Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Today’s Headlines – Wed 2/06/2008

1 - Kenya opposition in rally warning - BBC
2 - Kenya's political rivals resume crisis talks – Reuters
3 - KENYA: Crisis ripple effects felt across the region – UN’s IRIN
4 - Death Toll in Kenya Exceeds 1,000, but Talks Reach Crucial Phase – NY Times
5 - UN: Kibaki and Raila liable for Kenya
6 - Kenya opposition threatens new rallies - AP
7 - Disputed Election Too Hot for Rivals to Handle – EA Standard Nairobi
8 - Crisis looms over Igad meet - Nation

9 - Vow to pursue Kenyans who sent 'hate texts' - CNN
10 - KENYA: International Church Team Urges Opponents to Seek Compromise - CISA

1 - Kenya opposition in rally warning - BBC

Kenya's opposition has warned it will hold mass rallies if a regional meeting on the post-poll crisis goes ahead.
The Orange Democratic Movement says it was not consulted about the gathering which could undermine talks being chaired by ex-UN chief Kofi Annan.

Previous ODM protests have turned violent and Mr Annan says they are not to go ahead during the negotiations.
Nearly 1,000 Kenyans have been killed and some 300,000 displaced since December's disputed elections.
ODM leader Raila Odinga believes he was cheated of victory by President Mwai Kibaki.

'Back-door endorsement'
ODM secretary Anyang Nyongo issued the threat as foreign ministers arrived for Thursday's meeting of the East African regional group, Igad.

All parties must avoid provocative statements touching on the matters in discussion Ex-UN chief Kofi Annan
President Kibaki is the current Igad chair and Mr Nyongo said its meeting would be a back-door endorsement of his presidency and would jeopardise the spirit of the peace talks.

Officials say the ministers are on a fact-finding mission agreed on the sidelines of last week's African Union summit in Ethiopia.

"If the meeting goes ahead as planned we shall mobilise our supporters for a peaceful demonstration against President Kibaki's government," Mr Nyongo warned.

Mr Annan sought to ally ODM's fears saying Igad had nothing to do with his negotiations.

"All parties must avoid provocative statements touching on the matters in discussion," he said.

A framework for the negotiations was agreed last Friday including what caused the political crisis and issues relating to land distribution and historical injustices.

Mr Annan has also called for a South Africa-style truth and reconciliation committee to investigate the political and ethnic violence.

Meanwhile, heads of the tourist business have gathered in the capital, Nairobi to devise a strategy to minimise the damage to their industry.

Revenue has been cut by an estimated $80m (£40m).

But experts say the tourist business could recover quite quickly if there is a political solution which ends the violence and unrest affecting the Rift Valley and Western Kenya.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/02/06 12:58:10 GMT© BBC MMVIII

2 - Kenya's political rivals resume crisis talks

Wed Feb 6, 2008 9:27am EST

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's political rivals resumed crisis talks on Wednesday despite preparations for a meeting of east African foreign ministers which has angered opposition leaders.

The opposition has threatened more street protests if the government chairs Thursday's planned meeting of the regional body IGAD, which is headed by Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki.

The opposition, which accuses Kibaki of rigging December 27 elections, says chairing the meeting would legitimize Kibaki's position "through the back door".

But former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, who is mediating between the foes about a disputed election, said there would be no mass action while talks continued.

Some ministers from the seven-nation bloc arrived in Nairobi on Wednesday, Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula said.

"If they government goes ahead and holds the IGAD meeting, we will protest peacefully. We will march, carry placards, show our messages," one opposition official said.

Kenyan police have banned all protests since the polls, and earlier demonstrations have triggered violence and looting.

What started as a dispute over President Mwai Kibaki's disputed December 27 re-election has since laid bare divisions over land, wealth and power that date from colonial rule and have since been stoked by politicians.

More than a thousand people have been killed and around 300,000 displaced in one of Kenya's darkest moments since its independence from Britain 44 years ago.

Most of the deaths have come from cycles of ethnic killings, adding to protesters shot dead by the security forces.

On Tuesday, Annan said the opposition had been wrong to threaten more protests while talks were ongoing under the terms of an mediation agreement signed up to by both sides.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) says Kibaki's team rigged the vote and has insisted on external mediation. That led to Annan's mission which has so far produced commitments to end violence and help the displaced.

On Tuesday, Annan pushed the two sides to focus on the third item on their agenda -- the political crisis ignited by the disputed election results.

International observers have said the vote counting was so chaotic that it was impossible to tell who won.

The government says Kibaki was elected fairly and has pressed that position through African diplomatic channels including the African Union and IGAD, where it has goodwill from its role brokering peace for Somalia and Sudan.

The bloodshed has damaged Kenya's image as a stable and prosperous nation in a turbulent part of the continent, and seriously harmed the economic boom Kibaki won wide credit for nurturing with a business-friendly approach.

Business leaders met Annan on Tuesday and urged action to stop the downward slide that has seen the currency drop at one point to near a three-year low, slammed the $1 billion-a-year tourism industry and choked exports.

(For special coverage from Reuters on Kenya's crisis see: http ://

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Wangui Kanina and Dominic Evans)

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.

3 - KENYA: Crisis ripple effects felt across the region

NAIROBI, 6 February 2008 (IRIN) - Unrest in Kenya threatens humanitarian and commercial operations throughout the Great Lakes region, potentially affecting more than 100 million lives, according to analysts. Southern Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have experienced shortages of fuel and other essential supplies because of insecurity along the Kenyan section of the Northern Corridor, one of the most important transport routes in Africa. It runs from the Kenyan port of Mombasa westwards through Uganda and the Great Lakes.

Among aid agencies, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) faces the greatest challenge, feeding seven million vulnerable people in East Africa and the Great Lakes. "WFP is extremely concerned because Kenya is not just supplying Kenya. It's supplying much of east and central Africa, both with commercial trade and food and also humanitarian assistance. It's a very worrying problem," WFP spokesman Peter Smerdon told IRIN."We need to feed seven million people every month and that includes 250,000 [internally displaced by the post-election violence] in Kenya on top of our normal caseload. We need a continuous supply line.

"If the roads are closed for a week or two weeks, then we get into real problems. We might have to start postponing food distributions. You could see people [going] hungry if the road network is knocked out for weeks," he said.

Covering more than 1,400km, the Northern Corridor is the largest in Africa, used by 4,000 light vehicles, 1,250 trucks and 400 buses per day. It carries more than 10 million tonnes of cargo a year. WFP moves more than 1,000 tonnes of food out of Mombasa every day of the year, according to Alistair Cook, the logistics co-ordinator. "WFP has to keep the corridor in operation or else we will lose hundreds of thousands of refugees through starvation," he said.

Alternative supply routes
Cook had been investigating alternative routes, trucking supplies from Mombasa to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. From here, goods travel 980km by rail to Isaka, near Mwanza in northwestern Tanzania, where WFP has storage facilities and milling plants. Supplies can then be taken north by boat across Lake Victoria to Port Bell in Uganda, from where they can be trucked to Southern Sudan and the DRC. Alternatively, they can be driven west from Isaka to the Rwandan border crossing of Rusomo. From here, there is road access to Burundi and the DRC.

"There are measures being put in place to strengthen components of this alternative corridor. It's complicated and takes a great deal of co-ordination but it's workable," Cook said. Because rail transport is cheaper than road, Cook said these alternative routes would not be much more expensive for WFP.

The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has redirected some of its supplies through Uganda, rather than waiting for security to improve in Kenya. It is importing steel from Dubai for a bridge it is constructing at Enyau in Ajumani District in northern Uganda. The bridge will help Sudanese refugees to return home. Using the Tanzanian route “will roughly cost 20 percent more because of extra fuel and logistics”, according to Roberta Russo, spokeswoman for UNHCR Uganda. UNHCR's Southern Sudan programme has been heavily reliant on Kenya for supplies and as a transport route.

There are 20 trucks used for repatriation waiting for the all-clear to be driven from Nairobi to Uganda. "If the situation doesn't improve, Southern Sudan will start to be affected because they won't be able to make purchases for reintegration projects," said Millicent Mutuli, UNHCR's regional spokeswoman. UNHCR is already looking for Ugandan suppliers to replace the Kenyan ones. Protecting the convoys

However, many aid agencies and businesses do not have the financial or logistical muscle to switch routes and suppliers. After a visit from Uganda's First Deputy Prime Minister Eriya Kategaya, the Kenyan government agreed on 31 January to provide military escorts to trucks travelling from the capital, Nairobi, westwards to the Ugandan border. The first convoy was a success, with 400 trucks arriving safely on 1 February under the protection of Kenyan army helicopters, jeeps and lorries. However, for WFP the convoy system may be insufficient to meet their needs. WFP uses convoys of up to 800 trucks.

"It's a question of capacity. We are concerned the convey system may affect the amount of food we can move," said Smerdon. There is also the danger that security in Kenya will deteriorate. "If we go back to an escalation of events like Tuesday [unrest on 29 January after the killing of opposition MP Melitus Were in Nairobi] it's going to be quite impossible even with army presence," said Cook.

Three WFP trucks have been damaged or looted by mobs at impromptu roadblocks, mainly in the Rift Valley. In the most recent case, a truck was attacked at a roadblock south of Eldoret on 31 January. Its windscreen was smashed and food stolen.

Fuel supply lines
Aside from food aid, fuel is the most critical item for Kenya's landlocked neighbours. Crude oil is shipped to Mombasa, where it is refined, and then piped to Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu. It is then trucked to Uganda and on to other Great Lakes countries. Uganda needs 35 truckloads of fuel from Kenya each day to provide the 1.75 million litres of diesel and petrol it consumes daily. Shortages have driven up fuel prices and these increased costs have been passed on to consumers.

Andrew Luzze, policy officer at the Uganda Manufacturers’ Association, told IRIN the fares charged by taxis and buses had doubled since fuel supplies from Kenya were disrupted. He said prices of basic foodstuffs like matoke [bananas], fish, potatoes, maize, flour and beef were up by about 15 percent. "We are concerned, especially in transport sector. Roads are the main mode of transport in Uganda. The internal distribution of goods in the market is really hindered. Ugandan manufacturers sell to Rwanda, [DR] Congo and Sudan. They can't reach their customers because of fuel," he said.

The increased cost of diesel, from USh1,800 (US$1.05) to USh2,400 ($1.40) per litre on 31 January, was also pushing up the cost of manufacturing. "Most industries in Uganda use generators because power is rarely reliable and of poor quality. Any increase in the diesel price hinders production," said Luzze.

Those relying on raw materials such as wheat and plastics from Kenya had been worst affected. "Some manufacturers have stopped because of the raw material shortage. You end up paying labour which is doing nothing," said Luzze.

Agricultural exports, mainly coffee, as well as tea and fish, account for 30 percent of Uganda's GDP. Hardly any of these perishable products has been able to leave the country, particularly as insurers had refused to provide cover for transporters going into Kenya. Across the region, farmers producing for domestic markets will suffer if the Kenyan crisis is not resolved. "These are agricultural countries and need to transport people and goods from one place to another. To say crops are already rotting in fields is to overstate it but if [the fuel shortage] goes on for another six to eight weeks, it might be a possibility,” said Kwame Owino, an economist at the Institute of Economic Affairs in Nairobi. Like Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are heavily reliant on agricultural exports, particularly coffee.

"They have a pile of goods to come to Mombasa to be shipped. Certain industries, especially those that deal with fish and other perishables, have basically had to stop," said Steven Smith, chairman of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, which has been putting pressure on the government to restore order to the country. Impact on Somalia
While the delivery of aid to Somalia has not been disrupted because supplies arrive by sea, projects have still been affected because most agencies run their Somali operations from Nairobi. "A lot of our staff is Kenyan and this is having an impact on everyone's morale, not to mention the fact that some of our Kenyan staff have been directly affected and have had to relocate to safer areas. Also, in the midst of a continuous emergency situation in Somalia, we have to think about contingency plans for our office in Kenya. This adds a strain to our already stretched human resources," said Paul Daniels, assistant country director for CARE Somalia.

The international focus on Kenya had also lowered the profile of Somalia and other regional hotspots. "We have a major crisis in Somalia. We have a situation that is quite tense in Burundi and eastern Congo and northern Uganda. We'll have a problem in terms of advocacy to keep up the profile of the other countries. Some [donor] money may also be diverted from other countries to Kenya," said Pierre Gelas, regional disaster response adviser for the UN.


Themes: (IRIN)
Aid Policy, (IRIN) Conflict, (IRIN) Early Warning, (IRIN) Economy, (IRIN) Food Security, (IRIN) Governance, (IRIN) Refugees/IDPs

Report can be found online at:
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

Copyright © IRIN 2008The material contained on comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian news and information service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.All IRIN material may be
reposted or reprinted free-of-charge; refer to the IRIN copyright page for conditions of use. IRIN is a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

4 - Death Toll in Kenya Exceeds 1,000, but Talks Reach Crucial Phase

Published: February 6, 2008

NAIROBI, Kenya — The death toll in the aftermath of Kenya’s flawed elections surpassed 1,000 people on Tuesday as negotiations entered a critical stage in the effort to end the country’s violent political crisis.

According to the Red Cross, which tabulated the casualties, most of the killings have been in the turbulent Rift Valley, where gangs from opposing ethnic groups have fought fiercely in the past few days.

“It’s a very volatile situation out there,”

Anthony Mwangi,
spokesman for the Kenya Red Cross.

Mr. Mwangi said that more than 300,000 people had been driven from their homes and that the continuing insecurity, especially in the countryside, was slowing down the delivery of food, water and tents.

Roadblocks run by machete-wielding mobs have popped up across the country. In many places, rowdy young men act like toll collectors, exacting payment before lifting barriers to allow vehicles to pass.

Kenya descended into turmoil after a deeply troubled presidential election in December. The electoral commission declared that the incumbent president,
Mwai Kibaki, had narrowly beaten the top opposition leader, Raila Odinga, but election observers have said there was widespread evidence of vote-rigging.

The dispute uncorked decades of frustration about political, economic and land issues, pitting opposition supporters against members of the president’s ethnic group and groups perceived to support the government. Much of the violence has taken on an ethnic tinge, though many participants insist their motives are political.

On Tuesday, officials from the government and Kenya’s main opposition party began discussions on how to address the political crisis. Each side agreed to give the other an hour to present its case on Wednesday.

One participant in the talks said they were going well, with some welcome bursts of humor. The two sides even had lunch together on Tuesday.

The rub will come when a decision has to be made about what actually to do. Both Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga claim to have won the election fairly.

Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general, is mediating the talks and searching for a compromise.

That could include a power-sharing arrangement between the government and the opposition, a transitional government to serve until a new election is held, or a comprehensive audit of the election results with both sides agreeing to accept the winner.

The United Nations is also pushing for a South Africa-style truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the explosion of violence that has convulsed Kenya, which until recently was viewed as one of the most stable and promising countries on the African continent.

On Tuesday, Mr. Annan met with Kenya’s top business leaders, who pleaded with him to speed up the negotiations because the country’s economy had been brought to its knees. Kenya’s billion-dollar-a-year tourism industry has suffered immensely, with game parks and beach hotels deserted.

Agriculture has also suffered because the insecurity in the Rift Valley has blocked the flow of produce and commodities like tea and coffee.

At the end of trading on Monday, the stock market was down roughly 25 percent from where it was at the time of the election. Business leaders estimate that the economy has already lost several billion dollars and is on track to lose several billion more.

The troubled spots in the country continue to be volatile. In Kericho, an abundantly fertile tea-growing area in the Rift Valley, fighting raged Tuesday between members of the Kisii and Kalenjin ethnic groups. Mobs of young men from each side have been squaring off on the hillsides, hurling rocks and shooting arrows at one another. Residents said dozens of people were killed in the past week and hundreds of homes were burned, resulting in a new wave of displacements.

But there are some glimmers of hope. Last week, rioters stormed a government armory near Kericho and made off with seven guns, including several high-powered assault rifles.

On Tuesday, a police inspector, Joseph Mele, said
all the guns had been recovered with the help of local

“The elders spoke to the community, and the community listened and gave the guns back,” Mr. Mele said. “We were happy about that.”


5 - UN: Kibaki and Raila liable for Kenya

Publication Date: 2/6/2008

The UN is holding President Kibaki and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga responsible for Kenya’s future.

At the same time, the Kofi Annan-led mediation talks have resumed as the parties continue to grapple with crucial political issues for the second day running.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has briefed the UN Security Council on the crisis in Kenya and said the two leaders would be personally accountable for the country’s future.

“I told Kenya’s leaders, President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, that they bear a particular political responsibility for the future of Kenya. I stressed to all the Kenyan leaders the need to stop the unacceptable violence and killings and to resolve their differences through dialogue and the democratic process,” Mr Ban told the Council, according to a statement from his office.

The UN chief said political leaders should think beyond their individual interests or party lines, and to look to the future of Kenya as one country.

“As I warned at the African Union summit last week, ethnic clashes threaten to escalate out of control,” said the UN chief, adding that he was “deeply engaged” in the evolving situation in the country.

He said the UN supported the mediation process championed by Mr Annan and announced that a trust fund had been established through the UN Development Programme to support it in addition to assigning several UN staff.

“I reiterate my support to the mediation efforts of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities led by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan. When I met him in Nairobi, we discussed in depth his roadmap for the talks. The parties are now talking and discussing practical measures to stop the spiral of violence, to address the humanitarian crisis, and to restore fundamental human rights and liberties,” he said. According to the Secretary General, the UN and its partners have been able to meet the initial basic needs of an estimated 310,000 internally displaced people spread over 192 sites across western and central Kenya.

“I am going to dispatch Mr John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, to look after these issues. Needless to say, much more needs to be done. I urge donors to provide additional funding to address this grave emergency,” said Mr Ban.

On the talks, President Kibaki today held a 40-minute meeting with his representatives to the mediation process at his Harambee House office before the start of today’s session.

The talks have entered crucial political issues where they are expected to come up with agreements on matters including the disputed presidential election poll.

Mr Annan has said that the discussion on the political issues will not be about individuals but on how to strengthen institutions.

6 - Kenya opposition threatens new rallies

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, Associated Press Writer
19 minutes ago

Kenya's opposition threatened mass rallies Wednesday to stop a gathering of African foreign ministers in Nairobi because they were not consulted about the meeting.

Previous opposition rallies over the disputed Dec. 27 presidential election have turned violent, with police firing tear gas and live bullets to break up crowds. Dozens of people died.

Foreign ministers from the East African bloc known as IGAD were due in Kenya on Wednesday for talks the next day on the country's crisis. President Mwai Kibaki's government is chairing the meeting.

The opposition threatened to hold protests Thursday, but did not say where.

"The (threat of a) mass rally stands," said Ahmed Hashi, a spokesman for the opposition Orange Democratic Movement, adding that the party "will make sure that they do not meet here."

The election, which foreign and local observers say was rigged, returned Kibaki to power for a second five-year term after opposition leader Raila Odinga's lead evaporated overnight. The vote unleashed an explosion of violence that has killed more than 1,000 people and has devastated the country's economy.

Violence continued in western Kenya, scene of some of the worst postelection clashes.

Police said they fired to disperse hundreds of residents who had barricaded the gates of the police station in Litein, 145 miles west of Nairobi. Two teachers were killed.

In a forest nearby, officers retrieved 18 bodies with gunshot wounds and machetes cuts. They had been killed in four days of clashes between rival gangs which police stopped by throwing grenades.

Aside from clashes with police, much of the fighting has been between rival ethnic groups, with much of the anger aimed at Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe, long resented for dominating politics and the economy.

Odinga is demanding a new election, but Kibaki has refused, arguing his re-election was fair.

Supporters of Odinga say the IGAD meeting would be seen as a nod to Kibaki's government.

"This government is an illegitimate one and the arrival of the ministers means recognizing an illegitimate government," Hashi said. "Let them go elsewhere."

Last month, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan managed to bring together Kibaki and Odinga for peace talks, which continued Wednesday.

Anyang Nyongo, secretary-general of Odinga's party, said Annan had told opposition leaders that no meeting of the IGAD would take place without the knowledge of Odinga's party.

"It has been agreed that ministers can only come with the agreement of both parties," Nyongo said. "They should not act unilaterally as if things are normal. Things are not normal, we are trying to resolve a crisis."

With confidence shrinking in the East African country, the U.S. Peace Corps said it was temporarily pulling out its remaining 58 volunteers, and there were fears that other organizations — aid groups and businesses alike — could follow suit.

The crisis "has significantly damaged the domestic economy," Global Insight, a U.S. consulting company, said in a report released Tuesday, downgrading its prediction for growth in 2008 to 4 percent from 6.1 percent.

Major foreign companies and aid groups have long used Kenya as a base for their Africa operations, helping make the country a regional economic powerhouse.

On Tuesday, Annan met with 300 business leaders who urged the politicians to end the violence, as the business community has done repeatedly since the outset of the crisis.

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance estimates that over the next six months up to 400,000 Kenyans are likely join the ranks of the unemployed.

It also projects that businesses will lose up to $3.6 billion over the next six months, even if the crisis is resolved immediately.

Associated Press writers Malkhadir M. Muhumed and Matti Huuhtanen in Nairobi and Katharine Houreld in Sagoi contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

7 - Disputed Election Too Hot for Rivals to Handle

The East African Standard (Nairobi)
NEWS6 February 2008 Posted to the web 5 February 2008 Nairobi

Finally, the hotly disputed presidential votes tally, responsible for the post-election falling out which touched off mayhem on a scale never witnessed before in independent Kenya, found its way to the mediation talks table.

"It was too hot," Mr Kofi Annan, the former UN chief tasked with brokering a deal out of the crippling impasse, declared soon after adjourning the afternoon session.

So high strung was the afternoon sitting that the respected Ghanaian mediator conceded that he could not proceed without the assistance of former South African First Lady Mrs Graca Machel and former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa - both of who[m] were unavailable.

They began on the presidential election dispute by looking at the state of affairs now and how to resolve the problem. Proper talks, however, begin today.

Like hot bricks, ODM is said to have dropped the matter of the allegedly stolen presidential election complete with alleged evidence and a raft of demands for electoral reforms.

Sources also intimated that the issue of a transitional government briefly featured, forcing an immediate stalemate.

For the first time, the two teams ate lunch separately.

Earlier in the day, The Standard reliably learnt that the delay to put the issue of the disputed presidential vote, which to a large extent is to blame for the crisis that has engulfed the country, was beginning to cause jitters within sections of the mediation circles.

The sense of unease appeared to stem from concerns - according to sources - that someone or a group of people seemed to be succeeding in bogging down the talks with the unfolding humanitarian crisis at the expense of the equally more urgent matter of what triggered it.

It was inevitable, therefore, that the matter, according to a source, "forced its way onto Annan's table like a hot potato".

Evidence tabled
Simmering differences, mistrust and suspicion between the two warring camps - the Party of National Unity (PNU) and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) - played around the dialogue table, the re-enactment of the hardline positions each group has taken.

ODM stood its ground that President Kibaki steps down, arguing that its candidate, Mr Raila Odinga, won the election but it was stolen from him.

ODM's clarion call has been: "Truth, Justice and Reconciliation" - which they expound to mean that though the party is for peace and reconciliation, truth and justice must first prevail.

On its part, PNU dug in with the oft-repeated call that the Orange party should take its grievances to court.

Both sides are said to have tabled proof of a stolen election. Evidence and exchanges prompted Annan to adjourn the session and said they would be examined once Machel and Mkapa rejoined the team today.
Justice minister, Ms Martha Karua, Foreign Affairs minister, Mr Moses Wetangula, Mbooni MP, Mr Mutula Kilonzo, and Education minister, Prof Sam Ongeri, make up the PNU team.

On the ODM side are MPs, Mr Musalia Mudavadi (Sabatia), Mr William Ruto (Eldoret North), Dr Sally Kosgei (Aldai) and Mr James Orengo (Ugenya). Like Orengo, Wetangula was also a belated inclusion.

Mr Gichira Kibara and Mr Karoli Omondi are the liaison persons for PNU and ODM respectively.

Annan demanded the position of a co-chair to help him, as it appeared the slow pace of the talks had began to take toll on him.

Before Annan called for a time-out to refocus and wait for reinforcement, ODM had tabled not just what they said was evidence of a rigged election, but also a raft of demands - among other things the disbandment of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), claiming its composition was skewed and that it was solely responsible for the disputed election.

ODM also demanded key reforms in the Office of the President and a review of electoral laws before a new calendar guiding the re-run of presidential elections.

But in a spirited fight-back, the Government team also presented reports allegedly implicating ODM of rigging in parts of Rift Valley and Nyanza.

Both teams, however, did find some common ground and agreed that the constitution of the ECK was not representative and needed comprehensive reforms to guard against future flaws in elections.

On this account, Annan stated: "The MPs should be able to get to work and carry on with legislative agenda for the reforms required."

Earlier, the peace teams on both sides met Internal Security Permanent Secretary, Mr Cyrus Gituai, in the morning session to address concerns over restoration of peace countrywide.

Gituai was asked to explain the circumstances in which the police used excessive force, resulting in more than 80 deaths from police gunshots.

The PS is said to have admitted that excessive force was, indeed, used, but clarified that the situation was now under control.

Gituai was asked to explain alleged skewed deployment of the police during protests, but he explained that the police were overstretched and would not cope with sporadic violence that rocked parts of the country.

He promised the team that more officers would be deployed in clash-torn areas.

The PS defended the deployment of the military, saying they were only helping with humanitarian services.

Do not leak details
Annan insisted that the parties must avoid provocative statements touching on the matters in discussion.

"We have agreed that no leakage to the media should be made on matters discussed before the mediation table," the chief mediator stated.

He also insisted that mass action be shelved to give peace talks a chance.

"Nobody has said anything that can stop us from going on with talks and I'm satisfied with the progress so far made," Annan said.

The former UN chief called for strengthening of institutions like the ECK and the Constitution in an effort to strengthen democracy and good governance.

"We must move quickly and resolve the contentious issues to overcome the political crisis," Annan added.

He also clarified that the team he chairs is the only mandated authority to negotiate and that the meeting of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) Council of Ministers had nothing to do with the talks.

He stressed the need to implement the short-term measures for peace within seven to 15 days, adding that the deadline must be strictly observed.

The mediator hinted at his temporary exit, saying: "Even if I'm out of town, I want to leave a structure that would ensure the talks go on."

He added: "I want to leave no gap in the mediation. The panel will be structured with two other co-chairs that will be named so that he or she can carry on with the mantle."

Copyright © 2008 The East African Standard. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (


8 - Crisis looms over Igad meet - Nation

Publication Date: 2/6/2008

The Opposition party said Tuesday it is opposed to the holding of a meeting to be attended by Foreign Affairs ministers from member countries of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (Igad) in Nairobi on Friday.

ODM secretary-general, Prof Anyang Nyong’o warned that the party will mobilise its supporters to protest against President Kibaki’s Government hosting the meeting while the political impasse occasioned by the disputed presidential election remains unresolved.

But Mr Kofi Annan, the chief mediator in the political crisis, warned against the protests, saying they will be an act of provocation.

Peaceful demonstration
Speaking on phone, a Foreign Affairs ministry official said Kenya had been chosen to host the regional meeting which will be attended by ministers from the Igad member states of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti.

Earlier, while addressing journalists at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi, ODM MPs led by their chairman Henry Kosgey, said they will mobilise their supporters to hold a peaceful demonstration.

In a statement read by Prof Nyong’o, the MPs said they were against President Kibaki hosting the meeting in Nairobi while mediators, led by Mr Annan, were working to resolve the political crisis.

President Kibaki is the current chairman of the Igad Heads of State summit.

When contacted on phone, the ODM secretary-general said: “As a party, ODM is against Kenya hosting such a regional meeting while the country is gripped by a political crisis.” The MPs said they saw the convening of the meeting in the middle of the current political crisis as an attempt to spite their party.

“That is why we plan to mobilise our supporters to hold a peaceful demonstration against President Kibaki’s Government hosting the meeting,” they said.

Mr Annan said his team had discussed the matter and agreed that there would be no street protests while the mediation process was on course.

“We have discussed it (street protests) and it is clear that there would be no mass action,” he said.

He stated that the issue of engaging in provocative activities had been dealt with at length and all parties in the talks had agreed to steer clear of them.

“We demanded that both parties avoid provocation and that issues taking place in our sessions should not be discussed outside out talking table,” he said.

Asked whether President Kibaki was overstepping his mandate by inviting Igad ministers, Mr Annan said that the Head of State could call any meetings in as long as they were not aimed at mediating in the country’s crisis.

“President Kibaki is free to invite whoever he wants. They are not here to mediate. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one mediation going on and it has the support of the UN, US, European Union and African Union,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Kosgey has asked the Government to provide security to all ODM MPs following the recent killings of Embakasi MP Melitus Were and his Ainamoi counterpart David Kimutai.

updated 11:55 a.m. EST, Tue February 5, 2008

9 - Vow to pursue Kenyans who sent 'hate texts' - CNN

Story Highlights
Government says it believes text messages helped incite violence
Kenyan journalists concerned the government is trying to curb press freedoms
Kenyan death toll reaches 1,000 amid post-election violence
130 left homeless after children's home destroyed by looters

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- Kenya's government Tuesday announced it will find and prosecute anyone who sent "hate text messages" that helped incite ethnic tensions after the contested election in December.

The violence has left more than 1,000 people dead, according to Red Cross figures released Tuesday.

Speaking at a news conference in Nairobi, Kenyan Minister of Information Samuel Poghisio said the government has been tracking such text messages -- sent from inside Kenya and neighboring Uganda -- that the government believes helped to incite violence.

Without offering details on how many people they are tracking, Poghisio said those found guilty will be prosecuted.

The minister also said a government task team will also look into whether Kenyan media reports helped inflame ethnic tensions. The ministry allowed Kenyan TV and radio to resume live broadcasts on Monday.

Some Kenyan journalists expressed their reservations at the move, concerned the government is trying to curb press freedoms.

The announcement came as government and opposition politicians held discussions that could eventually lead to a power-sharing agreement.

The two sides resumed talks on Monday. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is in Kenya to oversee efforts to resolve the crisis, was meeting with senior business leaders on Tuesday, a government spokesman said.

The diplomacy efforts followed reports of further atrocities in the troubled east African state.

Attackers smeared with clay and armed with spears, machetes, bows and arrows burned and looted a children's home for 130 children with troubled pasts, The Associated Press reported.

One child at the Sugoi-Munsingen Children's Home and School heard an attacker mention President Mwai Kibaki, who is accused of stealing the Dec. 27 election, during the incident last weekend in western Kenya, the agency said.

Peace efforts took a hit Monday as South African businessman Cyril Ramaphosa withdrew as the chief negotiator after the government expressed reservations about him.

Ramaphosa, was instrumental in talks to end apartheid in his own country, told The Associated Press he could not function as mediator "without the complete confidence of both parties."

A spokesman for Annan said he had "reluctantly accepted" Ramaphosa's withdrawal.

The latest discussions came as violence across Kenya pushed the death toll to more than 1,000, according to the Kenyan Red Cross.

At least 140 people have died since Friday when leaders of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement reached an agreement with the government to stem the violence that has taken on ethnic overtones.

As many as 350,000 people have been driven from their homes in bloody street battles that have broken out between supporters of President Mwai Kibaki -- a member of the Kikuyu tribe -- and opposition leader Raila Odinga, who belongs to the Luo tribe

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Following late December elections, Odinaga accused Kibaki of rigging the vote to win re-election, sparking the breakdown in civil order.

In the midst of the violence, the government faces new difficulties -- finding a way to get migrant workers back to their ancestral homelands, a senior U.N. official told CNN. Ethnic violence is forcing minority tribal members to flee, putting a strain on an already disrupted transportation system.

The quickly approaching rainy season could also add to a brewing humanitarian crisis if farmers -- sidetracked by the violence -- can't get their crops in before the rains come.

On Sunday, the opposition party asked the United Nations and the African Union to send in peacekeepers.

Odinga requested the peacekeepers during a meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

"The level of violence in Kenya is unprecedented. It's on a terrifying scale and it has not really diminished," Salim Lone, spokesman for the Orange Democratic Movement, told CNN from London.

"People who have lived together for generations have, after the fraudulent election, turned on each other," he said.

"The security forces seem incapable of stopping this carnage, and in some cases, they actually stand by while the killing goes on," Lone said. "For sure, international assistance is needed." E-mail to a friend

CNN's David McKenzie contributed to this report.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved

10 - KENYA: International Church Team Urges Opponents to Seek Compromise

Written By:CISA , Posted: Wed, Feb 06, 2008

NAIROBI, February 5, 2008 (CISA) -As mediation to solve the disputed presidential election entered a critical phase, top-level figures from the two parties met an international ecumenical delegation, which asked them to move on from the electoral dispute and seek a compromise.

The seven-member group of church representatives sent by the World Council of Churches as part of its "Living Letters" initiative in solidarity with churches facing situations of violence, visited Kenya from January 30 to 3 February.

The group met with the country's vice-president Kalonzo Musyoka - as President Mwai Kibaki was attending the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - and with the leader and presidential candidate of the Orange Democratic Movement, Raila Odinga.

"Kenyans would like to see their political leaders affirming peace and sorting out their differences, for which a political compromise is needed," said Canon Peter Karanja, general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), which hosted the visit.

"It is true that there is no peace without justice, it is also true that there is no justice without peace" - affirmed the head of the ecumenical delegation Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church in the United States and president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches."We are not here to judge poll results", Kirkpatrick said.

"These documents are unlikely to be helpful to anyone", Karanja added. "Now it is essential to separate issues of human life and dignity from the search for political justice".

In turn, the ecumenical delegation made a strong case for those suffering the brunt of the crisis. "Many women and children are amongst the most affected by the violence as a consequence of the forced displacement", said Ms Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda, general secretary of the World Young Women's Christian Association.

The meetings of the ecumenical delegation with both parties, which lasted over two hours each, allowed for frank and in-depth discussion of the current crisis as well as for moments of prayer.

The delegation made the case for the Kenyan churches to be full partners in the mediation process, but this was met with expressions of disappointment regarding the churches' role during the electoral process."Right now in Kenya the churches need to heal themselves first"; "the churches have failed us as they have taken partisan positions." - These were some of the complaints voiced by both political parties.

The NCCK general secretary acknowledged embarrassment about this amongst church leaders, but affirmed that they have tried to take responsibility. "A deep process of reflection has taken place after the election, and the crisis has encountered the churches united in their call for peace and reconciliation", he said.

The ecumenical delegation also heard about the deep-rooted historical grievances that underlie the current unrest. Amongst the main issues are inequalities in terms of land distribution and access to state resources and opportunities, as well as perceived or real tribal privileges."Kenya would never have a lasting peace without these fundamental issues being addressed", Karanja said, "but that cannot be done at the time of an election".

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