Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Today's Headlines - Tues 3/11/2008

Kenya MPs to discuss peace deal - BBC
March 11, 2008

Kenya's parliament is to begin debating legislation that would bring into force a deal designed to end post-election violence.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga signed the agreement last month.

It provides for Mr Odinga to enter the government as the prime minister, as well as creating posts for two deputy prime ministers.

But parties have clashed over how much authority Mr Odinga will actually have.

Peace deal
President Kibaki claimed victory in presidential elections on 27 December, but Mr Odinga said the vote was rigged.
The ethnic violence that broke out following the poll left at least 1,500 people dead.

An estimated 600,000 others were forced to flee their homes.

When President Kibaki opened parliament on Thursday, he said that last month's deal would lay the foundations for peace and stability.

There are four bills awaiting discussion:

  1. The national accord and reconciliation bill, which sets out the details of the power-sharing deal
  2. The constitutional amendment bill, which makes the necessary changes to the country's constitution
  3. A bill establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the recent violence and longer-term injustices
  4. An ethnic relations bill aimed at promoting tribal tolerance in Kenya.

Power dispute
The government has said that President Kibaki will appoint the cabinet, and that the prime minister will work to an agenda set by the president.

But Mr Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement has insisted that appointments will be made by both men.

In a sign of continuing tensions, the ODM criticised a statement made on Monday by the head of the civil service, Francis Muthaura, outlining the structure of the coalition.

The ODM said the statement was "causing alarm" and "could pose a threat to the accord".

ODM spokesman Salim Lone said discussions over the prime minister's exact role and the distribution of cabinet seats were ongoing.

Meanwhile, a huge military operation is continuing targeting a militia which has killed some 500 people in a land dispute over the past 18 months.

The army is using heavy artillery, hundreds of troops and helicopter gunships, in the Mount Elgon forests near the border with Uganda.

They are targeting the Sabaot Land Defence Forces (SLDF) which was blamed for the killing of 12 people last week.

The militia has also been accused of links to recent political violence.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/03/11 07:22:56 GMT

Kenya MPs to discuss peace deal
BBC News, UK - 5 hours agoKenya's parliament is to begin debating legislation that would bring into force a deal designed to end post-election violence. Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki ...

Kenya: Time to Heal the Wounds AllAfrica.com
Kenya: Raila Speaks On Plans And Expectations in Coalition AllAfrica.com
Kenya's first steps to stability Toronto Star
AllAfrica.com - East African
all 65 news articles » CTV.ca

Fear Grips Residents As Army Mounts Air Attacks

The East African Standard (Nairobi)
11 March 2008 Posted to the web 10 March 2008
By Allan Kisia

The Government has mounted the strongest offensive against the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) militia.

After a four-month mobilisation, according to security sources, the army, General Service Unit and paramilitary police officers landed in Mt Elgon on Sunday night.

Residents of Cheptais said helicopters started firing at 5am on Monday. "We heard explosions as helicopters hovered in the air. We are shocked," said Pastor Joseph Kipnusu.

Hundreds of families fled Kopsiro and Cheptais divisions in fear.

Most activities, including learning in some schools in Cheptais, were paralysed.

Ms Phoebe Masai, a teacher at Bukoloi Primary School, said her colleagues and pupils ran away following the aerial attacks.

The Kenya Red Cross Society officials reported that one person was taken to Lugulu Mission Hospital with injuries.

Hundreds of heavily armed military officers are combing homesteads in search of SLDF members.

The ragtag army is said to have killed 546 people and displaced more than 40,000 residents in the past 18 months.

The fighting, which was sparked by controversy over allocations at Chebyuk Settlement Scheme, has taken a new dimension.

SLDF has spread its raids to Trans Nzoia and Bungoma districts.

When The Standard visited Kopsiro, Cheptoror and Cheptonon, market centres and homes were deserted.

"Everyone is on the run. People cannot wait for the security personnel because they are usually ruthless," said a resident.

Western PC, Mr Abdul Mwasserrah, announced a night curfew to make the operation effective.

"There should be no movement between 6.30pm and 6.30am," he said.

But local MP, Mr Fred Kapondi, accused the Government of harassing residents.

"Helicopters have bombed banks of Lwakhakha and Cheptais rivers. They should concentrate on Mt Elgon Forest," he said.

Kapondi claimed hundreds of youths had been arrested and taken to an undisclosed destination.

"We fear there might be killings. This is an affront to peaceful civilians. I'll take up the matter with the Internal Security minister, Prof George Saitoti," he said.

Kapondi said the Government should adhere to international human rights codes to ensure minimal suffering.

The Local county council vice-chairman, Councillor Benson Cheskak, said the operation was uncalled for.

He said the Government knew where the militia were hiding.

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

Kenya: Fear Grips Residents As Army Mounts Air AttacksAllAfrica.com, Washington - 15 hours ago
The Kenya Red Cross Society officials reported that one person was taken to Lugulu Mission Hospital with injuries. Hundreds of heavily armed military ...
Kenya army launches crackdown on tribal militia AFP
Officials: Army Cracks Down in W. Kenya The Associated Press
Army offensive on Kenya militia BBC News
Canada.com -
Radio Netherlands
all 183 news articles »

East Africa economies seen weathering Kenya crisis
Reuters South Africa, South Africa - 3 hours ago
By Jack Kimball NAIROBI (Reuters) - The economies of Kenya's neighbours are beginning to return to normal, but some fallout from post-election violence will ...
EA 'over-reliant on Northern Corridor - EABC East African
Rwanda set for EA federation East African
all 4 news articles »

Kenya unit eases vs dollar on demand from energy sector
Reuters South Africa, South Africa - 2 hours agoNAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's shilling eased against the dollar on Tuesday due to mild demand from the energy sector, with trade mainly restricted to ...
Kenya shilling firms vs dollar, central bank auction helps Reuters South Africa
all 2 news articles »

We Are Paying to Help, But Corrupt Kenya Instead
Wall Street Journal - 5 hours ago
Thank you for focusing on the corruption in Kenya that is encouraged, courtesy of American taxpayers, by the feckless World Bank ("Kenya and the World Bank ...
Africa: CAF Accept Kenya Involvement
AllAfrica.com, Washington - 3 hours ago
The Confederation of African Football has re-admitted Cecafa member states, Kenya and Eritrea into the newly introduced Africa Nations Championships ...
Kenya: Despite the Euphoria, Country is Not Out of the Woods Yet
AllAfrica.com, Washington - 5 hours ago
Confidence in Kenya as a reliable regional gateway has been severely dented. We have a lot to make up if we want to persuade these countries not to find ...
Kenya: Citizen Out to Conquer Canada
AllAfrica.com, Washington - 6 hours ago
Even though not much can be said about the gains of youth soccer development in Kenya, an occasional bright star tends to appear in the horizon every now ...

Kenya: Five Arrested Over Eldoret Church Deaths
AllAfrica.com, Washington - 6 hours agoThe victims, mostly women and children, were burnt alive after taking refuge in the Kenya Assemblies of God Church in Kiambaa, just outside Eldoret. ...

Kenya crackdown
Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica - 7 hours agoThe army yesterday used heavy firepower to crack down on a group linked to bloody land clashes in western Kenya, local officials said, ...

New! Get the latest news on Kenya with Google Alerts.

No comments: