Friday, February 15, 2008

More Headlines - Fri 2/15/2008

Google News Alert for: Kenya
3:02 p.m.

Kenya peace vital for African democracy -churches
Reuters South Africa - Johannesburg,South Africa
By Robert Evans GENEVA, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Rescuing Kenya from its violent post-election crisis is vital for democracy in Africa, church leaders from the ...
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Kenya factions sign agreement

The Times - Johannesburg,Gauteng,South AfricaNAIROBI - Kenya’s rival parties signed an agreement today during talks mediated by former United Nations (UN) chief Kofi Annan after weeks of bloody unrest, ...
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Google News Alert for: Kenya
12:56 p.m.

Hope in troubled Kenya starts at home [NB: this link does not work. Try searching for story on Google.]
Radio Netherlands - Netherlands
by Paddy Maguire
In the midst of the tensions and violence that have wracked Kenya following the disputed elections at the end of last year, ...
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Kenya: Amnesty International Calls on Government and African ... - Washington,USA
As Kofi Annan prepares announces the results of the political mediation in Kenya and the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights begins an ...
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Google News Alert for: Kenya

10:54 a.m.

Kenya Crisis Mediator Annan to Brief on Negotiations
Voice of America - USABy Scott Bobb
The chief mediator of the Kenya reconciliation talks, Kofi Annan, is due to announce a partial agreement between the Kenyan government and ...
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Kenya Political Rivals to Review Vote
The Associated Press - NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya's political rivals have agreed on the need for a new constitution and an independent review of the disputed presidential ...
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Kenya Considers German Coalition to Resolve Political Crisis
Deutsche Welle - Germany
Kofi Annan, chief mediator between Kenya's feuding parties, has asked a German politician to explain the workings of Berlin's left-right coalition as a ...
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African Tea Prices Rise to Record on Kenya Violence (Update3)
Bloomberg - USA15 (Bloomberg) -- Tea prices rose to a record at the Mombasa auction after ethnic violence and dry weather curbed production in Kenya, the world's largest ...
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Update from UN's IRIN service on another peace process underway next-door in Uganda:

UGANDA: Military action an option if peace talks fail - governmentKAMPALA, 15 February (IRIN) - Renewed military action against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) would be an option if peace talks between the insurgency and the Ugandan government did not lead to an agreement by the end of February, a spokesman for the state delegation said.

"The February 29 deadline is still on and I can tell you in no uncertain terms that [the] government has no plans of renewing or announcing other deadlines," Captain Chris Magezi told IRIN on 13 February. "After the expiry of the deadline, the government will have an array of options, including the military option," he said.Magezi repeated the government's assertion that the talks, which been going on intermittently for 18 months, must have a conclusion.

"These talks have gone on for this long because the LRA is not serious. But it is our view that they [the talks] cannot go on for ever," he added.

The LRA was accused of an attack on a village in Southern Sudan on 30 January, which further heightened tensions.

The talks are aimed at ending two decades of a brutal civil war that killed thousands and displaced more than a million people in northern Uganda. Civilians were the main victims, with the LRA widely accused of untold atrocities, including massacres, mutilations and the abduction of children and young adults for conscription and sexual slavery.

Commenting on the latest ultimatum by the government, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Gulu in northern Uganda, John Baptist Odama, urged the government to maintain its commitment to the peace process.

"They should not be impatient. Patience pays. They should stay the course. Enough of violence as violence profits nobody. It is wasteful," the bishop said.

"Both parties should know that the people of northern Uganda would not want a bloodbath again after both the government and the LRA took the decision to go to peace talks. Those who propagate war should be ready to answer for the lives that would be lost and be ready to face the consequences of the resumption of war," he added.

Some progress has been made in the latest round of the peace talks, which resumed in the Southern Sudan capital of Juba in late January. An agreement has been reached to set up a unit within the Ugandan High Court to try crimes committed during the war, including murder, abduction of children and rape. The decision is an attempt to allay LRA fears about the group's leadership being handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for trial on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC has indicted five LRA commanders, including the leader Joseph Kony.

The special unit of the High Court would not hand down the death sentence to LRA suspects on conviction, according to Magezi. It would only pronounce prison terms, he said.

"We did agree also on the implementation modalities of accountability and reconciliation. We have not signed the agreement because the LRA wants to make consultations with their leaders. But we have made reasonable progress. In fact we have also discussed the implementation modalities of comprehensive solutions and we had embarked on considering agenda item number four, which is a final ceasefire," said Magezi.

The LRA could not be reached for comment.



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