi slum area of Kangemi police pulled members of the Luo tribe, which Odinga belongs to, out of their corrugated tin huts and even assaulted pregnant women with their wooden batons. There are reports of many deaths elsewhere -- in Nairobi's Kibera slum and in the town of Kisumu in western Kenya.


Odinga said the opposition had three options: civil disobedience, resistance in parliament and action through the law courts. But it's unclear how long the country's democratic institutions will go on functioning. Foreign observers say Kenya is heading towards military dictatorship. Kibaki evidently has to resort to violence to suppress the anger of voters.

The election made clear that the people want democracy and change. There is no other explanation for the kilometer-long queues in front of polling stations and the unusually high voter turnout of 70 percent. Many walked for hours to cast their ballot.


Could this trouble have been foreseen? When Kibaki came to power five years ago he solemnly declared that his government would make the fight against corruption its main task. And he pledged to do away with the personality cult that his predecessor arap Moi had nurtured.

But it wasn't long before Kibaki had his face minted on 40 cent coins and his picture started smiling benignly down from office walls in the countless government institutions.

Fighting corruption soon fell by the wayside. On the contrary. His entourage shamelessly enriched itself, much to the dismay of the British High Commissioner who as early as 2004 complained that they had misappropriated €125 million -- enough to buy 1,000 Mercedes S350 or build 15,000 classrooms, as the diplomat calculated.


Kibaki made a name for himself as a power-hungry and corrupt promoter of the Kikuyu people. When he wanted to increase his own salary to around $40,000 a month, he had to back down. That was simply too much.

Kenya now faces serious problems. Kibaki is to blame for the re-emergence of old tribal feuds. He liked to preach national unity but never practiced it. That's why he lost the election in six out of eight provinces. Despite the alleged fraud.

His power is based on the few tribes he protects, who voted him with 99 percent, and his own power apparatus.

His opponent Odinga now faces a dilemma. If he calls on his supporters to take to the streets, he will only exacerbate the situation. His opponents can then remove him as a security risk.

But if he tries to calm them down, if he remains passive and relies on a judicial investigation of the election, he will lose his status as a people's hero and the real election winner.

Posted by: b real | Dec 31, 2007 3:44:06 PM | 3

Thanks b real - I have updated the original post - "Retract the congratulation" - foggy bottom is a clownhouse and Rice is Bush'sCheney's hapless court jester

Posted by: b | Dec 31, 2007 4:14:12 PM | 4

How do you manage to put your foot in your mouth when your head is so far up your arse????

Posted by: mikefromtexas | Dec 31, 2007 7:16:15 PM | 5

to anyone who knows just a little about Kenyan politics, despite its safari, friendly, & touristy "National Geographic" image, Kenya is a highly politically volatile country with some serious stuff brewing under its photogenic surface. Still, Kenya is home to many world-class thinkers & progressives and we have good cause to expect (& hope) that they are bigger, than any potential Luo/Kikuyu ethnic conflict that may be manipulated out of this.

and its just un-imaginable that Condi & Jendayi's State Dept are so clueless. A quick call to pretty much any British diplomat or lowly diplomat-clerk, anywhere in the world would have saved them this incredible embarrassment. The British know Kenya (former colony) well. Not just about Mau-Mau but they also know better than to be anything but very cautious about Kenya.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Dec 31, 2007 7:24:57 PM | 6

The Washington post does what it can to let Kibaki look good.

In today's piece Ethnic Fault Lines Emerge in Kenya's Post-Election Turmoil the elections declared fraudulent by international observers and in earlier reporting of U.S. media is now a "he said, she said" issue.

A day after President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of a second term, people who have lived as neighbors for decades in the Nairobi enclave began speaking of two Kenyas, one for the Kikuyu, Kibaki's tribe, and one for Luos and other ethnic groups loyal to opposition leader Raila Odinga, who says the vote was rigged.
Next - a Fred Hiatt editorial lauding Kibaki as a "restrained moderate" ...

Posted by: b | Jan 1, 2008 4:54:58 AM | 7

the use of the words tribe & tribalism have the effect of stoking moral superiority. Even though whats going in Kenya is absolutely no different from Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia, Cyprus and none of these are described as tribal conflicts, or the USA's North-South divide in its civil war.

Either the Luo or the Kikuyu have always numbered more than many if not most ethnic groups in Europe.

and for as long as the Western media continue to distinguish certain darker others as tribes, we will know they are ignorant, uncivilized, delusional & insecure puffed-up but deprived miserables, desperately always in need of a moral-superiority fix.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 1, 2008 10:58:23 AM | 8

website for the EU observation mission for the kenyan elections. the preliminary report is now up today.

some selections from that document

  • The 2007 General Elections have fallen short of key international and regional standards for democratic elections. Most significantly, they were marred by a lack of transparency in the processing and tallying of presidential results, which raises concerns about the accuracy of the final result of this election.

  • ..there was a lack of a fully level playing field between contestants. Use of State resources was reported for campaign purposes by some incumbents and the state owned media’s coverage was biased.

  • EU EOM observers were generally welcomed by voters, party agents and election officials at the polling stations. At the tallying centres however, they encountered problems of access and information, particularly in Central Province. Transparency was not always maintained at a national level either. At ECK headquarters, the EU EOM electoral expert was forbidden entry into the tallying room on various occasions, despite clear and public instructions from the ECK chairman that he be granted access.

  • ..lack of consultation in the appointment of Commissioners undermined the confidence of election stakeholders and led to a majority of Commissioners being inexperienced.

  • The certification of presidential candidates by the ECK took place over two days on 14 and 15 November 2007 without any problems. However, the nomination processes for the parliamentary and civic elections were seriously marred by irregularities, chaotic administration, interference by party headquarters in individual constituencies and violence in protest against the process and outcome by voters and unsuccessful aspirants and their supporters.

  • There were high levels of coverage of the election preparations and the campaign of candidates standing for election. However, a number of monitored media outlets failed to provide equitable coverage for candidates and parties. The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, in particular, failed to fulfil even its minimal legal obligations as a public service broadcaster set out in the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Act, its coverage demonstrating a high degree of bias in favour of the Party of National Unity (PNU) coalition.

  • Domestic observers, which planned to deploy 16,500 poll watchers for the 27,555 polling stations were, for the first time since 1997, not able to deploy one poll watcher to almost every single polling station. However, their participation [at an estimated 61% of the polling stations] was considered important by the election stakeholders and contributed significantly to the transparency of the voting and counting processes at the polling station level.

  • The system established for resolution of electoral disputes does not provide a prompt response to complaints, which can only be filed within 28 days after the announcement of the results. The proceedings before the High Court, the body responsible for dealing with election complaints, are cumbersome and it provides limited access due to financial deposits that have to be made by complainants.

  • ..during the nomination and election campaign periods there were a significant number of violent assaults on women. Thirty cases were observed or reported, including intimidation, physical assaults, threats, and the murder of one ODM aspirant on 1 December 2007. Although armed escorts were provided, when requested, for some women candidates during the last weeks of the campaign, a general climate of fear and intimidation restricted the political activities of women.

  • New instructions issued by the ECK, which differed from original regulations, allowed double registered voters to cast their ballot. Consequently, polling stations had up to four different voter lists: lists organised in alphabetical order, lists organised by identity card numbers, lists with double registered voters and original black book handwritten lists. Any voter, whose name was not found in the list that was organised in alphabetical order, but included in any of the other three lists, could vote if not registered more than twice. The existence of multiple voting lists increased the risk of multiple voting.

    Turnouts higher than 90 per cent were observed in a number of polling stations, namely in Central and Eastern Province. In Maragwa, ECK officials informed EU EOM observers that there some doubts regarding the high turnout.

  • In Central Province, the majority of EU EOM observer teams experienced difficulties in obtaining the results for each polling station from Returning Officers during the tally process. In several constituencies including Mathioya, Kaloleni, Mvita, Kisauni, Changamwe, Likoni and Central/North Imenti, the Returning Officers refused to provide constituency results to EU EOM observers before these results were confirmed in Nairobi. The constituency results form in Kangema showed to EU EOM observers was only signed by a party agent of PNU. A number of party agents reported that they were refused copies of result forms. Furthermore, according to the ECK Chairman, some Returning Officers were reported to have disappeared after completion of the tallying process in their constituencies.

  • Party agents and domestic and EU EOM observers, were not initially permitted to enter the results centre at KICC, and only later after a reversal of the ECK’s original decision to release the results without full participation of observers and agents, did they permit them to attend the release of results. This access was intermittent. Whilst the result of the elections were announced, the official figures for all the constituencies are still not available and adequate measures have not been taken at all levels to ensure the results can be correlated in the public domain. On the announcement of the final result chaotic scenes with party members challenging the results being announced led to the ejection of observers and other accredited groups.

  • Serious inconsistencies and anomalies were identified in the results announced by the ECK. For example, in Molo and Kieni, there were significant differences between presidential election results reported by EU EOM observers at the constituency level and results announced by the ECK at national level. Additionally, at the ECK headquarters, the EU EOM Chief Observer was shown forms on which the election results for constituencies 205 (Lari) and 096 (Kandara) had been changed. It was unclear, by whom, where, and especially when these changes were made. It was therefore not possible to verify whether the signature of the party agents was included before or after the changes. Furthermore, for Kerugoya, EU observers reported a discrepancy of more than 10, 000 votes in the official turnout given for Presidential and Legislative elections.

    IRIN: Post-poll violence a ‘national disaster’, says Red Cross

    Kenya is in the throes of a humanitarian “national disaster” amid post-election violence that has left scores dead, tens of thousands displaced beyond reach of immediate assistance and many more destined to be dependent on aid for several months to come, according to the Red Cross.

    “The country has been riddled with insecurity over the last few days and there are many areas we cannot access,” Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet told reporters in Nairobi on 1 January after conducting an assessment by helicopter to western parts of the country.

    Video footage shot during this mission showed smoke billowing from homes and farms, crowds of displaced civilians seeking sanctuary in churches and police stations, and usually busy main arteries empty of traffic and dotted with roadblocks manned by gangs.
    In one of the most brutal episodes of violence since the incumbent Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the December 27 poll - amid cries of fraud by the opposition and international concern about the vote tallying process – at least 30 people who had sought sanctuary in a church in the western town of Eldoret died after a mob set the building ablaze, according to reports from the BBC and AFP, among other news outlets.

    AFP, which estimated the overall number of dead in the wake of the polls at 300, quoted one senior police official as saying the events around Eldoret and nearby areas “looked very much like ethnic cleansing.”

    Around the area of Burnt Forest in Rift Valley Province, according to Gullet, some 20,000 to 30,000 people, predominantly from Kibaki’s Kikuyu ethnic group, were holed up in church and police premises. An official government statement carried by local media estimated that there are 73,500 displaced people countrywide.

    Most of the displaced have no access to food, water, health services or shelter, he said.

    the u.s. has really f*cked up the horn & east africa in a short period of time

    Posted by: b real | Jan 1, 2008 3:49:19 PM | 9

  • frist, two re the first blockquote in b's initial post, on the commissioners

    the east african standard (nairobi): The question of nominations to Parliament

    When Kibaki appointed new commissioners into the ECK a few months ago, he did not bother to consult with other political parties. He carried out the exercise single-handedly.

    The move, Magut says, was and is still legally acceptable but socially and politically immoral because he was the leading architect of this IPPG provision that agreed and concluded that all parties be involved in such an exercise.

    It is alleged that one of the commissioners appointed to ECK is indeed Kibaki’s personal lawyer and friend.

    The move attracted a wave of protests across the country.

    For instance, Kibaki replaced a number of the commissioners, including vice chairman Gabriel Mukele, and was set to replace ECK Chairman Samuel Kuvuitu but the media, observers, politicians and stakeholders protested.

    In his aloof style, the President kept everybody guessing, but finally succumbed to pressure and renewed Kivuitu’s five-year term.

    I acted under a pressure, says Kivuitu

    On Tuesday night, Mr Samuel Kivuitu made a damning admission that he announced results of the fiercely contested presidential election under pressure.

    The announcement plunged the country into a post-election violence of a scale never witnessed before.

    The magnitude of the Electoral Commission chairman’s admission and the further dent on the credibility of the election was captured in his answer when asked if indeed President Kibaki won the elections: "I do not know whether Kibaki won the election".

    Kivuitu continued with his stunning revelations when he said he took the presidential election winner’s certificate to State House, Nairobi, after "some people threatened to collect it while I’m the one mandated by law to do so".

    "I arrived at State House to take the certificate and I found the Chief Justice there, ready to swear-in Kibaki," Kivuitu said.
    On Tuesday, Kivuitu said the alleged pressure to declare results came in the wake of parallel pressure from a number of ambassadors from the European Union countries and Mr Maina Kiai of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights not to announce the results until complaints, which arose, were addressed.

    "I had thought of resigning, but thought against it because I don’t want people to say I’m a coward," he said. The embattled ECK chairman made the revelations shortly after meeting with 22 ECK commissioners.

    On Tuesday, Kivuitu conceded that matters that arose from the poll results were so urgent that they should be taken to court, and the ruling done with minimum delay to ease national tension.
    On his part, Kivuitu said he backed independent investigation into what may have happened, but added that this would be only if the law would provide for it.

    "We are culprits as a commission. We have to leave it to an independent group to investigate what actually went wrong," the chairman said, stunning local and international journalists, who had gathered at his Nairobi residence.

    and now, more bits & pieces of the larger story

    FT: A chilling reminder of an election gone sour

    Mr Kibaki was first swept to power on a wave of public euphoria in 2002 elections, promising an end to the venal politics of Daniel Arap Moi, his predecessor. But the fruits of economic growth have since been unevenly spread and many Kenyans believe he has served the interests of his Kikuyu tribe at the expense of others.

    The drubbing his party received in parallel parliamentary elections last week, in which many members of his cabinet were ejected, reflected the depth of disenchantment. The Kikuyus are the largest of more than 40 ethnic groups and have traditionally been dominant in business. But their presence among the foot soldiers of Kenya's army is weak.

    If, as many analysts in Kenya are predicting, the only way for Mr Kibaki to enforce his authority in the absence of a legitimate mandate is to crush dissent, the loyalty of the security forces would become crucial.

    Maina Kiai, chairman of the Kenyan National commission on Human rights, said: "If Kibaki insists on staying, I don't see how else he'll govern this country other than with a heavy hand."

    The focus of immediate concern over the past three days has been in the rivalry between Mr Odinga's Luo tribe, who believe their man won the vote, and the Kikuyus. But reports of worsening violence illustrate the extent to which Mr Kibaki's rule has exacerbated Kenya's many tribal divisions, isolating in the process his fellow Kikuyus.
    The Kalenjins, among other tribes that bear grievances, make up a significant proportion of the army.

    For now, Mr Kibaki is relying on paramilitary units of the police who, according to security sources, have been freshly armed. But if the situation continues to deteriorate and he was forced to press the army on to the streets, the consequences could be grave, with the possibility that the troops become factionalised.
    The cabal of hardliners surrounding Mr Kibaki have repeatedly refused to bend to the mood on the street.

    Some are motivated by an arrogance that sees the Luo tribe as inferior and their own as Kenya's rightful rulers. But they may also fear the personal consequences of an Odinga presidency.

    Mr Odinga, a former political prisoner, swore during election campaigning that he would pursue officials for past human rights violations and corruption.

    "I think they could not contemplate Raila and his people having the keys to the intelligence files. There are too many skeletons in the cupboards," said a Nairobi based political analyst.

    Title : In What Ways Has US Security Cooperation Programs Been Effective in Helping Kenya to Build Partnership Capacity to Counter Transnational Terrorism?

    Descriptive Note : Monograph


    Abstract : This monograph uses Kenya as a case study to analyze the US Security Cooperation role and process in building host-nation capacity to meet the needs of Kenya to counter transnational terrorists’ networks. US counterterrorism operations since 9/11 have explicitly demonstrated the US requirement to take an indirect approach to ensuring national security as part of an international community combating transnational terrorists’ networks. In addition to capacity building, regional focus from all agencies with the US Government (USG) is required for a coordinated and effective approach in the GWOT. The United States began formal relations with Kenya in 1981 with air and port basing agreements. Kenya’s strategic location facilitated access for stability and humanitarian operations in the western Indian Ocean and east Africa. The events of 9/11 highlighted the US requirement for security partners in combating transnational terrorists and Kenya became a central front on the Global War on Terror (GWOT) due to its strategic location and willingness to ally. The partnership that started during the Cold War has carried on through to today’s war on transnational terrorists. Kenya is one of the three “anchor states” in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Nigeria and South Africa, essential in stabilizing Africa.

    The program with Kenya focused on three general lines of effort to include foreign assistance, defense security cooperation and assistance programs, and counter-terrorism training programs. In general, all three have been effective for Kenya. In specifics, the lack of a coordinated regional USG effort reduced the effectiveness of on-going programs to counter the transnational threat in the region. The nature of capacity building and countering terrorism requires a long-term strategy.

    The requirement to get initial successes in short and mid-term are met through the Defense and Counter-Terrorism efforts. The success in these areas is due to tailoring these programs to the requirements of Kenya. Security assistance procedures have not progressed since the Cold War era, and as such, actions to assist building Kenya’s security apparatus have met roadblocks.

    The current focus of the international community is the Middle East; Everything else is secondary. Conflicts in other regions of the world have not stopped, nor is there any indication of such action in the future. The limitations of what the US military can accomplish are real. The necessity of effective security cooperation programs to fight as part of the indirect approach to warfare is more relevant today than ever before to mitigate the requirement for armed interventions.

    The events of 9/11 highlighted the US
    requirement for security partners in combating transnational terrorists and Kenya became a central front on the Global War on Terror (GWOT) due to its strategic location and willingness to ally. Kenya’s vulnerability to terrorist cells such as Al-Qaeda began three years before 9/11. On August 7, 1998, the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania were simultaneously bombed. These attacks brought international attention to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.4 Although the targets were Western, Africans bore the brunt of the damage. Since independence in 1963, Kenya has predominantly aligned with a pro-Western stance on foreign affairs. This relationship, along with its location, has made Kenya the linchpin of stability in the East African region.

    some refresher materials

    feb 25, 2007 : Kenya ’Aided US Raid in Somalia’

    Kenya cooperated closely and extensively with the US in the Ethiopian-American intervention in Somalia last month, A U.S newspaper has reported. The New York Times said on Friday that a US special forces unit known as Task Force 88 operated inside Kenya as part of a coordinated offensive against Islamist militants in Somalia.

    Task Force 88’s deployment in Kenya was timed to coincide with attacks inside Somalia by two US Air Force AC-130 gunships flying from an airstrip in eastern Ethiopia, according to the Times account. The heavily armed American planes hit targets in Ras Kamboni near the Somalia border with Kenya on January 7. Around the same time, US special forces "operating in Kenya, working with the Kenyan military, also set up positions along the Somalia border to capture militants trying to flee the country," two Washington-based Times correspondents wrote. The Government moved swiftly to close Kenya’s border with Somalia in what Kenya said was aimed at blocking the war from spilling into the country and preventing the Islamists from fleeing.
    According to the Times, CIA agents in Kenya served as conduits for American intelligence that was passed on to Kenyan officials.

    from barnett's esquire piece last june

    The word came down suddenly in early January to the fifty or so U.S. troops stationed inside Camp Simba, a Kenyan naval base located on that country's sandy coast: Drop everything and pull everyone back inside the compound wire. Then they were instructed to immediately clear a couple acres of dense forest. Task Force 88, a very secret American special-operations unit, needed to land three CH-53 helicopters.

    "We had everybody working nonstop," says Navy Lieutenant Commander Steve Eron, commander of Contingency Operating Location Manda Bay, a new American base in Kenya, including a dozen or so on-site KBR contractors. By the next day, every tree had been hauled off and the field graded and packed down using heavy machinery. The pad was completed in thirty-six hours.

    Soon after, U.S. special operators flying out of Manda Bay were landing in southernmost Somalia, searching for survivors among the foreign fighters and Al Qaeda operatives just targeted in a furious bombardment by a U.S. gunship launched from a secret airstrip in eastern Ethiopia.

    The 88's job was simple: Kill anyone still alive and leave no unidentified bodies behind.

    human rights watch, march 30, 2007: Kenya, US and Ethiopia Cooperate in Secret Detentions and Renditions

    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.

    from an april 2007 opinion piece in a rwandan paper

    Kenya is also said to be reconsidering the American view on the stabilisation of Somalia and secret meetings with the Islamists are said to have taken place. Kenya has reason to move more cautiously, given the show of force that the Somali community displayed days into the Ethiopian invasion, when they held mammoth protest rally in Nairobi , which was backed by the leading opposition Orange Democratic Movement.

    voa, 29 aug 2007: Kenya's Muslim Leaders Throw Support to Opposition

    Muslim leaders in Kenya say they are unhappy with the policies of the current government and want a new president. That is what the chairman of Kenya's National Muslim Leaders Forum tells VOA, following the group's announcement it is supporting opposition leader Raila Odinga in the upcoming presidential elections in December.
    In a telephone interview with VOA, Abdi said the current government, headed by President Mwai Kibaki, has failed to address key issues faced by the Muslim community.

    One of the most contentious issues is the question of land ownership along Kenya's coast.

    Since Kenya gained independence from Britain in the 1960s, many Muslims in Kenya, who live along the Indian Ocean coastline, have complained that government leaders illegally reallocated their ancestral lands to members of their own tribes.

    Coastal Muslims, who first settled in the area several hundred years ago, say land-grabbing has continued, and in some cases accelerated, under President Mwai Kibaki.

    "If you look at the coastal strip of Kenya, first of all, it is only the Muslims who have their land taken by force by the government," Abdi said. "Eighty percent of all the land close to the sea has been taken by force. This happened under the previous regime, but currently it is being accelerated by the current regime. As I am talking to you, there are preparations to settle 4,000 families on the main land in Lamu district."

    Abdi says Kenyan Muslims are also angry with the Kibaki government because of its close cooperation with the United States and other allies in the U.S.-led war against global terrorism.


    contrast IRI's preliminary findings against the ones from the EU i posted earlier. granted, this was issued before the tallying delays took place, though there's something unsettling about this recommendation:

    Kenya continues to move forward on its democratic path. As the country moves into the final phase of the election, IRI’s delegation encourages the people to continue to respect the process and accept the final decision.

    (IRI has an office in nairobi - one of three on the continent. throughout the year there were articles on how the u.s. was working w/ the kenyan govt to prepare for elections...)

    also interesting, given the media spin now, is
    Kenya: The “Rwanda Scenario” Needs Reality Testing

    Professional journalism is precisely what it is needed at this point, not rumor mills, gabbling punditry or frightened people who are not in position to do anything but share with one another that they have no idea what is going on, and have no way of finding out.

    The Times man in Nairobi reported earlier today, for example, that he has witnessed cases of ethnic conflict notably not busting out.

    I am waiting to hear more from him on that point. It is an important one.

    Because other hard news sources are telling another story than that of the apocalyptic “Rwanda scenario” at this point: That the bulk of the violence is being perpetrated by the state, and specifically by the police, under orders from the incumbent government.

    This is a government, after all, which admitted it used police to intimidate the East African Standard last year.
    There are also press reports that the same Minister, Michuki, has ordered police to shoot all protesters and curfew violators — and we already know that he imposed a press blackout that has been roundly condemned by the international community.
    Press blackout. Police operating in a state of exception. Do the math.

    And then press reports citing anonymous “senior police officials” who are spreading moral panic over a “Rwanda scenario.”

    Might this not be a strategy for justifying the state of exception allegedly needed to stem this alleged “Rwanda scenario”? Which coincidentally would consolidate the incumbent’s hold on power?

    The minister ordering the police to shoot to kill was just voted out of office, for example. Do you think that might cast some small shadow of a doubt on his motives in giving the order?

    Who is doing what to whom, and why?

    And how credible should we assume anonymous Kenyan police sources are at this point, when operating under a press blackout under the orders of this Michuki gentleman?

    i followed some of the rhetoric from the madman michuki last year in the comments here and here

    Posted by: b real | Jan 2, 2008 1:25:58 AM | 10

    Thanks b real. and it seems that like Rwanda, here we have another close USA ally looking to forment massive ethnic conflict & possibly genocide, in the name of power.

    but so far, it does not seem to be working too well. And despite the massive violence so far, it could have been a whole lot worse. Perhaps the Kenyan people are not following the script as well as the manipulators intend. Props to them.

    In contrast, Rwanda has a historical ethnically-based feudal legacy thats so unusual it would be pure science-fiction if it were not real.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 2, 2008 2:34:29 AM | 11

    Thanks for the update on Kenya.

    Posted by: Mukungu | Jan 2, 2008 8:21:42 PM | 12

    So, does anyone know how the Luo alliance with the Muslims on the coast figures into or against U.S. policy? Is the U.S. worried that such an Odinqa administration might go soft on their anti Islamic efforts in Somalia and elsewhere - or is it just the political upheaval that would come from disrupting 40+ years of Kikuya rule.

    Posted by: anna missed | Jan 2, 2008 11:37:34 PM | 13

    anna missed - from what i've read, the muslim communities in kenya are strongly against what the u.s. has done in the name of terror, not only around the world & region, but also inside kenya, as would any decent human. for instance, check out the concerns outlined in an 2003 open letter on behalf of the residents of the northwestern province.

    but it's not just the muslim communities that are incensed. the events to kenya's north, and their govt's role in it, has outraged many, who recognize that they have little semblance of sovereignty on these matters.

    i don't have at hand any stmts that odinga has made about his what his policies would be re kenya's relations w/ the u.s., but he is categorized as a leftist -- named his first son after castro (though reactionaries hardly take the time to understand the place that cuba & fidel has held for africa, and esp during the years surrounding independence) -- and he has sucessfully pitched his candidacy as representing the common folk, the un(der)represented, and the poor. since a nations citizenry would not willingly submit their own sovereignty to such an imperialist master, it's hardly likely that odinga fits into the u.s.' strategy of a stable & secured access anchor nation. national security states require good dictators, as the dead jeane kirkpatrick can no longer tell anyone. i'll try to gather more revelant sources on how integral kenya is to current u.s. foreign policy, b/c it definitely factors bigtime.

    at the same time, pent up frustrations & animosities have certainly played a role in the atmosphere there. both leading parties stoked the flames of ethnic divisions and it doesn't help to have a brutal police apparatus that has massacred people w/ impunity over the last year. perhaps something similar will transpire here, w/ the blue state tribe seeking revenge on the red state tribe. consumers gone wild or something.

    - - -

    Raila takes the lead in search for a way out

    ODM leader Mr Raila Odinga last night took the lead in trying to find a way out of the impasse caused by alleged fraudulent tallying of votes that cost him victory in the just completed poll and led to loss of lives.
    Last night, Raila dropped the preconditions he had earlier set for talks, and declared that he was agreeing to international mediation, through which he would negotiate with Kibaki.

    Raila also said he was willing to participate in an interim government whose only purpose would be to prepare for a re-run of the presidential election.

    "The interim government should last no more than three months," he said, adding that such a poll should be conducted by an independent body and not the ECK, which has been discredited as partisan and whose members are President Kibaki’s appointees.

    Raila’s roadmap to get the country out of the abyss it is slowly sinking into came even as suspicion, mistrust, and arrogance were evident in the Party of National Unity and his own party.

    gettleman in the NYT mentioned on wednesday that

    Western governments, including the United States, are calling for a vote recount.

    ran out of time to read much tonite, but this caught my eye in uganda's daily monitor
    How Kenya polls were messed up

    Daily Monitor investigations also indicate that ECK officials overlooked the fact that Kenyan police personnel deployed to guard all the 36,000 polling stations countrywide also kept a record of the voting and compiled an accurate record of the results, so that even if something happened to the ECK structures, the Kenya Police is in position to give the nation correct results of the polls. Sources say that the Kenya Police tally indicates a major difference from what the ECK announced.

    that can't be right, can it? the police know who voted for whom?

    and, in addition to the reports of increased rapes,
    Rape on the rise in post-election violence

    Amid the violence that engulfed several residential areas of the Kenyan capital following the declaration of controversial results of the presidential elections, women in particular have been targetted, with at least one hospital reporting a rise in the number of rape victims seeking treatment.

    The Nairobi Women's Hospital said it had on 31 December received 19 rape cases, almost double the daily average.
    Sexual violence has also been reported against men, with the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi on 2 January saying several men had been admitted after they were assaulted during the violence.

    "There are several men admitted in various wards after they were subjected to forced circumcision," a source at the hospital said.

    Odinga's core supporters come from the Luo ethnic group that does not practise circumcision, while Kibaki draws most of his following from the Kikuyu group, one of several tribes in which male circumcision is an essential rite of passage from adolescence to manhood.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 3, 2008 1:23:39 AM | 14

    thanks b real,

    Figured he'd be a "leftist" even if he wasn't one. One of my favorite African sounds is the Benga thing out of Kenya, and youtube obliges one clip of>Daniel Misiani and Shirati Band. A renowned Luo musician credited with a cultural renaissance during the 70's and 80's drawing together many ethnic/religious traditions together. From what I gather the Luo have a long history of not only music, but an ability to draw in their enemies peaceably and radiate out a collective good vibe. So who knows.

    Posted by: anna missed | Jan 3, 2008 3:03:07 AM | 15

    anna missed-
    i'm looking forward to volume 4 of network records' golden afrique series, which is working its way to the east african artists. so far it's been a fantastic series of double-cd's. vol 1 covers some really great west african music, vol 2 was dedicated to the roots of rumba (soukous) music, and vol 3 hit southern africa. very impressive collections. the volume should have plenty of benga.

    BTW, did you notice that there's plenty of franco up on youtube now? somebody's been raiding the vaults, obviously. search "tpok jazz" rather than just franco.

    ode to the guitar by yusef komunyakaa


    back to events in kenya, michela wrong takes the circuitous route to what is really at the heart of the frustrations unleashed over the past week -- class, rather than ethnic divisions. her overall report is uneven IMO but the following is worth quoting

    How Kenya lost its way

    there is a strong argument to be made that Kenya's chaos actually exposes a very different divide: that between a smug political elite and the desperately poor.

    Despite revelations of grand corruption reaching to the highest levels of his government, voiced in part by his own former anti-corruption chief John Githongo, Kibaki has continued to enjoy the support of western aid ministries, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. After the years of economic stagnation under his immediate predecessor, Daniel arap Moi, the 6 and 7 per cent growth rates notched up since 2002 convinced many aid officials that Kibaki was a leader worth backing, to the tune of $800m annually.

    Ironically, a government whose ministers and civil servants had been implicated by Githongo in conspiring to steal hundreds of millions of dollars in a scam involving a company called Anglo Leasing had of late been showered with in ternational awards for good governance and the efficient restructuring of its administration.

    In private, western aid officials acknowledged that question marks about government probity existed, but insisted that the country's "overall trajectory" was positive.
    Yet there was worryingly little evidence that the country's growth rates were trickling down to Kenya's poorest. Instead, every survey showed divisions between the rural poor and urban elite widening. In Nairobi, in the throes of an astonishing building boom, the wabenzi - the wealthy classes - shop at 24-hour malls and relax on the green lawns of their gated communities. But two out of every three Nairobi residents live in slums whose squalor is unrivalled on the continent, and Kibaki has failed to produce the half a million new jobs a year he promised.

    The paradox is that many poor Kikuyus in the capital actually voted for Odinga and the ODM, and against their own supposed champion. They had come to the conclusion that Kibaki and his chums, loyal patrons of Nairobi's plush golf clubs, were fundamentally anti-poor.

    They were particularly incensed by the government's ruthless street clean-up, in which tens of thousands of the corrugated iron kiosks on which ordinary workers depended for food and supplies were flattened to make way for flower beds.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 3, 2008 11:36:49 AM | 16

    In another set back to normalizing the 2007 Kenyan election fraud - Kenya's Attorney General Amos Wako:

    has waived the demand that an election petition must be presented to an election court before a constitutionally-elected President can be forced to stand down. He said the crisis facing Kenya was of a political nature that required a political solution without the express demand for a legal obstacle.

    This counters the Kibaki group's demand to have Raila's ODM allegations addressed in the courts that, much like the ECK, have been already compromised by Kibaki.

    Meanwhile the peacefull demonstrations that were scheduled for today at Uhuru Park in the capital Nairobi, and a short distance from the Parliament, have been called off by ODM until Jan. 08 due to massive police presence forbidding marchers from entering the Park areas.

    It seem's that ODM is attempting to emulate an "orange revolution" mass protest and sit-in as a strategy of pressuring the Kibaki group. So, far the only heat that has had any effect on a smooth transition of the Kibaki power grab is coming from disorganized groups in the slums of Nairobi and the provinces of Rift Valley, Western, [muslim majority ]Coast, and Nyanza.

    And just this morning Joseph Karoki writes that Ugandan Militia's in Kenya

    Ugandan troops have entered Nyanza Province to help secure safe passage of oil trucks bound for Kampala.

    We'll have to wait and see what this development actually means.

    Posted by: BenIAM | Jan 3, 2008 2:07:25 PM | 17

    Thanks BenIAM

    A solution will be difficult. Kibaki is afraid of being courtmarshalled if Raila becomes president.

    Maybe Raila should promise an amnesty or something like that.

    And fast please because the whole of Kenia goes down in the mess.

    Posted by: b | Jan 3, 2008 2:24:49 PM | 18

    the nation carried the AG's full stmt here

    parts of uganda almost ran out of fuel (and other items) tues & wed due to their supply line being temporarily cut off. that's probably a main reason for the troops, though it was also reported on tuesday that the army was deployed to the border to handle any volume of displaced kenyans crossing into uganda. guaranteeing supply lines is probably the key reason though.

    wednesday editorial in the uganda's new vision: Fuel crisis could have been averted

    UGANDA is experiencing one of its worst fuel crises in recent history. The crisis, sparked off by post-election violence in Kenya, Uganda’s gateway to the sea, has not only exposed our vulnerability to any turmoil in Kenya, but also showed lack of pro-active planning by the concerned authorities.


    The responsible department should have therefore, taken the necessary precaution to mitigate any disruption in fuel supplies.

    Even under the liberalisation policy, Uganda should have a national oil reserve to stabilise fuel prices in times of crisis like now.

    Perhaps it time to rethink whether strategic resources like fuel, should be entirely left in private hands.

    Oil has a ripple effect on the entire economy. In less than three days of the shortage, pump prices have more than quadrupled, sending transport fares sky-rocketing.

    article from the same on the prices Kampala runs out of fuel, fares shoot up

    today's editorial in uganda's daily monitor: Fuel crisis is big lesson for us

    Within hours of violence erupting in Kenya following the country’s disputed polls, an unprecedented shortage of fuel and subsequently the rise in fuel prices rocked the country.

    By yesterday, the queues at fuel stations had more or less disappeared, not because supplies had been restored but because many motorists had exhausted their reserves running from one station to another where they were told they could get a few drops.

    A litre of petrol had shot up to as high as Shs10, 000 especially on the black market. The response by government, promising that the country still has reserves and was working on alternative routes to bring in fuel came too late to prevent speculators from taking advantage of the situation.

    The Minister for Energy, Mr Daudi Migereko, has told the nation that alternatives are being worked out.

    His comments are coming too late and are likely not to have any impact on mitigating the prices that have already shot through the roof. It is unfortunate that country that knows it has no open access to the sea could allow itself to run without official reserves only relying on a agreement with local oil dealers to reserve some stocks that can sustain the country for a few months in an emergency.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 3, 2008 2:55:46 PM | 19

    Regarding the police and vote counting.

    It is possible that they were present at the voting locations during voting and counting and just wrote down the election results at each polling station. As the suspected fraud is supposed to have been performed between polling stations and the final summation, such a record would be telling.

    Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Jan 3, 2008 5:54:21 PM | 20

    from the latest sitrep by the u.n. team in nairobi

    Kenya presidential elections violence situation report No. 2

    Regional implications

    In the past week a total of 200 WFP-contracted trucks in Mombasa were loaded with 30,000 metric tons of food - enough to feed 1, 5 million people for a month - destined for Uganda, Southern Sudan, Somalia and the eastern Dem. Rep. of Congo but they have so far been unable to leave the port due to insecurity.

    However, 20 previously stranded trucks with WFP food west of Nakuru were able to leave the town with security force escort and headed to Southern Sudan, Uganda and eastern Dem. Rep. of Congo.

    OCHA Uganda reports that 300 people have fled into Uganda bringing the total number of displaced from Kenya to 1300. The movements are precautionary rather than as a result of fighting.

    There have not been any reports of movements from Kenya across the border to Ethiopia.

    several maps of conflict hotspots in kenya here

    the u.s. is sending jendayi frazer to nairobi on friday to demonize eritrea fight the evil al qa'idah members in the top ranks of the ODM stomp out fires pretend to do something. heard a recent interview w/ the author of a new bio on condie rice & she told the story of how jendayi used to be a security guard until condie felt some connection to her, helped her get an education, serving as her mentor & then put her to work, becoming the top state official on u.s. policy in africa in quick time. didn't catch the rest of the program b/c i was too busy looking for some tissue cause my eyes wouldn't stop leaking...

    Posted by: b real | Jan 3, 2008 10:06:03 PM | 21

    most recognized estimates on the number of displaced in kenya, which are getting constantly getting bandied about, range from around 75,000 to 100,000 persons.

    assuming this is not a typo, in a very brief interview w/ the secretary-general of the kenya red cross society, that number shot up just as fast as the price of petrol in the region

    Kenya Red Cross: “The lack of accessibility is a major concern,” says Abbas Gullet

    What are the immediate priorities for Kenya Red Cross?

    Medical assistance remains the priority for now. But we estimate that around 500,000 people country-wide have been uprooted by this violence. When there is improved access we will need to supply these people with food, water and shelter.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 3, 2008 10:59:11 PM | 22

    "welcome to the club, mwai. glad to have you with us. meles asked me to tell you that you did just fine. he really started out in the doghouse, ya know, after using american humvees to kill those commie protestors"

    reuters: Uganda first African nation to congratulate Kibaki

    KAMPALA (Reuters) - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has congratulated Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on his disputed re-election, in the first endorsement by a fellow African leader.

    The silence by most African leaders after Kibaki was declared the election winner has underlined concerns over alleged rigging of the vote, which has been followed by a week of violence.

    "President Museveni telephoned President Kibaki to congratulate him on his re-election," said a statement by a spokesman for Museveni, in power since 1986 and himself accused of fraud by the opposition at his 2006 re-election.

    The only other nation to congratulate Kibaki has been the United States -- within hours of his swearing-in on Sunday.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 3, 2008 11:18:50 PM | 23

    i quoted from a NYT article that reported that the u.s. was pushing for a recount. i don't think so, according to this bbc article today quoting state's go-to-guy for weasel words

    Earlier, a spokeswoman for European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said that the EU and US had agreed to push Mr Kibaki and his opposition rival to consider a coalition government, following talks between Mr Solana and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    Demonstrators running from police in Nairobi 3/1/08
    The latest disorder prompted the Nairobi Stock Exchange to shut

    However, US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack later said that was not what was agreed.

    "It's not quite how the secretary, at least from our side, would characterise the situation," Mr McCormack said.

    "We're not going to dictate the outcome of any discussions between the two parties," he added, saying that the US was urging both sides to "have a political dialogue that leads to a political solution, whatever that may be".

    Posted by: b real | Jan 3, 2008 11:49:34 PM | 24

    the map tells a useful story. It shows that virtually all the violence has occurred in the areas around Lake Victoria (Luo country), along the heavily traveled route linking Nairobi to Kampala & Lake Victoria, with some incidents in Nairobi itself. The rest of Kenya has been quiet.

    it could be far far worse, but thankfully, the Kenyans have been magnificent overall.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 4, 2008 12:16:00 AM | 25

    sharp commentary in the latest issue of pambazuka news, devoted to the issues in kenya.

    some excerpts

    It is the Kenyan people who have lost the election

    That the elections results were rigged – of that there is little doubt. The hasty inauguration, the blanket banning on the broadcast media, the dispersal of security forces to deal with expected protests – all these have given the post election period the flavour of a coup d’etat. What was not expected was the speed with which the whole thing would unravel. The declaration of the members of the Electoral Commission that the results were indeed rigged only added to the growing realisation that a coup had indeed taken place.

    People across the country took to the streets to protest and were met with disproportionate use of force by the police and GSU. Emotions ran high. And there is evidence that politicians from all sides used the occasion to instigate violent attacks against their opponents constituencies. There have been rapes, forced circumcision and forced female genital mutilation. The western media has been quick to describe these as ‘ethnic clashes’ – but then they appear only to be able to see tribes whenever there are conflicts in Africa. What is ignored by them is that the security forces have been responsible for the majority of killings.

    What we have in Kenya is a political crisis that could, descend into civil war if the political crisis is not resolved soon. And therein lies the problem.

    There is no coherent political direction from the ODM. First Raila Odinga declares he’s the ‘people’s president’ (shades of Blair’s ‘people’s princess’ speech – the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce, some might say – and says he is going to arrange to be inaugurated. What happened?

    Then he says that he is not willing to meet with Kibaki, then says he will meet provided there is an international mediator. He says he will form his own government, and then takes that no further.

    Then he calls for a million person march into Nairobi, and when faced with a banning order and massive police attacks, backs down and calls for another demonstration the following day.

    But what is this demonstration seeking to achieve? Such events are usually a means of showing the size of popular support: but ODM has already demonstrated its popular support in the stolen elections. There are no coherent political demands for this event that would bring the support of the many who, though they may not have voted for ODM, would feel that they would nevertheless want to express their support. There is no real strategy for enabling PNU’s own political base to be won over.

    The election results were rigged, sure. But the failure to demand that an independent judicial inquiry be established to investigate only leads to suspicions that even the ODM were not keen to have the results investigated. It is now probably too late to conduct a satisfactory investigation since original records may have been tampered with – which might explain the Attorney General’s sudden willingness announced today to allow the ECK records to be inspected without recourse to use of the courts.

    The mass demonstrations could have been used to call for such an investigation and to protest against the media ban imposed by Kibaki and to challenge constitutionality of the ban. Instead, it served no purpose other than what some see as an infantile response to the theft of the elections.

    Why has there been no public appeal to the armed forces and police – whose families have no doubt suffered in the violent upheavals – to refuse to fire on citizens, or to defend and protect citizens from the violence that has been unleashe?. Kibaki can retain power only through the use of force – and so long as the armed forces and the police remain loyal, he will be able to retain his hold on power.

    ODM has failed to challenge the existing government by encouraging all sections of society to create a viable alternative to the present government.

    But the real tragedy of Kenya is that the political conflict is not about alternative political programmes that could address the long standing grievances of the majority over landlessness, low wages, unemployment, lack of shelter, inadequate incomes, homelessness, etc. It is not about such heady aspirations.

    No, it boils down to a fight over who has access to the honey pot that is the state. For those in control of the state machinery are free to fill their pockets. So the battle lines are reduced to which group of people are going to be chosen to fill their pockets – and citizens are left to decide perhaps that a few crumbs might fall off the table in their direction.

    And the electorate – the mass of citizens who have borne the brunt of the recent violence and decades of prolonged disenfranchisement from accessing the fruits of independence – are reduced to being just being fodder for the pigs fighting over the trough.

    Drama of the popular struggle for democracy in Kenya

    The International media and international capital

    The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and other cultural voices of imperial power were from the outset one of the props of this drama. The British were particularly active because the interests of British capitalism were very much an important part of narrative of the drama. During Act 1 scenes two and three, this foreign prop had been condemning the “irregularities’” and “anomalies” of the drama and carried the press statements of the International Observers of the European Union and the Commonwealth. The head of the European Union observer mission issued a statement declaring that, “the Presidential poll lacks credibility and an independent audit should be instituted to rectify things.”

    This clear statement led the US government to reverse its earlier recognition of Mwai Kibaki as the winner of the Presidential elections. There had been concern in Washington over the future of Kenya in so far as the US authorities sought to mobilize Kenyans in the war against terrorism. During the period of Kibaki, Kenyan citizens were shipped out of the country to be tried as terrorists under the US policy of kidnapping, called rendition. The ODM signed a memorandum of understanding with the Islamic community during the election campaign and members of the ODM condemned the rendering of Kenyan citizens by the government. It was argued that if these citizens acted contrary to Kenyan law, they should be tried under Kenyan law.

    The propaganda war had been virulent and since Raila Odinga held the moral and political high ground, sections of the international media began to retreat from endorsement of the electoral coup. However, the occupation of the moral high ground was shaky. Would the government and opposition be more concerned with the lives of the poor than with political power?

    In the face of the absence of resolute moral leadership to condemn these killings, the international media had a field day portraying the struggles for democracy in Kenya as primitive “tribal” violence.


    The poor of Kenya had used the ballot to send a message to the capitalists in Kenya but those who stole billions of dollars from the Kenyan Treasury were not above stealing an election.

    The real test in Kenyan politics was whether the team called the Pentagon was serious about changing the political culture of theft, looting and storing billions of dollars in foreign banks. The people of Kenya had voted for change. Was the Orange Democratic Movement a movement for change or a movement for political power? This was the outstanding question as the cast and the writers got ready for Act three of the drama of the struggle for democracy.

    Kenya’s democracy on trial

    Toward a solution, Kenyans should realize that something beautiful did happen during this election. Most of the big men of Kenyan politics were voted out of Parliament and hence out of office. Even the sons of former dictator Moi did not win seats in Parliament. There seemed to be a belief that voting was a way of talking back the Kenyan political elite, and that democracy could be made to work for the majority poor. This is the flame that we must not let die.

    To nurture this flame, a recount of the votes in a transparent manner is necessary. This, no matter what one thinks of Raila or Kibaki, or whether one thinks the elections were fair or not, should be the meeting ground of all those concerned about the future, immediate and long term, of Kenya.

    If the votes can be recounted in full transparency, this election will not then become the death of Kenyan democracy but rather a test along the way to a democracy with real content – the content of security, equality and justice for Kenya’s majority poor.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 4, 2008 12:20:41 AM | 26


    If most of the violence is in Luo tribal areas, it must be because the police are clamping down on demonstrations over the election fraud. In which case the western media characterization and trumped up fears about ethnic conflict/genocide are without merit.If, on the other hand the violence was in Kikuya areas that would indicate a move toward some kind of retribution extracted upon them from the other tribes. A fairly disgusting pretense to crack down on the outrage over election fraud and then paint the the oppressive party as being victimized by a potential genocide - for protesting. Crying wolf I'd say.

    Posted by: anna missed | Jan 4, 2008 4:12:10 AM | 27

    anna missed@27,


    And the worst case (which we thankfully have'nt seen) would have segments of the Kikuyu masses acting in retaliation. The current picture is one of extreme brutality by the security forces, and possibly some false-flag operations.

    and since Odinga - the ODM leader (and their prez candidate) is a member of the Luo ethnic group, its just natural that members of the Luo ethnic group would be the most out-front in their spontaneous anger, outrage & regrettably violent reactions in some cases.

    Still Kenyans across the board, irrespective of ethnicity are outraged. The returns from the parliamentary elections had the ODM beating the government party (PNU) by 3:1. The MSM media unfortunately overlooks the fact that the opposition is very broad-based. And to characterize it as a straight-up "rumble in the jungle" type affair between two ethnic groups is very misleading. If peaceful demonstrations are allowed to hold, they (the MSM) will be shamed by the diversity of the turnout.

    a lot of the violence could have been averted but for the governments conduct -- the panicky-rush inauguration -- news blackouts allowing the govt to pump out its hysteria & propaganda -- the govts opposition to peaceful demonstrations fueled violence ... The governnment (and its supporters) are using every device available to avoid a recount or a re-run. Theres some talk from the govt side about a power-sharing arrangement, but the ODM is certain to reject it, and will instead insist that the voting-process be honored.

    I am not very up to date on the Kenyan political situation, but IMHO, its one of the the most complex out there, not just in Africa but the world over. Still, I am confident that if they can get over this hurdle, Kenyans are more than capable of aspiring for & achieving a multi-ethnic political balance that looks more like a Swiss or Belgium, than another perennially volatile Lebanon-like situation.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 4, 2008 9:06:43 AM | 28

    does anyone know if there are any comprehensive reports out on known irregularities in the presidential election ?

    such data might help with determining the extent to which it makes sense to salvage the results for a recount. And if theres a recount, such reports might also represent a vital limiting factor on the recount process i.e. less wiggle room for foul-play.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 4, 2008 4:41:04 PM | 29

    the economist minces no words

    Kenya's president steals an election, showing utter contempt for democracy and his people

    THE mayhem that killed hundreds of people following Kenya's election on December 27th completes a depressing cycle of democratic abuses in Africa's biggest countries. Nigeria held its own mockery of an election last April. Scores were killed and observers pronounced it the most fraudulent poll they had ever witnessed. Congo held a more or less peaceful election in October 2006, since when the main opposition leader has been hounded into exile. And the year before that, flawed elections in Ethiopia resulted in the deaths of 199 protesters. Needless to say, the incumbents all won.

    So it is easy to be angry, as well as gloomy, about African leaders' continual betrayal of the democratic values they say they hold so dear. And all the more so in the case of Kenya, which has a strong tradition of holding elections, a vibrant political culture, a relatively free press and a sophisticated economy. Given all these advantages, as we wrote before the election, Kenya had an opportunity to “set an example” to Africa and hold free and fair elections. But the country blew it.

    Or, more precisely, the political elite blew it. A small cabal of politicians almost certainly stole the result by fraud (see article). In the parliamentary vote, President Mwai Kibaki's ruling party was routed. Yet in the presidential vote Mr Kibaki emerged victorious at the last moment and had himself sworn in only a few minutes later, forestalling pleas from all sides—even from the head of the election commission he himself had appointed—for a pause to investigate mounting claims of malpractice. The report of the European observers was unusually strong in its condemnation of the count.
    Initially, America, which sees Kenya as a front-line ally in a war against Islamist militias in neighbouring Somalia, made the mistake of endorsing the president's re-election. Now Britain, America and the African Union are urging Mr Odinga and Mr Kibaki to talk in an effort to stop the bloodletting. That lets Mr Kibaki off the hook far too easily. All the violence should certainly be condemned, but most of the diplomatic pressure should be exerted on Mr Kibaki's supposed new government to annul the results and organise a recount—or a new vote.

    If Mr Kibaki will not do this, the rest of the world should suspend direct aid to his regime and impose a travel ban on his officials. That is the least the wretched people of Kenya have a right to expect from their friends abroad.

    earlier on friday, kibaki told reporters

    As mediation efforts picked up pace, the government said it was ready for a re-run of the disputed December 27 vote, but only if ordered by a court.

    "We would accept even another election as long as the constitution is followed. If the courts decide it, we would accept that," said Alfred Mutua, spokesman for President Mwai Kibaki.

    --Kenya government ready for new vote if ruled by court

    "only if ordered by a court", eh?

    as human rights watch points out

    However, the Kenyan judiciary is widely perceived as not being independent. The current chief justice was present at the recent swearing-in ceremony of Kibaki. Earlier in his term, Kibaki removed a number of senior judges – including the then-chief justice – and replaced them with individuals viewed as less independent.


    haven't found a good summary yet, jony_b_cool, outside of the EU EOM preliminary rpt linked earlier in this thread

    Posted by: b real | Jan 4, 2008 11:39:40 PM | 30

    in #21 above i mentioned some information about jendayi frazer that i picked up in an interview recently. found the interview (KPFA dec. 24th interview w/ the author of a new bio on condie rice) online & i need to clarify my take on the story the author briefly told, as i didn't have it entirely correct.

    the relevant segment in the interview is less than a minute long and is available at 0:16:07 into the audio here.

    frazer was struggling student at stanford -- broke, working night shift as a security guard, and falling asleep in class -- when condie took her under her wing. rice secured frazer a scholarship, covered some expenses, became her mentor, served as advisor on her doctoral thesis, etc, and then got her husband GWB to put jendayi on the national security council. and from there it didn't take long until she became a top official for u.s. african policy.

    as the authors assert in the analysis piece War clouds in the Horn of Africa, which we have drawn our attention to previously,

    Thus the mentor and protégé form a team and are the chief conductors of the war symphony in the African Horn. While Ms. Rice is the strategic architect of U.S. policy in the Horn, Ms. Frazer is the tactician and foot soldier in charge of implementing that policy.

    i find it interesting. i'm sure there's a lot of mentoring & indoctrination that takes place this way, however the context here is very striking -- two sisters wreaking havoc on mother africa. pretty damn sad, if you ask me.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 6, 2008 2:46:13 AM | 31

    seems Jendayi is still a security guard at heart -- Africa is a huge shopping mall owned by her employer and the Chinese are a gang of shoplifters.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 6, 2008 5:15:27 AM | 32


    from frazer's DoS bio page:

    Dr. Frazer earned her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Stanford University. Her doctoral dissertation examined Kenya's civilian-military relationship. Security issues remain of interest to Dr. Frazer, who regularly speaks to military audiences and about military-related issues in Africa.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 6, 2008 10:57:56 PM | 33

    Hey b real I wonder the extent to which State Department - Frazer seems to have a much more active profile than former Ass. Sec of State Susan Rice but in essence both Clinton and Bush II have [in principle] a similar policy vis a vis Africa - Africa specialists matter in terms of policy aren't they just running errands? I'm assuming a progressive African specialist would be run out of State pronto.

    Currently damage control is on with Frazer's Saturday meeting with both Kibaki and Raila upon which Kibaki has issued a call for a 'national unity government' that Raila has so far rejected.

    It seems that the U.S. is pressuring both sides to enter a power sharing agreement with Kibaki as President and Raila as Vice ... and thereby bypassing the theft of the election.

    Posted by: BenIAM | Jan 6, 2008 11:29:04 PM | 34

    BenIAM - the mentoring of frazer by rice at stanford could be part of an organized ideological grooming process, for all i know. condie herself got noticed at stanford by visiting lecturer brent scowcroft who, five years later as bush the elder's nat'l security adviser, put rice on the NSC and made her special adviser to the poppy on nat'l security affairs for the last two years of bush's term.

    given their shared histories, rice & frazer's pairing in their current respective titles -- sec of state & asst sec of state for african affairs (and then thinking of "secretary" as "one who takes dictation & performs other tasks for a superior") -- clearly reflects narrow control over african policy, which under bush-cheney -- and esp after the "cheney rpt" aka the national energy policy of 2001 -- is on an entirely different level than that of any previous administration.

    the u.s. is pushing the unity govt now, running down the clock some, as kibaki, rather than counting on votes, is counting on attrition from his opponents. eventually, people just want to get on w/ their lives & heal.

    caught this bit in an article in the east african standard today

    Raila said Ugandan president Museveni has called him thrice denying there were Ugandan soldiers in Kenya. "Museveni was at pains to explain that his soldiers are not here. He asked me to clarify the issue to the Kenyan people."

    Even as Museveni denied this, the rumour of Ugandan soldiers killing civilians in western Kenya remained strong.

    museveni, as i pointed out earlier, was the first (and only, i believe that's still the case) african leader to offer official congratulations & ackowledgement of his "victory." he has his own history of rigged elections & anti-democratic tactics (including altering the constitution to remove term limits so that his current 21-year rule can continue until a coup or he croaks, whichever comes first).

    from an editorial in the philadelphia inquirer dated dec 4, 2006

    It is mystifying why the White House hasn't been able to help Uganda catch Kony or pressure Museveni, a U.S. ally, to find peace.

    Frazer's awkward, confusing and tentative support of the negotiations is one of the reasons. One Republican called her a "Museveniphile" because she coddles the Ugandan - even though he shares blame for the war and its longevity.

    she coddles zenawi as well. and she's probably coddling kibaki as we search for updates.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 7, 2008 12:26:48 AM | 35

    frazer was coddling yusuf in somali too, but reuters reports that he's back in london for continued medical attention, so she may have to settle for cooing at his casket soon.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 7, 2008 12:32:25 AM | 36

    this article makes more sense if you understand the concerns being "instability" due to an ODM admin rather than that caused the legitimate protests against a blatant coup by the incumbent party.

    washington times: Kenya 'critical' to U.S. military

    A destabilized Kenya would deprive the United States of one of its staunchest allies in Africa, because Nairobi since September 11 has provided military bases, communications networks and intelligence-sharing to prevent al Qaeda from making inroads on the continent.

    "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."

    A failed state in Kenya, as exists in Somalia, would erase "one of the top friendly militaries to the United States in Africa," the retired three-star general said.
    "What we have here is one of the most promising countries in Africa on the brink," said Michelle Gavin, an analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations.

    "Kenya is not peripheral to the struggle against terrorism," she said. "Kenya has been a reliable partner."

    Ms. Gavin fears a destabilized Kenya would be "extending the failed state space already occupied by Somalia that has appeal for terrorists."

    The Bush administration considers the Horn of Africa one of the critical battlegrounds in preventing al Qaeda from extending its hubs of operation beyond the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
    "Kenya had already been looked on as one of the key, large, stable nations of Africa," said [former asst sec of state for african affairs] Mr. Kansteiner, now an adviser at the Scowcroft Group in Washington. "From independence [in 1963], through the Cold War, through post-9/11, Kenya has always been a very good ally. Kenya has been a regional anchor of stability. It has provided infrastructure, everything from communications, to transportation, to medical facilities."

    President Bush in 2003 announced a $100 million aid program — the East African Counterterrorism Initiative — for Kenya, as well as Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Tanzania. U.S. military and civilian officials began arriving in Kenya to teach basic operations to counter al Qaeda, such as how to watch over the country's long Indian Ocean coastline and how to find and disarm truck bombs. Kenya had no official "watch list" to weed out terrorism suspects traveling through the country's seaports and airports. Now it does.

    In return, Kenya has helped Washington by sharing intelligence and military bases, and by providing troops for various peacekeeping missions.

    "In that region, they are a very competent army," Lt. Gen. DeLong said.

    there's scowcroft's name again. kansteiner was the asst sec of state for african affairs (same position currently held by jendayi frazer) who famously announced that african oil "has become a national strategic interest."

    retuers has a similiar story up today. again, keep in mind the context of what an ODM victory -- w/ ODM having secured endorsement from kenyan muslim communities & the overwhelming popular opinion of kenya's non-elite classes -- would imply to the phony war of on terror narrative & greater u.s. geopolitical objectives.

    reuters: High stakes in Kenya crisis for U.S. war on terror

    LONDON (Reuters) - Kenya's violent crisis threatens to destabilise one of the United States' key counter-terrorism partners in Africa and could influence Washington's decision on where to site its new military command for the continent.

    The official death toll stood at 486 on Monday from clashes that have rocked the East African nation since a disputed election last month.

    This in a country which has suffered two major al Qaeda attacks, one of them on a U.S. embassy, and provides a bulwark against a neighbouring failed state -- Somalia -- which is seen by the West as a training ground for Islamist militants.

    "The last thing America needs is for Kenya to implode. Then, as far as the Americans are concerned, they basically have lost Somalia," said Knox Chitiyo of the Royal United Services Institute in London.

    "An unstable Kenya means an unstable region -- and it's already a turbulent environment," said Kurt Shillinger of the South African Institute of International Affairs.

    Washington has long looked to Kenya as one of the pivotal nations, along with the likes of South Africa and Nigeria, that are key to stability and economic development hopes in Africa.
    Kenya has proved a willing U.S. security partner: it was quick, for example, to reinforce its borders and round up dozens of suspected Islamist militants who fled Somalia after Ethiopian troops ousted them from their Somali strongholds in late 2006.
    Africa analysts said Kenya would have been a natural candidate to host AFRICOM, the new regional U.S. military command which was launched last October and is working for now out of Stuttgart, Germany, while it seeks an African home.

    "The Americans have been very coy on exactly where AFRICOM would be based, but indications were that they would obviously look first towards their key allies, and Kenya is one of them," Chitiyo said.

    "Now of course there's a big question mark over that."

    Chitiyo said Kenya faces a long-term threat from Islamist militancy if it fails to address poverty, marginalisation and the alienation of Muslims who form somewhere between 7 and 15 percent of its population of 35 million.

    For now, no one is suggesting the latest upheaval will directly trigger an upsurge in al Qaeda activity or turn into a Rwandan-style ethnic bloodbath.

    The concern, rather, is that a weakened state would struggle to control its borders and retain a strong intelligence and security capacity. Kenya could then become both a target for attacks and, with its good transport links to the Middle East, India and Pakistan, an attractive base for militants.

    "It would certainly make Kenya an easier haven for would-be jihadists if the country imploded," Chitiyo said. "The implications for America's war on terror are very very serious."

    Posted by: b real | Jan 7, 2008 11:34:52 AM | 37

    one more, that tries to fear-frame the strategic interest in kenya in terms of religious & ethnic/tribal divisions.

    st. petersburg (fla.) times: Pivotal geography, religion make Kenya a top priority for America

    If you’re wondering why you should care about the postelection violence in Kenya, just look at a map.

    Kenya is a long way from the United States, but it’s right next door to Somalia, a Muslim country and a failed state if ever there was one. And Somalia is just across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen, where al-Qaida bombed the USS Cole in 2000, killing 17 American sailors. And Yemen borders Saudi Arabia, home to most of the hijackers who killed nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11.

    In short, Kenya is in a dangerous neighborhood, especially when it comes to U.S. security interests.

    A close American ally, “Kenya has been an oasis of stability in a very volatile region,” says Mark Bellamy, U.S. ambassador to Nairobi from 2003 to 2006. “It has really been on a path that we would like to encourage other countries to follow up to now.”

    It’s the “now” part that’s causing so much alarm. Since Dec. 29, hundreds have been killed and about 100,000 displaced in the tribal mayhem that erupted after President Mwai Kibaki won what opponents say was a rigged election. Should Kenya spiral into chaos, there are fears it could become yet another breeding ground for Islamic extremists. Or a transit route for terrorists from Somalia and the Arabian peninsula making their way to North Africa and on to Europe.

    For more than a decade, al-Qaida and affiliated groups have tried to make Kenya itself a base of operations.
    ..Kenya thus far has resisted the pull of extremism. Only about 10 percent of its 37 million people are Muslim, and most of those are moderates spread among diverse groups of Swahilis, South Asians and Arabs.

    “It’s not a Muslim population that’s easily mobilized for jihadi purposes,” Bellamy says. “It’s an apolitical sort of Islam. That said, Kenya is an attractive place for potential extremists for a number of reasons.”

    As the bombings proved, radicals have been able to get into the country because of lax border controls. Corruption is rampant, especially among police and other public officials. Kenya has the region’s best infrastructure, making it easier to move cargo, money and people. And while the new U.S. Embassy is well-secured, many potential targets remain among the thousands of Westerners working for regional embassies, the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations.

    The Bush administration finds itself in a tough position in the current crisis because Kibaki, for all the complaints against him, has strong relations with the U.S.

    Military agreements have allowed U.S. troops to use Kenya as a staging area for regional crises, both natural and human-created. Kenya is among the top 10 recipients of U.S. foreign aid, collecting $240 million in 2005.
    Frayed U.S.-Kenyan relations are not something the United States wants to see happen again with a big African nation so strategically important to Americans.

    which is why it supports kibaki instead of the people of kenya.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 7, 2008 11:44:51 AM | 38

    does in and inside mean u.s. boots on the ground inside somalia - or training ugandan marines going in? the phrasing in this article is ambiguous, but there's a good deal of interesting material out of uganda today

    daily monitor (kampala, uganda): US trains UPDF marines in Somalia

    US Forces have been training UPDF marine corps deployed in the war-torn Somalia to enhance their peace-keeping capacity, the army has said.

    The forces, from the US Central Command's Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa based in Djibouti, have in addition to the Uganda peace keepers in Somalia, trained UPDF troops at Kasenyi near Entebbe.

    The former Army and Defence spokesman, Maj. Felix Kulayigye, said last week that the training puts emphasis on civil-military relations.

    "The US Joint Task Force Command carried out training of our Marine component in Somalia, it is basically civil affairs," Maj. Kulayigye said.

    He said the US forces have also sunk boreholes and protected wells in northern Uganda as part of their contribution to Uganda.

    The Bush administration and Algerian government, according to the UPDF, have been facilitating the airlifting of Ugandan troops into Somalia. The two governments have reportedly provided planes and covered the cost of the air travel for the peace keepers.
    Meanwhile, the US Central Command's Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Commander, Gen. Richard Hunt, was last week in Uganda for a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni.

    Maj. Kulayigye said Gen. Hunt was in Kampala to bid farewell to President Museveni after completing his duty in the Horn of Africa where he has been commander in the last two years.

    Neither Maj. Kulayigye nor State house could give details of the meeting. But sources privy to the meeting said President Museveni and Gen. Hunt discussed the insurgency in Somalia where the US has interests in fighting the Islamic extremists.

    The duo also discussed continued cooperation between the US and Africa.

    Last year alone, the US conducted a military exercise to help Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda improve crisis response ability.
    Kenyan army Brigadier General Leonard Ngondi commanded the forces participating in the exercise, supported by a joint military staff comprised of Kenyan, Tanzanian, Ugandan and US officers.

    if they wouldn't speak to the press about their meeting, it definitely was not a farewell gesture. one would be hard-pressed to believe that the two didn't "breathe together" to some extent on the situation right across the border in kenya.

    daily monitor: Museveni denies rigging for Kibaki

    PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni and Electoral Commission chief Badru Kiggundu have separately denied playing any role in the disputed re-election of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki.

    While Mr Kiggundu's denial was prepared for television, Mr Museveni's was provoked and given in response to unsolicited questions from a crowd attending a rally at Madibira Primary School in Busia, where the President was campaigning for NRM parliamentary contestant Sarah Wasike. Some members of the crowd interrupted the President's speech, most of them asking to know whether he unduly influenced the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) into announcing President Kibaki as winner of the disputed December 27 presidential elections.

    Mr Museveni said: "I did not make Mr Kibaki the president. It was the chairman [of the] Kenya Electoral Commission that made him the president," he said. ECK chief Samuel Kivuitu has since said he is not sure whether Mr Kibaki actually won the election, that he was under pressure to announce the results and did so without seeing all the original constituency returns.
    It is difficult to know why villagers would suspect Mr Museveni of having even an indirect hand in the outcome of the Kenyan polls, although his rush to congratulate his Kenyan counterpart could have made them suspicious. But President Museveni, who has taken some beating in the media for sending Kibaki the congratulatory message after the disputed results, suggested in a statement sent late yesterday that he had no regrets about it.

    "After the Kenya Electoral Commission declared the results in which H.E. Mwai Kibaki emerged winner, and his being sworn-in on the 30th of December 2007, I, as required by Diplomatic Conventions, called H.E. President Mwai Kibaki, to congratulate him," Mr Museveni said in the statement.

    more weasel words from the state dept spokesperson

    east african (nairobi): US avoids taking a position on dispute

    The United States government’s laissez-faire response to the outcome of Kenya’s presidential election contrasts sharply with the assessment of an American monitoring team that accuses the Electoral Commission of having “failed in its responsibility to the people of Kenya.”

    Observers working under the aegis of the non-governmental Washington-based International Republican Institute pointed specifically to “the slowness of the vote count, the absence of returning officers with the vote tallies and the media’s exclusion from the announcement of the results.”

    US government officials, on the other hand, have consistently refrained from criticising the Electoral Commission’s performance. The Bush administration has also not called for an independent review of the vote tabulation. American officials do acknowledge, however, that the election was marred by “irregularities.”
    Washington is clearly trying to help stabilise Kenya by refusing to take sides in the dispute between the parties and groups backing Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga respectively. And that approach leaves the US in the contradictory position of endorsing the electoral status quo even as it voices misgivings about the fairness of the vote.

    “The Kenyan political process has unfolded as it will,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said at a press briefing on January 2. “It is not for us to play a role of supra-electoral commission or to try to play a judicial role in this particular matter. We are where we are.”

    Mr McCormack resisted reporters’ requests for comments on whether the United States views President Mwai Kibaki’s re-election as legitimate. The spokesman instead responded by repeatedly calling for an end to the violence and for the opening of dialogue between President Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

    “I am not going to in any way from this podium say anything that might possibly play into the hands of anybody who wants to try to obstruct a political reconciliation between these two parties,” Mr McCormack declared. “So that’s the reason why I’m not going to say any more than I have at this point. What’s important is that there be action from leaders in Kenya to stop the killing.”

    and what does jendayi say about all this?
    east african standard (nairobi): Address causes of unrest, says Frazer

    A top US official has said the political crisis in the country cannot be resolved by simply "dishing out political seats" but by seriously addressing "fundamental challenges" that triggered the unrest.

    US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Affairs, Dr Jendayi Frazer, said constitutional reforms were necessary to clip the imperial powers of the president, address social grievances and strengthen governance institutions such as the ECK to forestall a similar crisis in future.

    Frazer, however, was emphatic that it was the US position that the dispute over the outcome of the presidential election be resolved within the rule of law and [kibaki/kikuyu-]established institutions.
    "The US hopes that the two leaders would do more than accommodate each other in a power sharing strategy. Constitutional reforms are important to strengthen institutions and deal with social injustices including even distribution of resources," said Frazer adding that the US was a defender of democracy and urged for reforms to protect the outcome of the people’s constitutional right to vote.

    She said: "The people of Kenya have been cheated by the political leaders and institutions." She added, "The US was deeply concerned with the presidential vote tallying process."

    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.

    Noting that ODM had raised doubts about the courts impartiality, Frazer suggested that the Opposition could still sponsor a vote of no confidence against the Government since it had a majority seats.

    heh. the constitution needs to be reformed, democracy needs to be defended, but not any part that protects kibaki's coup or would threaten kenya's "linchpin" standing in the u.s. war of terror. and this "take it to court" meme was probably a talking point agreed beforehand, as we heard it used almost immediately after the rushed swearing-in.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 7, 2008 11:10:10 PM | 39

    jendayi is "emphatic" that the rule of law be upheld. what is the position of the main lawyer's organization in kenya then on the law & the rigged election?

    daily monitor: Step aside, LSK tells Kibaki

    The Law Society of Kenya has demanded that President Kibaki resign, describing his swearing-in as illegal.

    “President Kibaki was sworn in as a result of a faulty tallying exercise, contrary to Section 7 of the Constitution. The Attorney General has confirmed this finding. President Kibaki should, therefore, step down and fresh presidential elections held,” said LSK chairman Okong’o O’Mogeni.

    jendayi advises kenyans to address the causes of unrest. what is the LSK's position?

    Mr Omogeni said: “Hon Kibaki lacks legitimacy to govern and this is the cause of the problems that we are facing in this country.

    Consequently, a fresh election of President must be had within 90 days between the two leading candidates, as required by the law.”

    jendayi says that since the ECK announced the results, the law says that it can only be addressed in the courts. what does the LSK spokesperson say?

    He rejected the suggestion that since President Kibaki had been sworn in, the process should be accepted.

    “To allow a heavily compromised and falsified election result to stand is to spell the death of electoral practice and democracy in Kenya forever,” Mr Omogeni added.

    The LSK said its contention was based on reports it had received from 135 advocates contracted to observe the December 27 elections that indicated that the tallying process was flawed.

    Mr O’Mogeni also cited ECK’s admission that the results were being tampered with, and Mr Kivuitu’s public admission that he could not tell who had won the election as well as Attorney General Amos Wako’s call for a recount.

    “The ECK chairman, through his statements and that of other commissioners on consulting senior lawyers and petitioning the courts, are evidence enough that they did not have faith in the process they conducted,” he pointed out.

    someone needs to call the u.s. on their hypocrisy & get ms. frazer out of the field & back into the (white) house.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 8, 2008 12:34:00 AM | 40

    whoops! got feeling so righteous there i was wrong-teous in my source attribution -- the article is from the daily nation, not monitor.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 8, 2008 12:38:48 AM | 41

    oxfam: An interview with Daniel Kiptugen, Oxfam’s Peace and Reconciliation Officer in Kenya

    Can you give an example of the work you’ve been doing since the crisis broke out?

    Yes, there was the case of this couple, both of them very sick. Some of the local youth were about to burn down the shelter these people were living in. The couple sent a message that I should go and intervene. They said they would rather be burned down than be moved from there. So I went with two of the Elders from the community and had a discussion with the youth. I told them they had to respect the sanctity of human life. I asked them where they expected this couple to go, and I asked how they would like it if they or their family members were put in this kind of situation? So these guys really felt ashamed.

    What do you think is really behind the current violence?

    Well in this case, the youth thought maybe the couple had been allocated their land unfairly, by outsiders. When we look at the causes of conflicts, it’s not simply what some people are saying, ethnic clashes. It’s really about poverty, about resources.

    In Eldoret, there are a lot of disputes over land, and over the allocation of funds and support from the center. Who are they going to? Who are they not going to? Yes there is an ethnic aspect, but it’s more than that. Many people are coming to towns seeking employment but they can’t get it, they can’t get resources. Then despondency becomes ire.

    Around here we have a lot of out-of-school youth who have no jobs. They have nothing to do and they don’t know how to channel their energy. The bitterness, it comes from inequality, lack of job opportunities. The elections provided people with an opportunity to vent their anger and frustration, but the anger was already there.

    Were you surprised at the scale of the violence?

    I must say I really think it could have been a lot worse.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 8, 2008 12:47:50 AM | 42

    It's not easy being a hard working journo trying to bend the facts to fit the meme.
    This story here which originated in the Independent from where it is unsurprisingly no longer available, ended up in my local fishwrap where it is still extant, demonstrates some pitfalls of the news bending process.

    Kenyan Olympic runner Lucas Sang was among victims of the country's post-poll violence when a mob stoned him to death, not realising he was of the same tribe.

    Now the popular media initiated meme is that the opposition supporters belong to a different tribe than the government and when they lost the election, something they should be used to now, since an african couldn't lie straight in bed, and every election is corrupt, they wreaked vengeance on members of the Kikuyu 'tribe' that Kenya's leader, Mwai Kibaki, the election rigger belongs to.

    But what's this? A bloke who belonged to the same tribe as the insurrectionists was stoned to death by the insurrectionists? How do we explain that? As an error. Those blackfellas don't know shit from clay.

    Thing is, it takes a while to stone someone to death, yet during the time poor Lucas Sang was being stoned he never once pointed out to the mob many of which would have known him, they were all locals too, that he was in fact a Kalenjin?

    It just doesn't have a plausible bone to it.

    How about this then?
    The opposition people are the poor people and they have come to regard the enemy as the rich. Mwai Kibaki's preference for cronies has remained the same as most all of his predecessors, which means that most are ethnic Kikuyu.

    Lucas Sang had become better off than his fellow Kenyans through his athletic ability rather than cronyism, but to many dispossessed poor all rich people seem uncaring so he was slaughtered just like anyone else with a couple of dollars in their kick.

    Maybe it could be said Kibaki is a tribalist but even that is drawing a long bow, however the opposition have just demonstrated that in fact they aren't tribalist, they just want to kill the rich. Well those who seem rich to them.

    The situation is tragic and one could probably draw a line from the unjust distribution of wealth along ethnic lines now, straight back to the english colonial practice of picking certain ethnicities for particular types of work. One mob would be picked to be soldiers, another to be educated and become administrators and professionals and another mob to do the shit-kicking the labouring and the like.

    However that practice can no longer be sustained because the shit kickers aren't going to take it anymore. All this talk about change at MoA yet nearly everybody hates change not least of all the english who still have a great deal invested in Kenya and are terrified that a change at the top might leave them outside on their asses with the Chinese in the tent. So they accuse the opposition of being unreasonable for not accepting a 'compromise' cobbled together by an african-amerikan tool of empire, some congresswoman eager to build her domestic profile, a compromise which is no compromise because it maintains the status quo.

    So now the opposition is called tribalist when all they want is a fair shake of the stick.

    A battered lid is bashed down over a pot ready to boil while adding more heat from outside. Gee I wonder what's gonna happen there?

    Posted by: Debs is dead | Jan 8, 2008 3:41:13 AM | 43

    ory okolloh @ kenyan pundit

    Breaking News...

    Kibaki has just announced a new Cabinet on KBC.

    One minute address. No condolences. No calls for peace. Nothing.

    Kalonzo VP (what a snake). Other usual suspects back - Murungi, Karua (justice), Michuki, also Uhuru.

    Announcement was only for half the cabinet (he doesn’t have enough guys…this is funny in a morbid kind of way).

    Excuse me, but this is FUCKING INSANITY.

    Just when Kenyans are desperately trying to get things back to normal.

    And he expects Raila to come to the negotiating table on Friday.

    Does Kibaki have a deathwish for Kenya?

    Just who is running the country?

    Off to have a double of something strong.


    debs is dead - saw a kenyan blog post on the lucas sang story a week ago but cannot find it at the moment. can't recall everything, but it is different than other reports i saw. the poster may have been from the same place. sang was travelling in a car to go rescue either a person or several people or maybe to look for a relative/friend who was missing - have read too much since then to recall all the details now. not sure how many people were in the vehicle, but it was attacked, & the poster said the driver got away (on foot?). sang's body was found some time later & identified by pieces of his track suit. the poster said that his body had been burned & had deep gashes, as if there'd been a hacking rather than just stoning, and, when found, was partly eaten by a dog(s).

    i see other reports which claim he was walking w/ friends when the mob attacked him. not sure which versions are closer to the truth (maybe the car was abandoned before the attack), but the blog post i saw seemed like it had inside information & gave information of how to help his family.

    the class angle could be right on this. burning the corpse would seem to indicate that someone recognized him.

    ..some congresswoman eager to build her domestic profile..

    frazer is the asst secretary of state for african affairs - other than condie, she's the highest ranking state official on u.s. african policy.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 8, 2008 11:44:57 AM | 44

    @44 intersting piece from, I think an Ethiopian opposition member, connecting Kenya-Ethiopia and our girl Jenday.

    Kenya & Ethiopia: Jendayi Frazer, a Friend of Cheaters

    @44 - The Kibaki group is not interested in the future of Kenya as a broad political comunity but only in monopolizing power and saving "their" Kenya. The election fraud was planned and a course of action outlined - if you notice Kibaki is essentially hidden at State house - with a few announcements being made. The only scenario that could lead to a re-election is if the U.S. pressures for it and/or if the Kikuyu elite and middle-class take the heat from the Kikuyu poor that have been victimized and a crack occurs - so far that is not in evidence. The only option remaining would be a continuation of the 'internal' pressure and the freezing of the government.

    The new cabinet with ODM-K chair Kolonzo (who was always a self-interested sell out from the word go)makes sense in light of Kibaki's strategy of trying to make the right "ethnic" mix and his call to open parliament on Jan 15 as a way of prying MP's away from ODM while "talking" to Raila and taking the steam out of the streets. If Raila plays along ODM will find themselves alienating the "streets" while the massive popular demand for re-election will have lost the rallying point.

    Raila seem's to be walking a tight rope:

    I have worked with Kibaki before. I have (no problem) working with Kibaki again," Raila told Al Jazeera, but added: "It’s the role I will play that we will negotiate. We are prepared to walk the extra mile to bring peace to Kenya.

    It is an insult to the people of Kenya. I should be the one offering him the option of a coalition government," Raila, who has indicated that he would serve in an interim government if it is set up for the express purpose of amending the constitution to allow another election, asserted.

    The Kibaki group will not be inclined to have a re-run election that they will certainly lose and since the U.S. has backed the option to go to the courts the dice has been rolled for ROUND 2 of Kenya's election fraud.

    Posted by: BenIAM | Jan 8, 2008 12:54:42 PM | 45

    @44 intersting piece from, I think an Ethiopian opposition member, connecting Kenya-Ethiopia and our girl Jenday.

    Kenya & Ethiopia: Jendayi Frazer, a Friend of Cheaters

    @44 - The Kibaki group is not interested in the future of Kenya as a broad political comunity but only in monopolizing power and saving "their" Kenya. The election fraud was planned and a course of action outlined - if you notice Kibaki is essentially hidden at State house - with a few announcements being made. The only scenario that could lead to a re-election is if the U.S. pressures for it and/or if the Kikuyu elite and middle-class take the heat from the Kikuyu poor that have been victimized and a crack occurs - so far that is not in evidence. The only option remaining would be a continuation of the 'internal' pressure and the freezing of the government.

    The new cabinet with ODM-K chair Kolonzo (who was always a self-interested sell out from the word go)makes sense in light of Kibaki's strategy of trying to make the right "ethnic" mix and his call to open parliament on Jan 15 as a way of prying MP's away from ODM while "talking" to Raila and taking the steam out of the streets. If Raila plays along ODM will find themselves alienating the "streets" while the massive popular demand for re-election will have lost the rallying point.

    Raila seem's to be walking a tight rope:

    I have worked with Kibaki before. I have (no problem) working with Kibaki again," Raila told Al Jazeera, but added: "It’s the role I will play that we will negotiate. We are prepared to walk the extra mile to bring peace to Kenya.

    It is an insult to the people of Kenya. I should be the one offering him the option of a coalition government," Raila, who has indicated that he would serve in an interim government if it is set up for the express purpose of amending the constitution to allow another election, asserted.

    The Kibaki group will not be inclined to have a re-run election that they will certainly lose and since the U.S. has backed the option to go to the courts the dice has been rolled for ROUND 2 of Kenya's election fraud.

    Posted by: BenIAM | Jan 8, 2008 12:55:15 PM | 46

    BenIAM - it makes me go back & reread that first pambazuka commentary i linked in #26

    Whatever happens, the present crisis has demonstrated that there is a serious lack of any formations that can articulate a coherent political programme for social transformation. Politics will remain forever about who gets access to the trough so long as there is no alternative.

    interesting that obama, w/ kenyan roots, is pushing the "change" meme in the states.

    odinga's campaign -- THE REAL CHANGE FOR ALL KENYANS

    Posted by: b real | Jan 8, 2008 1:33:46 PM | 47

    my uninformed take:

    Kibaki will go eventually. He has no legitimacy & no hope of getting any. And he will not benefit from a dividends-of-chaos strategy because Kenyans have to their credit refused to go over the brink. At least so far. And they will probably not. Odinga will offer Kibaki a deal --- no prosecution or pursuit of him or his cronies if he leaves or agrees to new elections.

    the 700-pound mountain gorilla in the room is the USA. And the bottom line right now looks more & more like its USA-interests vs. the-people-of-Kenya. And this is just not a posture the USA should ever want to be in. Not from a principled or practical standpoint.

    and its also sad that such a profound & critical democratic struggle in Africa only gets press to the extent that Black "" are killing one another. There is a major disconnect between Africa & the West and its up to the West to catch up if it cares to.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 8, 2008 4:24:38 PM | 48

    @ b real That will explain why no matter how hard i researched I couldn't discover the 'black congresswoman's' name. I saw a report on her negotiations a week or so back on BBC World and for some reason I got the impression she was a pol. Rather, an elected pol not an appointed one.
    Fortunately for my argument but unfortunately for the Kenyans it doesn't make too much difference, she has bigger fish to fry than a long term equitable outcome for Kenya's people.

    I too have read a number of differing reports on Lucas Sang's death, mostly they seem come from the Kenyan athletic community in particular Kip Keino's son Martin who has gathered numerous conflicting eyewitness accounts,. None of the ones I have seen mention Sang's ethnicity or talk of a mistake by the attackers. That bit must come straight from the Independents Olivetti.

    I have no idea of the ethnicity of Kenyan runners or if they are more likely to be of one particular ethnicity than another, and I doubt that Martin Keino has a particular ax to grind anyhow.

    The reporter appears to though. Day or night on foot or in a car Lucas Sang was a recognized figure in the community in which he was murdered. An equivalent circumstance would be the East German woman swimmer who won a number of Olympic medals for east germany but who had to flee germany for amerika after the collapse in 1990. Her success meant she was rewarded by the state with nice apartments, cars etc. She was ridiculed and harassed, accused of being "Honecker's whore".

    Lucas Sang probably got a lot less from the Kenyan state but he was probably still identified with the ruling elite.

    Whatever ethnic preference or 'tribalism' there is in Kenya is a direct result of successive regimes back to the english colonial one. If the bulk of an elite are from a particular group and an angry population seeks retribution then it stands to reason the retribution may seem to be disproportionately against one particular clan or ethnicity, even when it doesn't.

    I have difficulty accepting this is not apparent to a competent reporter. One is left with the conclusion that stories such as the Independent's take on the Sang murder are deliberate attempts to divide Kenya on ethnic lines in order to frustrate reform. Or at least alienate the reformists from support within england's large group of anti-colonialists.

    Posted by: Debs is dead | Jan 8, 2008 6:21:35 PM | 49

    the words of a columnist from zimbabwe here provide as good a summary as any other i've seen

    Needless to say, Kenya plays a balancing factor in the East African turbulent region and is the centre of many international spying networks camouflaged as, business, humanitarian work and journalism.

    So a Kibaki defeat was unthinkable to the grand masters in London and Washington as it could have upset the status quo. Following a number of surveys, it became clear that Kibaki was going and would loose cleanly to Odinga.

    But Odinga’s credentials are generally not pleasing to international machinations. Consider this: He is the son of a man who wrote an influential book which called for economic independence. He was educated in East Germany at the height of the Cold War and has gone on to name his children Fidel Castro and Winnie Mandela! Aren’t Winnie and Castro populist leaders whose ideas are scary to the international community?

    As the Langata MP, Odinga enjoys support of the volatile slums of Nairobi meaning he is a mover of that part of the population which could upset the status quo as overseen by the economists from the London School of Economics.

    The speed with which Kibaki was sworn in amid complaints suggests a conspiracy. It was as if some grandmaster from the First World prodded him to rig the election and whispered into his ear: ‘Just rig the election and if there are complaints and violence, we will then say talk to each other. Don’t worry we will mediate.’

    Meanwhile, the desired result was that Odinga should not be anywhere nearer power hence the haste in announcing Kibaki as the winner so that when the talks start, he begins from a strong point as the President and not just a feuding partner.

    The idea was that as violence ensues, the international community would lament the blood shed and apportion blame, largely to Odinga’s supporters. Electoral rigging will then be down the scale as what will be important will be for bloodletting to stop, and through negotiation. Election fraud has been drained of its meaning.

    Now the push for calm borders on the call for a dialogue and a coalition, and anybody who has other views as Odinga seems to have become a villain.

    ‘I want to see the possibility exposed where they can come together in government,” said Gordon Brown.

    There it is in a nutshell. The master has said it.

    This is to say that Odinga should agree to serve under Kibaki, a man whose victory is being doubted even by the Kenyan electoral body’s boss! A man who fired John Githongo for exposing corruption!

    This is shambolic.

    i haven't followed the british angle on the situation in kenya outside of a few items i come across here & there, so i don't know what people may be saying about british complicity in the rigging. they'd have deeper economic interests in supporting kibaki than the u.s., though i think that the latter's influence -- given the status of superpower & the GWOT, etc.. -- is in charge. besides, as i linked above earlier, the economist came down hard on kibaki's coup & called for the people's voice to be respected. and the EU observers were making loud noises about the illegitimacy of the counts from the gitgo.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 8, 2008 11:26:22 PM | 50

    again, substitute the concern over the instability of kenya post-election w/ the larger concern over the destabilizing (for u.s. interests) effect of an ODM victory, though lobe does a fine job of adding on the layers of importance ;-)

    jim lobe: Kenya Seen as Anchor to U.S. Position in East Africa

    Kenya has long served as an anchor for U.S. economic and geo-strategic interests in East Africa and a major beneficiary of U.S. economic and military assistance. Its possible destabilisation as a result of political and ethnic tensions is of considerable concern here.
    For the five years that followed the 1998 attack, Kenya was the second biggest recipient -- after Nigeria -- of U.S. military, counter-terrorist and security aid in sub-Saharan Africa, receiving a total of nearly 80 million dollars through 2004, according to a recent investigation by the Washington-based Centre for Public Integrity.

    Those amounts have remained stable since then, according to Pentagon and State Department documents. In October 2006, the Bush administration also removed certain restrictions on military training of Kenyan officers that had been imposed after Nairobi refused to sign an agreement with Washington to exempt U.S. personnel from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

    While Nairobi has declined to approve stringent anti-terrorism legislation urged on it by Washington, it has worked closely with Washington in tracking, detaining and, in some cases, deporting suspected terrorists, particularly in the aftermath of the 2002 attacks. That cooperation has reportedly alienated much of Kenya's Muslim community, which reportedly voted in large numbers for Odinga.

    Nairobi has long provided access for U.S. naval vessels to Mombasa's port facilities. More recently, it has provided access for U.S. aircraft to Kenyan airbases, particularly for use in Washington's interventions in Somalia in the early 1990s and again in support of Ethiopia's rout of Islamist forces in December 2006, as well as in humanitarian and other peacekeeping operations in eastern and central Africa.

    "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," retired Marine Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong, a former deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command, told the Washington Times this week.

    they've been used for iraq too, according to some accounts i've read.

    Kenya also handed over more than 40 Islamist suspects to the Ethiopian-backed government in Mogadishu and to Addis Ababa itself after the Ethiopian offensive and transferred a suspect in the 2002 attacks to U.S. authorities, who promptly flew him to the Guantanamo detention facility in Cuba last March.

    Moreover, the country's ports and transportation infrastructure has made it the major hub for both commerce and humanitarian assistance for its land-locked neighbours.
    Moreover, southern Sudan, which could become independent in 2011 under the terms of the 1997 Sudan Peace Agreement, has increasingly reoriented its trade -- including the possible export of oil via a pipeline -- to run to Mombasa, he said. "In theory, Kenya will become more important to the U.S., rather than less so."

    Washington has also touted Kenya as a political and economic model for the rest of the Africa, particularly since Kibaki and Odinga teamed up to defeat the then-ruling party KANU party. The economy, which was stagnant in the 1990s, has grown at a healthy rate in recent years, although Gavin noted that the rich-poor gap has actually widened under Kibaki in part due to rampant corruption -- to which she believes Washington and other western donors should have attached a much higher priority.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 9, 2008 12:33:01 AM | 51

    east african standard: Frazer opposes fresh polls

    A re-run of the disputed presidential elections will not solve the current crisis, a top US official has said.

    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.

    Speaking in Kisumu on Tuesday, Frazer was, however, quick to add that the decision lies in the hands of Kenyan politicians.

    "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.


    ..Frazer said Kenyans were dejected and polarised, adding that a re-run would not save them.

    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.

    "Constitution reforms are important to set up institutions and strengthen them to deal with problems Kenyans face," she added.

    i sincerely hope that kenyans call the u.s. out on this nonsense

    Posted by: b real | Jan 9, 2008 11:09:18 AM | 52

    @ 52

    I agree - I've yet to see Kenyan's expressing outrage at such U.S. duplicity.

    State has lengthened Frazer's visit to Kenya while the AU is mediating. We should expect a continual frustration of calls for a re-count or a re-election by Frazer while the AU would not be so one-sided in its role.

    You might want to tune in to a live post-election assesment of Kenya at the Woodrow Wilson Center on January 10 2008, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. It will feature Kenya Human Rights Commissioner Maina Kiai.

    Posted by: BenIAM | Jan 9, 2008 11:44:00 AM | 53

    BenIAM - thanks for the headsup on that

    re the frazer comment in #52 - what i clipped out, but the article makes clear, frazer's stmt was in response to an archbishop's public declaration that "Kibaki has no authority to govern and he should immediately step aside for fresh presidential elections."

    Posted by: b real | Jan 9, 2008 12:03:58 PM | 54

    just found this - pambazuka is posting action alerts on kenya here

    one of the postings (w/ emphasis added) is this strong position:

    Statement from concerned citizens and governance, human rights and legal organizations

    We speak in the name of Kenya’s governance, human rights and legal organizations, as well as the concerned citizens who have contacted and chosen to work with us over the last two weeks.

    In our previous statement, we noted that, at the heart of the three forms of violence now being experienced across the country—disorganised and spontaneous, organised militia activity and disproportionate use of force by the Kenya Police Force and the General Service Unit—is the violation of fundamental freedoms and rights directly related to the electoral process. It is clear that the electoral anomalies and malpractices experienced during the counting and tallying of the presidential vote were so grave as to alter its outcomes. Some of those electoral anomalies and malpractices were, in addition, illegal — thus rendering the supposed presidential outcome not only illegitimate but also illegal. We therefore consider Mwai Kibaki to be in office still on his first term.

    We note now, with grave concern, the announcement yesterday by the man sworn in as President of his supposed Cabinet. We consider this announcement to have been made by a man in office illegitimately and illegally and therefore to be null and void. We further note that this announcement has, in fact, aggravated and inflamed the current violence — as evidenced by the disorganised and spontaneous protests witnessed yesterday in reaction to the announcement. We consider that the announcement has thus seriously compromised the environment for mediation. We refuse to allow the man sworn in as President to continue presenting the nation with what is, in effect, a series of ‘faits accomplis.’

    We therefore reiterate our demands that, in particular:

    1. African states and the rest of the international community, particularly the United States given its currently unhelpful unilateral approach, to continue to pressurize for mediation by the region under the leadership of President John Kuffour of Ghana, current head of the African Union, between the Party of National Unity and the Orange Democratic Movement on addressing the electoral travesty that has occurred;

    2. The mediation process to, as its first priority, agree upon an interim electoral oversight body to conduct a forensic audit into the polling, counting and tallying process with a view to recommending, depending on its findings, a re-count, a re-tallying or a re-run within a specified time period;

    3. African states and the rest of the international community to, in the interim, deny official recognition to the man sworn in as President and his supposed Cabinet; and, in addition;

    4. All those supposedly announced as Cabinet members to refuse to take up their positions upon their swearing in so as to enable the mediation process to proceed.


    Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG)
    Centre for Law and Research International (CLARION)
    Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD)
    Centre for Rights, Education and Awareness for Women (CREAW)
    Constitution and Reform Education Consortium (CRECO)
    East African Law Society (EALS)
    Haki Focus
    Hema la Katiba
    Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU)
    Innovative Lawyering
    Institute for Education in Democracy (IED)
    International Commission of Jurists (ICJ-Kenya)
    Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)
    Kenya Leadership Institute (KLI)
    Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR)
    Kituo cha Sheria
    Law Society of Kenya (LSK)
    Media Institute
    Muslim Human Rights Forum
    National Constitution Executive Council (NCEC)
    Release Political Prisoners (RPP)
    Society for International Development (SID)
    Urgent Action Fund (UAF)-Africa
    Youth Agenda

    kibaki's announcement the other day appears to have been designed as a tactic to intentionally stir up more violence. and i'd argue that the u.s. role has been more than "unhelpful", it was meant to be counterproductive to those seeking fairness & political accountability.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 9, 2008 12:21:09 PM | 55

    b real@52,
    Jendayi does it again. What possible purpose does it serve the interests of the USA for her to publicly object to fresh-elections, in diametric opposition to the position of the impeccably broad-based alliance of Kenyan organizations listed in @55.

    in objection to re-running an unwelcomed DNA test result, Jendayi might be the type who would ask -- "What does it matter if your the biological father or not ?"

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 9, 2008 2:30:44 PM | 56

    from uganda's daily monitor on some of the claims of uganda military in kenya

    Uganda gunmen shot Kenya rioters - Raila

    KENYAN opposition leader Raila Odinga said on Tuesday that he had called President Yoweri Museveni to protest what he called the presence of Ugandan gunmen in the lakeside city of Kisumu, where riots erupted in the aftermath of a disputed presidential election.

    The gunmen "have killed quite a number of civilians in Kisumu", Mr Odinga said during an interview on KFM's Hot Seat show on Tuesday evening.

    The opposition leader, who claims to have won the disputed December 27 presidential election, said Kisumu residents had variously reported seeing armed men driven in vehicles with Ugandan registration numbers. But the men were dressed in civilian attire, the Orange Democratic Movement party leader said.

    Mr Odinga revealed that President Museveni had denied knowledge of the Ugandan military's presence in post-election Kenya.

    "What happened is that there were vehicles with Ugandan registration numbers. They were seen in Kisumu and the occupants were wearing civilian clothes. They have been shooting and they have killed quite a number of civilians in Kisumu…" Mr Odinga said.

    "But I had occasion to speak to President Yoweri Museveni who assured me that there are no Ugandan forces in the country, and I have reason to believe what he was saying."

    It is possible that the suspected Ugandan gunmen could have been Kenyan police officers using vehicles from Uganda, he said without citing a possible motive.
    It was not possible to independently verify claims of the Ugandan military's participation in post-election violence in Kenya. But a reliable source who was among the security personnel deployed in Nyanza Province, which takes in Kisumu, said a curious Kenyan army officer identified two Ugandans clad in the Kenya Police uniform.

    The duo communicated in Luganda, the source claimed, a language not used in Kenya's armed forces. After a brief interrogation, one of the two gunmen allegedly admitted that he was a Ugandan, before being whisked away by security.

    An outspoken cleric based at the Katakwa Diocese in Kenya's Busia District also suggested in an interview with Daily Monitor that Ugandan soldiers could have crossed into Kenya in the wake of post-election violence there.

    Rev. Phillip Mwakio said last week that a convoy of six vehicles bearing Uganda government registration numbers were seen crossing the border into Kenya after the Kenya government had closed its side of the border.

    "It was at around 8p.m. that these vehicles crossed," the cleric said. "We were surprised that vehicles would be allowed to cross when the border was closed? It was unusual."
    Another knowledgeable source said Ugandan troops deployed to Kotido and Moroto usually enter and pass through Kenya because of the bad roads in eastern Uganda, and that the movements have nothing to do with Kenyan affairs.

    the monitor is also reporting that
    Kibaki, Raila set power sharing terms

    THE government of Kenya and the Orange Democratic Movement have agreed on a power sharing deal and the possibility of creating the post of prime minister. They, however, differed on whether the holder should be given executive or ceremonial roles.

    This emerged as Ghanian President John Kufuor who held separate meetings with President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga shuttled between the two groups.

    not sure of that yet. no other rpts state that they've agreed to anything other than to meet again on thursday.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 9, 2008 11:10:55 PM | 57

    from an ethiopian blog

    Jendayi Frazer, a friend of cheaters!

    Jendayi Frazer, USA diplomat, once again stood with the cheaters in Kenya like she did in May 2005 with the Ethiopian regime who stole election by killing protesters in the streets of Addis Ababa who went out for their voices to be heard.

    Mr. Raila Odinga the opposition leader called off the planned street protest to pressure the regime to step down and the peoples vote to be respected after he talked to Jendayi Frazer of USA. Similar pressure was exerted by the USA Ambassadors to sabotage Ethiopians right to protest by organizing a meeting with the opposition leaders and we now know that was a big blunder by opposition leaders and they now regret it.

    The Kenyan opposition pressured to call off street protest and go to Kibakli's court by Jendayi Frazer is unjust and the millions who voted against Kibaki know that very well and Kenyans opposition are going to repeat what Ethiopians opposition did almost three years ago.

    By equating public protest with violence our peoples right to protest is denied and that is good news for African dictators. Denying this right will open a door for armed rebellion and that is why many army officers and young activists are now joining armed resistance in all the corners of Ethiopia.


    The shortsighted USA foreign policy in the Horn of Africa by standing with the known killers and human right abusers of the region will only force our people to fight for freedom. Jendayi Frazer is working for her country's interest and she care less about freedom and what she achieved on her Kenya's visit is "quite" Kenya to do business for foreigners.

    Mwai Kibaki will be in power until he turns eighty years old and the Kenyan people anger that cost 500 people lives will be forgotten soon and tourists will flock to Kenya, that is what Jendayi Frazer will call it freedom and democracy, African style.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 10, 2008 12:25:29 AM | 58


    Odinga (ODM) scores a huge victory by meeting with Kibaki:

    1) firmly elevates his cause & person to the highest level
    2) irreversibly establishes the election as a national crisis that must be dealt with before the country can move on
    3) demonstrates a willingness to be reconciliatory & states-man-like
    4) provides a face-to-face opportunity to offer Kibaki a deal
    5) compels Kibaki to begin talking in practical/realistic terms

    Kibaki is now backed even deeper into the corner. He can't go on as president as if all is well. And ODM will not accept any power-sharing deal that denies it executive power, or at least the bulk of it.

    and this talk of power-sharing via constitutional changes is highly questionable. Kenyans will ask why a constitution thats been OK for 50 years suddenly needs to be changed when the real problem is clear -- a stolen election. Power-sharing agreements are highly problematic to work out or to practice. Lebanon is a good example. Many Kenyans will view half-baked changes to their constitution with great alarm. Especially if its done to protect a president/party that should not be there in the first place. Besides, a power-sharing agreement put in place to protect Kibaki's party could in effect end up dividing it & possibly undermining it.

    this thing is unwinding, and thankfully its happening peacefully. And as they get into the nitty-gritty, a realistic solution that does honor to the election should emerge.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 10, 2008 3:17:01 AM | 59


    Odinga (ODM) scores a huge victory by meeting with Kibaki:

    1) firmly elevates his cause & person to the highest level
    2) irreversibly establishes the election as a national crisis that must be dealt with before the country can move on
    3) demonstrates a willingness to be reconciliatory & states-man-like
    4) provides a face-to-face opportunity to offer Kibaki a deal
    5) compels Kibaki to begin talking in practical/realistic terms

    Kibaki is now backed even deeper into the corner. He can't go on as president as if all is well. And ODM will not accept any power-sharing deal that denies it executive power, or at least the bulk of it.

    and this talk of power-sharing via constitutional changes is highly questionable. Kenyans will ask why a constitution thats been OK for 50 years suddenly needs to be changed when the real problem is clear -- a stolen election. Power-sharing agreements are highly problematic to work out or to practice. Lebanon is a good example. Many Kenyans will view half-baked changes to their constitution with great alarm. Especially if its done to protect a president/party that should not be there in the first place. Besides, a power-sharing agreement put in place to protect Kibaki's party could in effect end up dividing it & possibly undermining it.

    this thing is unwinding, and thankfully its happening peacefully. And as they get into the nitty-gritty, a realistic solution that does honor to the election should emerge.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 10, 2008 3:19:46 AM | 60

    @BenIAM - did you catch the end of the wilson panel? did somebody press the pause button on miai as soon as he called for IRI to release their exit poll results?

    Posted by: b real | Jan 10, 2008 12:16:47 PM | 61

    @ b real I was in a meeting and could not listen but that is interesting. Although what U.S. audiences 'hear' is not a major factor at this point of the game.

    Kiai has been vocal on pointing out to the recruitment of a Kikuyu gang by the Kibaki group to confront ODM supporters and any who are out on the streets. This is a group that has been in the slums of Nairobi for some time and is seeking to "win" like ODM-K's Kalonzo.


    Posted by: BenIAM | Jan 10, 2008 1:04:59 PM | 62

    during the two or so hour conference, they'd lost a connection w/ kiai (fat finger typo on my #61) maybe two times & in each of those the monitor immediately went to bluescreen the moement the connection dropped. during the final comments kiai led off w/ a call to the IRI to release the exit polls it had conducted. no sooner than he said this, the frame just froze and the audio cut. seemed strange, if not convenient, that the video never went to bluescreen as it did previously.

    earlier, during the question section, someone pointedly asked joel barkan of the IRI -- since barkan had made it quite clear that there was no way kibaki could have gotten the votes needed to surpass odinga's lead (when the tallying was stalled, kibaki would have required 69% of all remaining votes to pull ahead, whereas up to that point he had been getting around 48-49%), along w/ the stmt that their observers saw all that the EU EOM also saw -- if the IRI would come out publicly and say that kibaki had stolen the election. but they field several questions at the same time before going to the panel, which allowed barkan to avoid a direct answer.

    in his initial remarks, kiai didn't bring up the mungiki, at least from what i heard, but he did state that he has 50 photos in his office of people that were shot in the head by the police execution-style. this fits in w/ michuki's reported directives to shoot to kill.

    kiai also agreed w/ barkan's assessment that kibaki's party cynically sacrificed the kikuyu in the rift valley as a cost for preserving power. and he agreed that the international community needs to target the hardliners on both sides w/ visa restrictions etc, though kiai added that that was not broad enough wrt the PNU.

    one panelist, stephen ndegwa, a specialist for the world bank, led off by making it known that he was not speaking in official capacity. he said that he would not comment on the election b/c that has already been determined. citing that no election in africa has been reversed & no prez has been forced to abdicate, there was no realistic way to useat the current govt, barring the use of violence. i didn't catch all of his reasoning, but did catch the following article this morning from the pambazuka action alerts:

    Leaked memo deepens Kenya crisis

    A confidential memo from the World Bank’s Kenya office that supports President Mwai Kibaki’s claim of victory in the country’s disputed elections plunged the Washington-based lender into controversy on Wednesday.
    The leaked January 1 briefing note, originating from Colin Bruce, the World Bank’s country director in Nairobi, lays out the case for accepting Mr Kibaki’s victory on the basis of “oral briefings and documents from senior [United Nations Development Programme] officials” who “monitored the overall electoral process”.

    The memo claims that “the considered view of the UN is that the Electoral Commission of Kenya announcement of a Kibaki win is correct”.

    However, Michele Montas, a spokeswoman for the UN secretary-general, denied that the UN had adopted that position. UNDP officials said they had neither monitored the elections nor provided any assessment suggesting a Kibaki victory.

    Given the widespread irregularities reported in last month’s elections, the leaked briefing note is likely to trigger accusations that the institution, which lends heavily to Kenya, has lost its political objectivity.

    European Union election observers, whom Mr Bruce criticised, on Wednesday stood by their conclusion that the election was impossible to call.

    Mr Bruce’s memo has created discomfort among some senior World Bank staff who fear the bank’s analysis of the Kenyan crisis has been influenced by too close a relationship with Mr Kibaki. Mr Bruce, from Guyana, lives in a house owned by the Kibaki family. The bank said the tenancy was inherited from its previous country representative and was chosen on security grounds.

    The World Bank has been criticised for maintaining its large development programme in Kenya in spite of evidence of high-level corruption in Mr Kibaki’s government. The bank says its projects are vital for the country’s poor.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 10, 2008 1:59:00 PM | 63

    Thanks b real and BenIAM for keeping us updated on this. I lack time and knowledge to follow the issue myself so I really appreciate your contributions.

    Posted by: b | Jan 10, 2008 4:37:42 PM | 64

    Kibaki fails to show-up for talks with Odinga

    looks like Kibaki thinks he can weather the storm if he can buy enough time. So Odinga gets played and is sure to harden his stance. Todays lesson is -- Kibaki & his entourage of handlers/advisers from USA/West are playing games.

    Its very sad that it now seems like there may be more unrest (hopefully peaceful if we're lucky) coming before Kibaki & Co. see the writing on the wall.

    and the so-so civilized Western powers patiently look on like they really really have nothing to do with whats going on. After all its the Blacks who can't seem to get their act together.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 10, 2008 6:46:43 PM | 65

    Kibaki fails to show-up for talks with Odinga

    looks like Kibaki thinks he can weather the storm if he can buy enough time. So Odinga gets played and is sure to harden his stance. Todays lesson is -- Kibaki & his entourage of handlers/advisers from USA/West are playing games.

    Its very sad that it now seems like there may be more unrest (hopefully peaceful if we're lucky) coming before Kibaki & Co. see the writing on the wall.

    and the so-so civilized Western powers patiently look on like they really really have nothing to do with whats going on. After all its the Blacks who can't seem to get their act together.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 10, 2008 6:47:33 PM | 66

    correction to #63 - barkan is w/ CSIS & was a member of the IRI delegation that observed the elections and, as quoted in #10, "encourages the people to continue to respect the process and accept the final decision."

    Posted by: b real | Jan 10, 2008 11:13:59 PM | 67

    i completely missed the story on IRI & exit polls

    from jan 3rd

    Kenya: “Slate Says IRI Is Sitting on Exit Poll”

    And speaking of the International Republican Institute in Kenya, about which I have argued

    the role of the International Republican Institute in this election … needs to be probed harder than the prostate of a 70-year-old life-long chainsmoker …

    … Robert Baird notes:

    Today at Slate, Alex Halperin wonders why a Kenyan exit poll sponsored by the International Republican Institute hasn’t been released to the public:

    The paragraphs in question:

    Unfortunately, one bit of data has not surfaced. The International Republican Institute, a democracy-fostering nonprofit funded by the U.S. government—and despite the name, officially nonpartisan—commissioned an Election Day exit poll but has declined to release the results. Two people familiar with the results told me that they showed Odinga with a substantial lead over President Kibaki—one reported eight points, the other nine points. One has only to remember the United States’ 2004 elections to know how fallible exit polls are, but a U.S.-sponsored survey would have weight here and could have given the ECK pause before it called the election so disastrously.

    Ken Flottman, an official in the IRI’s Nairobi office, said the data would serve additional purposes, such as studying voter demographics. The organization issued a statement criticizing the vote counting but does not mention its data. It missed an opportunity to advance its mission of promoting democracy and fair elections.

    The Kenyan statistics body should subpoena those results or throw somebody in a Kenyan jail trying.

    that slate article is dated jan 02
    What's Really Going On in Kenya? And why didn't a U.S.-funded group release its exit-poll data?

    but the meat was quoted above in the post at colin brayton's blog. good stuff there worth checking out.

    some new commentary & analysis up today at pambazuka news, including

    The US and Kenya: Tragic setback for democracy in Africa

    In the immediate aftermath of the recent elections in Kenya, the Bush Administration wasted no time in sending its glowing congratulations to incumbent President Mwai Kibaki and the Kenyan Election Commission. But despite the subsequent attempt to ignore the congratulatory message, and adamant claim of a global commitment to democracy, the Bush Administration’s official stamp of approval for Kibaki and the elections reflected a de facto endorsement of a naked power grab and contempt for the democratic process.

    To be sure, the Bush administration’s eagerness to embrace a stage-managed election reveals a sharp inconsistency between pronouncement and practice -- declining to support calls for a re-count and urging “all candidates to accept the Commission’s final result.” Some would argue that the Bush focus on security and economic interest supersede its rhetoric for democracy. Clearly, the Bush statement and its later about-face joint statement with Kenya’s former colonial masters –the British- reflects morally bankrupt policies which only see Kenya as a staunch ally and “frontline state in the global war on terrorism.”

    The Kenyan people participated in a democratic process to elect the representatives of their choice. When the election results were leaning toward the challenger and long time pro-democracy activist, Raila Odinga, the democratic process was over taken by manipulation and fraud. How can a U.S. Administration that preaches democracy in almost biblical terms refuse to pressure the Kenyan government for a re-count or an independent audit? Of course, this question may strike some Americans as naïve in the light of the Florida and Ohio fiascos in our own 2000 & 2004 presidential elections.
    We have seen the U.S. government prioritizing its security concerns over democracy promotion in Africa before. Who can ever forget the shameful April 2007 elections in Nigeria, which provides the US with 12% of its oil needs? Nigerians refer to that election as the most fraudulent elections ever held in the country. Despite calls for electoral reform, official U.S. congratulations to Yar’Adua were followed by a recent White House visit, which ended with Yar’Adua promoting the establishment of the U.S. African Military Command that could potentially place U.S. soldiers throughout the continent despite opposition in Nigeria. No wonder many believe there is scant U.S. commitment to global democracy when its economic and military interests are relevant. The Bush Administration’s policies appear to respond to narrow, ill-perceived security and economic imperatives that will ultimately lead to long-term instability in Kenya and other parts of Africa.

    It is more than noteworthy that as the 2005 Ethiopian elections were being won by the opposition at such an unprecedented rate that the Melis government intervened and halted the announcement of results. After a series of recounts and adjudication trails, which the opposition was not prepared for, it was once again business as usual, a witch’s brew of repression and torture. The arrest and detention on treason charges of all major opposition leaders followed. The Bush administration, which also sees Ethiopia as a staunch ally in the war on terror who is more than willing to do its bidding in Somalia, offered congratulations to Melis on his victory and urged “dialogue” and “reconciliation.”

    As the optimism of the 1990s has given way to the more vexing problem of making democracy deliver on its promises, the past few years have been filled with setbacks for the democratic process in Africa, with the possible exceptions of the 2005 elections in Liberia and the 2007 elections in Sierra Leone. And the U.S. has been largely silent in its actions to reverse those setbacks.
    The issue here is about power and the future of democracy in Africa not ethnic rivalries. Unfortunately some of the big men in Africa, as in other parts of the world, have not realized how to share power or to let it go when the will of the people is against their continued stay in office. There are those who talk about freedom and democracy but practice autocratic policies, they never really believed in the will of the people to begin with. What will be the world’s response to the farce currently underway in Kenya? Democracy in Africa or business as usual?

    Posted by: b real | Jan 10, 2008 11:41:35 PM | 68

    World Bank boss under fire

    January 11, 2008: A World Bank internal memorandum endorsing the controversial re-election of President Kibaki has stirred a major diplomatic controversy over the polls outcome.
    Email correspondence between senior World Bank officials in Washington and Nairobi show that two leading international bodies, the UN and the World Bank — which offer the most development aid to Kenya — consider the re-election of President Kibaki to have been proper.

    The UNDP office in Kenya however denied having agreed with the World Bank on anything in relation to the Kenyan elections. The UNDP office in Kenya told the Business Daily that the World Bank “had misquoted them”.

    While the US has dispatched Jendayi Frazer, its Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and asked her to stay in the region — as long as it takes — the Kenyan problem now appears to be tied to the future of the war on terror.

    Endorsement by the World Bank was also being understood to explain President Kibaki’s confidence in announcing the date of the opening of the 10th Parliament and his naming of a Cabinet, even as President Kufuor, the preferred mediator of both President Kibaki and Mr Odinga, tried to arbitrate.

    On January 7, a statement from White House “condemned the use of violence as a political tool and appealed to both sides to engage in peaceful dialogue.” A day later Mr Odinga called off the protest rallies he had planned for the next day as Mr Kibaki went on to name a Cabinet and announce the opening of Parliament.

    “The endorsement could of course have contributed to the confidence the president had in announcing a date for the opening of Parliament and naming the Cabinet,” said Dr Kithure Kindiki, the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Law, at the University of Nairobi.
    The internal memos among senior staff of the World Bank could be a clear indication that the United States, the Banks biggest donor, actually does covertly support the current regime but for fear of seeming to endorse suspicious elections, is giving a behind the scenes support.

    the original memo is reprinted in the above, or also at the financial times here and the FT's followup today is

    World Bank denies Kibaki bias

    In a second memorandum, issued three days later by John Donaldson, a spokesman at the bank’s Washington headquarters, staff are told to bear Mr Bruce’s overall assessment of the situation in mind when compiling the daily summary of international press reports. Mr Donaldson instructed the bank’s staff not to dwell on the “very sensitive issues” involved.

    Mr Donaldson told the FT that his memo was only intended to ensure that the bank was “more efficient in how we presented the news”.

    The World Bank has a portfolio of projects in Kenya amounting to at least $1bn, and is the most influential of the multilateral agencies in anchoring donor support.

    It has already attracted fierce criticism for maintaining loans in spite of evidence of high-level corruption in Mr Kibaki’s government, exposed by John Githongo, its former anti-graft chief who exiled himself in the UK three years ago.
    In a formal letter sent to the World Bank on Tuesday, the ODM accused Mr Bruce of misrepresenting the facts and said he “does not appreciate the serious social, political and economic issues underlying the present crisis and seems to believe that a quick fix in favour of Kibaki is a solution”.

    World Bank officials took the unprecedented step on Tuesday of releasing to the FT further briefing notes saying these showed Mr Bruce’s balanced approach over a longer period.

    The memos were not statements of bank policy, they said, and were intended to supplement what is already in the public domain. Marwan Muasher, head of external relations, said, “What Colin did was write daily memos that were snapshots of events as they unfolded.”

    Mr Bruce’s notes characterise Mr Odinga as the more skilled manipulator of the press. They also suggest the electoral commission believed “there were more irregularities of consequence” on the side of Mr Odinga and that the Odinga camp did not want a recount because they thought it would favour Mr Kibaki.

    listened to an interview w/ mukoma wa ngugi, co-editor of pambazuka news, on hard knock radio today & he said that jendayi frazer has been saying that ODM was just as involved in rigging & doesn't want a recount because it would expose what they did. if she did say that, it fits into the tactics they are using for avoiding a real recount (assuming it's even possible) or a re-run. and tonite there are stories that odinga says he wants a re-run in three months, so we know that it's bullshit to claim that ODM doesn't want to pursue those options. two of the speakers at the wilson conference this morning also said made the strange (to me) comment that 'if kenya did run another election, odinga would definitely lose.' sounds like they must have some inside information or something...

    Posted by: b real | Jan 11, 2008 12:38:45 AM | 69

    daniel volman: U.S. Military Activities in Kenya

    (Jaunuary 05, 2008) Now that President George Bush's special envoy to the Kenyan crisis, Jendayi Fraser (US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs) has admitted that the elections in Kenya were seriously flawed (a polite way of saying they are fraudulent) and ordered President Mwai Kibaki to meet the opposition leader, Raile Odinga, it is easy to forget that the United States Ambassador in Kenya only weeks ago declared the elections free and fair.

    But neither position is contradictory as the US is heavily invested in stability in Kenya.

    Kenya has long been a key military partner of the United States and a major African recipient of U.S. military assistance.

    The Pentagon gave Kenya $1.6 million worth of weaponry and other military assistance in 2006 and an estimated $2.5 million in 2007 through its Foreign Military Sales Program. In 2008 the Bush Administration expects to provide Kenya with $800,000 in Foreign Military Financing Program funds to pay for further arms purchases. Kenya has also been permitted to make large arms deals directly with private American arms producers through the State Department's Direct Commercial Sales Program. Kenya took deliver of $1.9 million worth of arms this way in 2005, got an estimated $867,000 worth in 2007, and is expected to receive another $3.1 million worth this year.

    In addition, the Bush Administration intends to spend $550,000 in 2008 to train Kenyan military officers in the United States through the International Military Education and Training Program at military academies and other military educational institutions in the United States.

    The United States is also providing training and equipment to Kenya's military, internal security, and police forces through several global and regional programs. These include, the:

    • The East Africa Counter-Terrorism Initiative established in 2003 as a multi-year program with $100 million in funding to provide training to Kenya as well as to Uganda, Tanzania, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Ethiopia.

    • The Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA) Program was created in 1983—under the administration of the State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security—to provide training, equipment, and technology to countries all around the world to support their participation in America's Global War on Terrorism. The largest ATA program in Africa is targeted at Kenya, where it helped created the Kenyan Antiterrorism Police Unit (KAPU) in 2004 to conduct anti-terrorism operations, the Joint Terrorism Task Force in 2004 to coordinate anti-terrorism activities (although the unit was disbanded by the Kenyan government in 2005, and is now training and equipping members of a multi-agency, coast guard-type unit to patrol Kenya's coastal waters. Between 2003 and 2005 (the most recent years for which this information is available), ATA provided training both in Kenya and in the United States to 454 Kenyan police, internal security, and military officers.

    The creation of the KAPU was financed with $10 million IN 2003, along with $622,000 from ATA; the ATA spent $21 million on training for Kenya in 2004, $3.5 in 2005, and another $3.2 in 2006. The Bush administration requested $2.9 for 2007 and an additional $5.5 in 2008.

    • The Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) was created in October 2002 to conduct naval and aerial patrols in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the eastern Indian Ocean as part of the effort to detect and counter the activities of terrorist groups in the region. The CJTF-FOA used military facilities in Kenya as well as in Djibouti and Ethiopia to launch air and naval strikes against alleged al-Qaeda members involved in the Council of Islamic Courts in Somalia in January and June of 2007.

    In addition, the Bush administration has negotiated base access agreements with the government of Kenya—along with the governments of Gabon, Mali, Morocco, Tunisia, Namibia, Sao Tome, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia—that will allow American troops to use their military facilities (know as Cooperative Security Locations and Forward Operating Sites) whenever the United States wants to deploy its own troops in Africa.

    The Bush Administration has built a close military relationship with the government of Mwai Kibaki and has played a central role in the creation of his internal security apparatus, now being deployed with such bloody results throughout Kenya.

    The United States, thus, has a direct responsibility for what is going on in Kenya and for bringing it to an end. Jendayi Frazer has certainly surprised many outside the US with her most recent comments, but one can be sure that also has US military priorities in mind when she urges Kenyans to end the violence.

    * Daniel Volman is Director of the African Security Research Project in Washington, DC, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars. He is a specialist on U.S. military policy toward Africa and African security issues.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 11, 2008 11:26:10 AM | 70

    story from uganda's new vision on some of the rumors about that country's involvement in kenya, including soldiers involved in a massacre. whoever did the shooting, sounds like it was unarmed civilians who paid the price

    Rumours fuel anti-Ugandan feelings in Kenya’s Kisumu

    ..another reason why Ugandans are met with hostility. “The rumour goes that Ugandan gunmen were brought in to shoot at demonstrators after local policemen refused to fire at their own people,” says the manager.

    Kisumu MP and former mayor of the town, Shabir Shakeel, confirms the rumour but says he does not believe they were Ugandan soldiers.

    “A rapid deployment unit was brought in, taking orders directly from Nairobi”, he tells The New Vision team at Imperial Hotel in Kisumu.

    “They followed a shoot-to-kill policy. People say among them were mamuluki (mercenaries) from Uganda because they were differently dressed.”

    “But I told the crowd: These were not Ugandan forces. Museveni is a friend of Raila and of Kisumu; he has visited this place several times’.”

    Hundreds of people, mainly from Raila’s Luo tribe, were shot by security forces in ten days of post-election violence in Kisumu.

    Kisumu Referral Hospital, built by Russians on land donated by Raila’s father, received 261 patients with bullet wounds since the trouble started, of which 55 died.

    “I participated in a peaceful demonstration last Thursday,” recalls 36-year old Joseph Rodich, whose right arm is amputated. “The Police aimed at us. I raised my hands and pleaded: ‘Don’t kill us. We only want the president we voted for.’ But they just started shooting. I got two bullets in my arm.” Most survivors at the hospital, however, say they did not in any way participate in the demonstration. “I was sitting on my verandah when I heard noise,” says Eric Omundi, a bicycle repairer of Kisumu who has a just-stitched scar running down his belly. “I got up to see what was happening. The next moment, I felt coldness on my back. When I touched, my hand was full of blood.”

    Eleven-year-old Laureen Awuor was hiding in a make-shift house when a bullet penetrated the wall.

    “It entered through my left hand, then through my right hand and crossed through my chest,” says the P4 pupil of St. John’s school in Muhoroni, 30 km from Kisumu. “It is a miracle I am alive.”

    Alice Atieno in the bed next to her had just returned from work when a stray bullet entered the back of her head. “She was about to enter her place when she felt the bullet coming,”says her sister.

    “It came out through her cheek and hit a child behind her. Her jaw is broken and she is unable to speak or eat.”

    While most of the casualties were caused by the General Service Unit and the Administration Police, the mamuluki fired the first shots, people in Kisumu believe.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 11, 2008 3:07:36 PM | 71


    Statement from concerned citizens and governance, human rights and legal organizations on Safety of Human Rights Defenders

    We speak in the name of Kenya’s governance, human rights and legal organizations, as well as the concerned citizens who have contacted and chosen to work with us over the last two weeks.

    We have been meeting and organising for the past two weeks in order to understand and make public what happened with the counting and tallying process of our Presidential vote, as well as the nature of the violence experienced across the country since. With respect to the former, it has been our considered and informed opinion that the electoral malpractices — and illegalities — experienced invalidate the swearing in of Mwai Kibaki. With respect to the latter, it has been our considered and informed opinion that the violence being experienced is of four forms — disorganised and spontaneous protest expressed anarchically; organised militia activity first in the Rift Valley and now in Central and Nyanza; disproportionate use of force by the Kenya Police Force and the General Service Unit; and, more recently, retributive communal actions inspired by the experiences narrated by the inflow of internally displaced persons. We have consistently condemned all four forms.

    We have also continually reiterated the need for the Kenyan Police Force and the General Service Unit to respect the right of all Kenyans to the freedoms of expression, assembly and association to respond — in a legal and legitimate manner — to both the counting and tallying process of our Presidential vote as well as the violence experienced across the country since. We have supported citizens’ desires to come together to do so while compiling our empirical evidence on the same for imminent release to the public. And we have engaged with interested political actors as well as those involved within the mediation process to seek meaningful ways forward that will secure sustainable peace on the basis of electoral truth and electoral and post-electoral justice.

    We stress, in the strongest possible terms, that it is within our rights as individual citizens and within the legally recognised mandates of our various institutions and organisations to have done so — and continue to do so. We therefore note, with the deepest of concerns, information received from no less than four sources within the Kenyan Police Force and the National Security Intelligence Service, that points to the personal safety and security of some of our members now being at risk for having done so — most notably (but not only) that of Maina Kiai, Chair of the Kenya National Commission of Human Rights. We have been advised by these sources of a special unit being formed to consider methods for our neutralisation and warned to be cautious while driving alone or at night as the most obvious of methods would be to mask the deliberate targeting of ourselves as common criminality, such as by carjacking or calculated road accidents.

    We wish to stress that we do not take this information lightly. While we may consider our efforts almost insignificant in light of their immediate impact on the bigger goings-on around us, we are aware that in today’s highly charged political atmosphere, the expression of and action on independent opinion is considered politically partisan — particularly when by those of us who have consciously broken away from the ethnically - aligned and near hegemonic positions being propounded by, in particular, political actors aligned with the man sworn in as President.

    We therefore take this opportunity to formally inform Major General Hussein Ali, Commissioner of the Police, of this information and to ask that he investigate the information received as a matter of urgency. We also take this opportunity to formally inform the persons sworn in as Minister of Internal Security and Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of these threats and urge them to provide direction to all arms of Kenya’s intelligence and security services that is within the limits of our Constitution and laws. Again, it is within our rights as citizens and as institutions and organisations mandated to be mobilising and organising as we are. And we consider it our patriotic duty to be doing so — in the interest of peace with electoral truth and justice. Our personal safety and security as human rights defenders must be upheld at all times.


    Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG)
    Centre for Law and Research International (CLARION)
    Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD)
    Centre for Rights, Education and Awareness for Women (CREAW)
    Constitution and Reform Education Consortium (CRECO)
    East African Law Society (EALS)
    Haki Focus
    Hema la Katiba
    Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU)
    Innovative Lawyering
    Institute for Education in Democracy (IED)
    International Commission of Jurists (ICJ-Kenya)
    Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)
    Kenya Leadership Institute (KLI)
    Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR)
    Kituo cha Sheria
    Law Society of Kenya (LSK)
    Media Institute
    Muslim Human Rights Forum
    National Constitution Executive Council (NCEC)
    Release Political Prisoners (RPP)
    Society for International Development (SID)
    Urgent Action Fund (UAF)-Africa
    Youth Agenda

    Posted by: b real | Jan 11, 2008 6:02:55 PM | 72

    The US and Kenya: Tragic setback for democracy in Africa
    Keith Jennings

    It is important to note that Kibaki’s party won only 35 of 210 parliamentary seats losing more than 20 of his cabinet ministers, including his vice president. These facts alone reveal the deep seated and widespread public resentment against the legendary corruption of the Kibaki Administration.

    Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) plans countrywide three-day rallies beginning Wednesday as part of its mass action programme to push up its claim President Kibaki stole their victory.

    The prospect of a confrontation immediately sprung up as Police Commissioner Hussein Ali once again decreed all rallies, no matter the profile of the organisers, will not be allowed.

    "The ban on public protests and rallies is still on. The ODM protests are thus illegal and outlawed," said Ali. But ODM maintained its rallies would be peaceful.

    if the USA does not stop enabling Kibaki's reign of terror, Kenya may suffer massive violence starting next week.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 11, 2008 7:38:17 PM | 73

    Jeffrey Gettleman of the NYT – who was kicked out of Ethiopia for reporting on the state orchestrated killings of civilians in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia which borders and shares religious and cultural ties with Somalia – reports on the stalemate in Kenya.

    The President is not Crazy

    Mwai Kibaki, the president, and Raila Odinga, the top opposition leader, still have refused to meet.

    “The Kibaki side does not want a just solution,” Anyang Nyong’o, an opposition leader, said on Friday. “It is hellbent on clinging to power.”

    Alfred Mutua, a government spokesman, responded by saying that opposition leaders “have ashamed our country.”

    As for the opposition’s call for a new election and a transitional government, Mr. Mutua said,

    “The president is not crazy; he is not nuts.”

    Perhaps 2 things worthy of mention … First, after all the “international fanfare” the paper of record, even by a decent reporter, has already inadvertently recognized the illegitimacy of the Kibaki group’s actions by calling him PRESIDENT in contrast to Raila who remains a leading opposition candidate. The Kibaki group was very calculating when they insured that Kibaki was quickly sworn into office 15 minutes after the ECK Chair was forced to announce the “winning numbers” and it has paid off by creating its own reality.

    ECK Chief Disowns Elections Results Again

    Aside from the triviality of the NYT – the real issue of power – that Kibaki controls the organs of the state, named a working cabinet, has been willing and able to sacrifice Kikuyu's in Rift Valley and has by all accounts REFUSED to, as his spokesperson said, go “nuts” has put the nail in the coffin for a peaceful face saving measure. We should - in the absence of legitimacy - expect more violence from Kibaki's group resorting to "targeted" killings and making use of massive coercive force – while ODM will seek to insure a majority in parliament on Jan. 15 and clinch the speaker of the house position so as to call for a vote of no confidence leading to new elections in 3 months time. I guess that sums up the depressing scenario.

    Thanks to b_real and jony_b_cool for the nice updates.

    Posted by: BenIAM | Jan 12, 2008 1:16:38 AM | 74

    BenIAM @ openn-thread

    I read the links and wanted to respond here as I think this thread draws more the type who would be interested. And you read thiis thread too.

    Shelby Steele's interview with Bill Moyers (second link) is very fascinating and theres a lot in it. I especially like his challenger/bargainer theory. Its very apt. Also :

    His examples of bargainers are : Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, Sidney Poitier. Note these are all highly successful entertainers. And he names Al Sharpton & Jesse Jackson Sr. (politicians) as challengers. Its a little bit of apples & oranges. Where do the following fit in: Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Cornell West, Ron Brown, Bob Johnson (BET), Muhammed Ali ? I think that whether an African-American becomes a challenger or a bargainer has more too do with the individuals personality and also the vantage point that life deals them. And its not always a hard either/or choice. Everybody does what they do differently. Also Obama is not really the first Obama. The late Ron Brown (former Clinton Sec. of Commerce and also Chairman of the DNC) was just as comfortable & successful dealing with both the Black & White camps as Obama is today. And possibly Colin Powell to a lesser extent (at least up till he hooked up with GWB)

    Shelby Steele I think is an excellent observer of Obama, but some of Shelbys pre-conceptions get in the way :

    One of the first thing Steele says on Obama is "The reason I think that we don't yet know him. We don't yet quite know. What his deep abiding convictions are." But then he goes on to say a lot about who he thinks Obama is.

    Shelby also does not seem to acknowledge that the fact that Obama did meet with Al Sharpton does not comfortably fit Shelbys perception of Obama.

    Anyways, I thought Ron Brown was very interesting to watch & track, just like Obama is today.

    Shelby also says a bit about Black-White interactions, and talks about the White Guilt factor (which he wrote a book on). I haven't read the book he wrote on the subject, but I am not sure its worth a whole book. Unless he is getting into underlying cultural facets. If "manifest-destiny" and "American Exceptionalism" do exist, its only obvious that "White Guilt" will exist too as it pierces a part of that perception. But its not the exact same as guilt for the actual events.

    we'll see what happens.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 12, 2008 9:08:00 AM | 75

    only have time for a couple from sunday's east african standard

    Alarm over alleged presence of Ugandan troops in Kenya

    Armed Ugandan soldiers are allegedly crossing into Kenya.

    Busia residents told The Sunday Standard that some Ugandan troops have been sighted in town and in Port Victoria along River Suo.

    "They are scattered all over along the borders with some patrolling along Lake Victoria," said a secondary school teacher in Budalang’i District.

    According to Nambale MP-elect, Mr Chris Okemo, some of the soldiers have reportedly crossed "no-man’s-land" borderline to Busia town on the Kenyan side.

    "We have received reports that a number of strangers, whose mission is unknown, have been spotted in groups. We are still investigating the claims," he said.

    Bondo MP-elect Dr Oburu Oginga also claimed that people in Ugandan military gear docked at Mageta Island last evening in batches.

    "The first batch of 12 soldiers who spoke strange Kiswahili arrived at Mageta Island past 5pm on Friday and asked for directions to Usenge and Uhanya beach," Oburu said.

    Oburu said he informed police in Bondo after more soldiers allegedly landed at Mageta two hours later.

    "We are concerned with these strange military personnel in the area. The residents are worried," Oburu said.
    imilar strange military arrivals were reported in Bungoma, where they allegedly boarded six buses.
    Ugandan authorities have denied that its soldiers had crossed into Kenya.

    Museveni’s Media advisor, Mr John Nagenda, on Sunday denied the claims.

    Uganda’s Army spokesman, Captain Paddy Ankunda, also refuted the claims.

    He said the only Ugandan soldiers in Kenya are training at the Karen Defence College in Nairobi.

    more from jendayi's (extended) mission to kenya as adviser to kibaki

    World watches Kenya

    African Union’s (AU) mediator between President Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga has asked political leaders not to take any further steps that would compromise the search for peace.

    The US declared support for the latest peace initiative, with a raft of demands on ODM and the Government.
    President Kibaki called for reconciliation a day after ODM called for mass action. He said there was no need to harbour grudges against each other.

    "Let’s all forget the past and preach peace and reconciliation," he said.
    "In our view, it is imperative for President Kibaki and Raila Odinga to sit together directly and without preconditions to discuss how to end the post-election crisis in a way that reflects the will of the Kenyan people,’’ said the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Dr Jendayi Frazer.

    The US called for respect for the rule of law and the peoples’ right to assemble, as well as media freedom.

    "We favoured no side during the electoral contest. We supported efforts to carry out transparent and fair elections. [You never heard the State Department or Ambassador Ranneberger rush to congratulate President Kibaki within hours of his swearing-in ceremony.] The generally peaceful and orderly voting process, and the record voter turnout, was a triumph for the Kenyan people, but the serious flaws in the vote tallying damaged the credibility of the process,’’ said the superpower.
    Frazer emphasised the fact that Kenyans believed the deadlock could be unlocked through a power-sharing arrangement.

    Frazer added: "Both should acknowledge serious irregularities in the vote tallying, which made it impossible to determine with certainty the final result, and both must take forthright steps to end violence and ensure respect for the rule of law, consistent with respect for human rights."

    The statement whose tone appear to harden compared to previous ones issued went on: "This particularly includes restoration of media freedom and freedom of peaceful assembly. We believe the Kenyan people have made clear that the way forward must embrace equitable power-sharing, an end to violence, reconciliation, and agreement on a specific agenda for constitutional and electoral reform."
    The US, however, insisted, "the post-electoral crisis can only be resolved through a Kenyan solution."

    "In the meantime, the United States cannot conduct business as usual in Kenya. The Kenyan people recognise that the post-electoral crisis has revealed longstanding problems that must not be ignored. As a close friend and partner of Kenya, the United States will remain intensively engaged to help encourage resolution of the post-electoral crisis. We are convinced that Kenyans will achieve this, and that the country will emerge out of this crisis a stronger and more just democratic society,’’ the statement ran.

    why are kenyans still allowing outsiders to handle their affairs?

    Posted by: b real | Jan 12, 2008 5:52:53 PM | 76

    maybe its just an interesting coincidence that all of the USA's firm allies in Africa are land-locked countries (Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda). Liberia may also qualify as a firm ally but it has no value as a military proxy. Kenya is very very critical by virtue of its size, coastline and location. Hence the need for a committed Kenya.

    and Kenya is also Uganda's main route to the sea. With Kenya in turmoil, goods may not get into or out of Uganda. Hence we may see a proxy Ugandan invasion of West Kenya soon, to keep truck routes open & to also suppress opposition against Kibaki's "government".

    these are desperate moves with little chance of success. Because its sure to outrage Kenyans and to deeply arouse their nationalism.

    whats unfolding in Kenya is very typical of dictators desperate to hang onto power, especially if they have a powerful enabler like the USA. Sometimes they succeed. But Kenya at this point is not the type of country thats going to be easy to suppress. There are already reports of police & security refusing to fire on demonstrators. And there are also reports of regular Kenyans in government assisting the opposition.

    no one can clearly foresee what next weeks mass actions will lead to. But for sure the picture will start to look very different.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 12, 2008 7:29:28 PM | 77

    * 76 and 77

    I agree that something has been up in Western Kenya - Nyanza province - from the 2nd week of the post-election civil unrest.

    Uganda's Musevini,the 1st and only African to have congratulated Kibaki, and Raila Odinga are not the best of friends since Raila was allied with Milton Obote (whom Museveni had overthrown in a coup in the 1980s). Perhaps there is something brewing b/n Museveni and Kibaki with a US green light - aside from insuring access to Mombasa.

    Anyway - The Amani Forum is holding an investigation of the reports of Ugandan trooops in Western Kenya.

    Ugandan Troops in Kenya

    THE Amani Forum, a regional grouping of Parliamentarians from the Great Lakes Region has declared an urgent probe into the alleged presence of Ugandan gunmen in the Western Kenyan port near Kisumu.

    The Chairperson of Amani-Uganda, Ms Betty Amongi Ongom, accompanied by a host of MPs, told reporters at Parliament on Thursday that to speed up the investigations,the forum is sending a fact-finding delegation to Kenya to arrive in Nairobi on January 13.

    "We have heard rumours that Ugandan gunmen have killed civilians in Kisumu. But as Amani Forum, we don't act on hearsay,that's why we are sending a delegation on a fact-finding mission," Ms Amongi said.

    The probe comes days after Kenyan opposition leader,Raila Odinga alleged during an interview on KFM's Hot Seat talk show on Tuesday that he had called President Yoweri Museveni protesting the presence of Ugandan gunmen in the lakeside city of Kisumu.

    Posted by: BenIAM | Jan 13, 2008 12:02:29 AM | 78

    Concerning Uganda Troops - there has been rumors about killings since Jan. 2nd or so and the Kenyan blogs were avoiding it like the plague b/c of its explosive nature. Joseph Karoki is one of the early blogs to report and follow the story:

    J Karoki on Ugandan Troops

    A members only mid-west newspaper, hence no link, reports that:

    As U.S. "mediates" in Kenya, Ugandan troops, armed by US, have crossed into Kenyan territory.

    While J Karoki's early report is the basis for FP's take on the Ugandan troops issue. The article claims to overplay the importance of Kenya to Musevini's staying power. Forgetting Uganda's sub-imperial role in Eastern Congo.

    Uganda in Kenya?

    Just as a reminder this is not the only time that Ugandan troops have been intruding into Western Kenya - last time was in 1987 and 1989 (quote is of the latter):

    In March 1989, the Kenyan government claimed that a sizeable contingent of NRA troops had invaded northwest Kenya and that a Ugandan aircraft had bombed a small town in the same area. Uganda denied both allegations, pointing out it had no aircraft capable of carrying out such a raid and that the "soldiers" were probably cattle rustlers who had carried out raids across the border for years. For its part, the Ugandan government claimed that the Kenyans were continuing secretly to assist rebels infiltrating eastern Uganda, and tensions remained high through mid-1990. Both leaders expressed their willingness to improve relations, however, and in mid-August 1990, Museveni and Moi met and agreed to cooperate in ending their longstanding animosity.

    In the current case the allegations are that Ugandan troops, ?with Kenyan military(not confirmed), have been shooting at people in Nyanza (Kisumu), Western and have some personal in Rift Valley. The areas of critical mass for the opposition.

    Posted by: BenIAM | Jan 13, 2008 12:47:36 AM | 79

    Thanks 79,

    by the way, its highly significant that Kibaki has not moved to arrest Odinga & lock him up. Which means Kibaki is a "lite-weight" dictator. The fact is he would if he could. Kind of like being half-pregnant, its not a stable or sustainable state.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 13, 2008 1:28:50 AM | 80

    The NYT doing its disinformation "duty": U.S. Presses Kenyan President and Opposition Leaders to Meet

    The American government on Saturday took its toughest position yet on Kenya’s disputed elections, calling on Kenya’s president and opposition leaders to meet immediately and saying that the election had been so flawed that it was impossible to know who had won.
    Ms. Frazer spent much of the past week in Kenya trying to find an end to a post-election crisis that has killed hundreds of people and damaged Kenya’s image as one of the most stable countries in Africa. But she failed to persuade Mwai Kibaki, Kenya’s president, and Raila Odinga, the top opposition leader, to even meet.

    The two men have blamed each other for the violence that erupted after disputed election results were announced last month, and each claims to have won the most votes. Several election observers have said that vote rigging occurred on each side but that the government tampered with the vote tallying process to give the president an 11th-hour victory.
    “It is imperative for President Kibaki and Raila Odinga to sit together directly and without preconditions,” Ms. Frazer said. “Both should acknowledge serious irregularities in the vote tallying which made it impossible to determine with certainty the final result.”

    Why call Kibaki president?
    Who reported vote-tampering on both sides? That's new to me.
    Why isn't a recount/retallying possible?

    Posted by: b | Jan 13, 2008 1:35:42 AM | 81

    made an acquaintance tonite w/ a kenyan who has regular daily contacts back home (family in western kenya, friends in ODM).

    the increased activity in ugandan soliders coming across the border this weekend are in anticipation of the three days of mass opposition protests across the nation scheduled for next week.

    this is an important message to get out widely. if this is indeed accurate - and i have plenty of reason to believe that it is more just rumour - and the mass protests proceed as scheduled, there will be many more deaths of innocent people this week. this is why it is important to direct attention to it. by raising international pressure on the govts of kenya, uganda, & the united states, it may be possible to influence how this plays out. what exactly was CJTF-HOA's gen. hunt doing in uganda last week??? (mentioned in first link in #39 above.) where do these weapons that the govt forces & mercenaries are using to kill unarmed kenyas come from? who trains and/or trained these forces? these are some of the key questions that need to be pursued.

    the earlier reports of ugandan activity in kenya that we have been pointing out throughout this thread are not rumours. ugandan mercenaries were used in the initial days to fire upon protestors and to incite & provoke violence throughout the rift valley. the kenyan govt feared that it could not count on it's own forces to initially fire upon their own peoples, hence the use of ugandans, reportedly in kenyan police uniforms.

    my contact states that he was told that ugandan provocateurs were actually responsible for the much-covered church burning. kibaki's people have calculated that way to get away w/ their coup is through wide-spread repression & a high casualty rate in order to secure a win by quick attrition. i already pointed out the consensus at the woodrow wilson institute panel on thursday that kibaki's party cynically & deliberately sacrificed their own people - kikuyu in the west - so to think that they would think twice, on their own, about killing more protestors is naive.

    the ODM is betting that it can bring kibaki to his knees thru economic means - eventually the western investors will decide that they cannot take any more of a hit & likely demand kibaki's head on a platter. that is why the mass protests next week will probably go ahead, unlike the earlier attempts, which were either prevented through a large, aggressive police presence, or cancelled by the ODM at the last hours. the protests this week, however, are scheduled for three full days, spread across the country in at least 16 cities. this, according to kenyans in the western region, is the reason why ugandan forces have been seen moving into kenya.

    critical actions required

    Posted by: b real | Jan 13, 2008 2:55:31 AM | 82

    should we assemble the pieces into a coherent narrative and create a front-pager on this? there's enough material to mine in this thread for a strong article. i think the ugandan story has legs & every kick in the kneecaps could help save lives.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 13, 2008 3:16:15 AM | 83

    b real,

    I agree this matter demands the utmost critical attention. The introduction of Ugandan forces/operatives into Western Kenya is very troubling and at this point, anything is possible. I agree that if a front-pager with the most useful narrative can be assembled, lives may be saved.

    We cannot at this point say -- "we did not know ..."

    and by the way, 82 is an excellent capture of the current situation

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 13, 2008 6:51:18 AM | 84

    b-real thanks for your continued work and I agree with jony_b that we should bring this crisis front and center. It is a sentiment that Kenyan's themselves are rallying around and Francis Magero summarizes it best:

    PNU Coup: How Can Kenyan's Fight Back

    We are now approaching "High Noon" and ODM will have to make a decision as to whether to stand and fight the bloody fight, a fight that Kibaki has prepared for by evacuating all Kikuyus from the Rift Valley, or take the peace path for the sake of Kenya.

    We can only win this fight if we get the international community to our side. We should do it by first and foremost travelling the country to sensitize the people on the need to stay resolute ad forceful but avoid unneccesary bloodshed, if there was a time for the Martin Luther Kings and Gandhi's it is now. If there was a time to strip Kibaki of his assumed protector of the peace it is now.

    This is the week ODM needs to get its show on the road, 1) mediate peace between the peasant communities that feel threatened by the political fiasco, 2) build a coalition of the willing, including the Kikuyu who are willing 3)We need to expose the lie that only Kikuyu have suffered in the Rift Valley we need to expose the devious acts of the government and 4) we need to sustain a media pressure that has never been sustained before in Kenya.

    Let's construct the narrative and let me know how I can help.

    Posted by: BenIAM | Jan 13, 2008 3:52:40 PM | 85

    BenIAM - that's from onyango oloo's post @ jukwaa & i'm already incorporating parts from it into the analysis i'm in the middle of writing. i'm giving myself another six hours to wrap this up & will then submit it to b for posting. from there it can be collaboratively critiqued, enhanced, revised, spun-off -- whatever -- as needed into a form (or formats) that stands up as a solid, accessible resource and which can then be more widely circulated. that seems to me to be the easiest & most expedient initial approach, as i already have a wealth of clippings & saved documents at hand to lead off. feedback & input will be much appreciated in the next phases. thanks for the links, all.

    Posted by: b real | Jan 13, 2008 6:07:16 PM | 86

    [b- where'd you disappear to? check your mail]

    important details starting to come out now which confirm the dots we've been connecting.

    the east african: Kufuor’s whistle-stop diplomacy was only to pave way for Annan

    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.

    In a sense, the Colin Bruce saga has given credence to the perception that the president is surrounded by powerbrokers pulling in different directions.

    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.

    While a well-designed and internationally mediated agreement might well tip the scales in favour of democracy, if Kenya retrogresses, grave strains will be placed on the stability of East Africa. What is emerging, however, is that the United States and European countries appear to be pulling in different directions in the conflict.

    What emerges from the ODM side, however, are doubts about the US’s neutrality in the crisis.

    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.

    Until the international community start to pull in one direction, Western policy will be an irritation rather than an obstacle to President Kibaki.

    from a summary of the wilson center event last thursday
    US team says ‘flawed’ poll results now irreversible election-day poll carried out by the International Republican IRI suggested that Mr Odinga had actually won. Prof Barkan noted that IRI interviews with a representative sampling of Kenyans leaving polling stations around the country showed that 49 per cent had voted for Mr Odinga and 41 per cent for President Kibaki. The IRI team has not officially released the findings of the exit poll, however.

    i'll let jendayi have the last word on this,

    “The US confidence in Kenya as a regional strategic partner has not been threatened by the crisis and will not be,” Dr Frazer told reporters during a press briefing last week. [link]

    Posted by: b real | Jan 14, 2008 10:14:24 PM | 87

    now the Europeans can see the writing on the wall, and the USA will likewise, and they will dump Kibaki if he gets too hot. There is little doubt that Kibaki remains very vulnerable if things do'nt start to settle down or get worse.

    Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 15, 2008 1:52:08 AM | 88

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