Monday, April 21, 2008

Today's headlines - Mon 4/21/2008

Kenya: We Cannot Wish Atrocities Away, Washington - 2 hours ago

The Kofi Annan brokered deal signed in February 2008 in Kenya brought President Kibaki and his political opponent Raila Odinga together in what seemed like ...

Annan: Kenya must prosecute militias for political violence The Associated Press
Annan: Kenya must prosecute militias for political violence - AP

By TOM MALITI – 1 day ago

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan authorities should prosecute militias implicated in the country's devastating postelection violence, but also address any "genuine grievances" they may have, former U.N. leader Kofi Annan said Saturday.

Annan, speaking in an interview with The Associated Press, also said he was confident the power-sharing deal he brokered between President Mwai Kibaki and new Prime Minister Raila Odinga would hold. The deal includes a commitment to disband and demobilize Kenya's militias, many of which were blamed for the weeks of violence following December's disputed elections.

"The government should take effective measures not only to disband to them but eventually prosecute," Annan told the AP. "If one militia or two are allowed to stand, others will follow."

On Thursday, Odinga had called for talks with the notorious Mungiki gang, which held a four-day protest this week against alleged extrajudicial killings by police.

Fourteen people were killed during the protest. Public transportation in the eastern part of Nairobi and several other towns came to a halt as the gang threatened to behead minibus taxi operators who defied the protest call and went to work.

Meanwhile, the army has been hunting for members of a militia called the Sabaot Land Defense Force, which says it is fighting for land redistribution in the western Mt. Elgon region. The group has been linked to a string of kidnappings, murders and mutilations.

"If they have genuine grievances, one should look into them and see what one can do to address the grievance," said Annan, who returned to Kenya on Thursday to witness the swearing-in of Odinga and other coalition Cabinet members.

Annan helped broker the February agreement between Odinga and Kibaki to share power, ending weeks of violence that left more than 1,000 people dead and 300,000 displaced.

The two sides spent weeks after the initial agreement wrangling over Cabinet positions.

But Annan said he was confident the power-sharing deal would hold.

"For one it will be his legacy," said Annan, referring to Kibaki who is serving his second and final term as president. "For the other, it will determine his future."

"I think they have sufficient incentive and a sense of patriotism to press ahead with reconciliation, with the necessary reforms in order to give Kenya the institutions it needs to build on for the future," Annan said.

Annan calls for prosecution of Kenya´s militias CCTV

Kenya: Raila, Kibaki Preach Unity to Kenyans

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Daily Nation
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BBC Sport
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Foreign Minister in Kenya visit
The Press Association - 2 hours ago
Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern will visit Kenya this week as the country recovers from horrific sectarian violence. The East African nation suffered ...

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Kenya: Rich Investors to Miss Out On Safaricom in New CMA Rule, Washington - 2 hours ago
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Kenya police tear-gas banned sect - BBC

Police in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, have fired tear gas at women belonging to the outlawed Mungiki sect.

They had been trying to deliver a petition to new Prime Minister Raila Odinga about their grievances.

The Mungiki called off a week of deadly protests on Thursday after Mr Odinga appealed for dialogue as he was sworn in to head a coalition cabinet.

"Let us stop killing one another," he said, promising to take steps to unite Kenyans after the post-poll crisis.

We have been to hell and back. We must preserve the sanctity of our
nation and remain united

Prime Minister Raila Odinga

The Mungiki, mainly drawn from President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu ethnic group, run transport rackets in the capital and are likened to Kenya's version of the mafia.

Ethnic tensions were behind much of the chaos that erupted after December's disputed presidential poll.

Some 1,500 people died and 600,000 fled their homes in the violence.

Mr Odinga and Mr Kibaki signed a deal in February which prescribed an equal share of power.

"We have been to hell and back. We must preserve the sanctity of our nation and remain united but our unity cannot be based on words and goodwill alone," Mr Odinga said on Thursday.

The women say the petition was being delivered to his party's headquarters in response to Mr Odinga's speech.

Earlier, Mungiki spokesman Njuguna Gitau Njuguna said the group wanted to give Mr Odinga time to address its grievances, which include the release of its jailed leader Maina Njgenga.

The violence this week, which has killed 14 people, was sparked by the death of the Mr Njgenga's wife, who was found beheaded last weekend.

The BBC's Noel Mwakugu in Nairobi says dozens of policemen are patrolling the streets of Nairobi in anticipation of chaos ahead of her burial.

On Thursday night, police spokesman Eric Kiraithe warned that they would apprehend anybody who attempted to hijack the funeral to commit a breach of peace.

"We have information that people wanted by police for serious crimes have planned to assemble during the burial to further illegal activities anyone who attempts this will be arrested," Mr Kiraithe said.

The Mungiki is angered by the police action and want a special unit set to counter their activities to be disbanded.

Last year, more than 100 suspected sect members were killed in a police crackdown after a series of grisly beheadings blamed on Mungiki.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/04/18 11:24:20 GMT© BBC MMVIII

Daily Nation
Kenya: Mungiki Leaders Still Want to Meet Raila, Washington - 3 hours ago
Leaders of the outlawed Mungiki sect are still pushing for a meeting with Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The sect wants to give Raila 'dossier' on the alleged ...

Kenya: Mungiki Leaders Still Want to Meet Raila
The East African Standard (Nairobi)
20 April 2008Posted to the web 21 April 2008
Cyrus Ombati


Leaders of the outlawed Mungiki sect are still pushing for a meeting with Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The sect wants to give Raila 'dossier' on the alleged involvement of some top Government officials in its activities.

The sect claims to have 'damning' information on some Cabinet ministers in ODM and PNU.

The sect accuses some Government officials of betraying it by "refusing to intervene as police kill us indiscriminately".

The sect leaders say they will also petition Raila to call for an end to the crackdown on their followers.

"We shall ask him to ensure action is taken on the extrajudicial killings of our members," said one of their leaders.

Some Mungiki followers interviewed by The Sunday Standard claim they were 'promised many things' before and after the last General Election 'but the pledges have not been fulfilled'.

The source added: "We shall tell Raila all we know about the people behind the violence. We believe as the Prime Minister, he will take action."

They also want a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Committee established soon so they can air their grievances in public.

Police have blocked the sect's attempts to see the Prime-Minister.

On Thursday, police blocked a march by Mungiki women followers to Pentagon House in Nairobi, to see Raila.

Some of the women, carrying children, claimed their husbands had been missing since police raided some city slums last year.

Meanwhile, a post-mortem report shows Virginia Nyakio, wife of jailed Mungiki chairman Maina Njenga, and her driver, George Njoroge, were tortured before they were killed.

But detectives investigating the case say they are yet to receive any crucial facts on the deaths.

The bodies of Nyakio and Njoroge were found dumped in a forest in Gatundu a day after they were abducted in Nairobi. The sect blamed the killings on police. But police have refuted the claim.

Some Mungiki leaders have vowed to delay Nyakio's burial until Njenga is released from prison to attend his wife's funeral.

Njenga is serving a five-year jail term at Naivasha Maximum Prison for possessing an illegal firearm.

Other officials say Njenga has told them to postpone the burial indefinitely to enable him appeal for his release.

Police presence was reinforced at Njenga's farm in Kitengela, in anticipation that the burial would take place on Saturday.

Relevant Links
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Police have been guarding the farm since 2005, when they raided the farm after the sect members allegedly conducted an oathing ceremony there.

Expecting Nyakio's burial to take place, Police Commissioner, Maj-Gen Hussein Ali, had asked Njenga's family to limit the number of mourners to help maintain law and order.

Ali said they had information that some 'wanted' people had planned to assemble during the burial to disturb the peace.

Mungiki merely a symptom of a deadly Kenyan disease Daily Nation

Mungiki women petition Raila Daily Nation

Kenya police teargas Mungiki women

PRESS TV - Daily Nation
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Kenya: Politics And Diplomatic Postings, Washington - 3 hours ago
Kenya's ambassador to the US, Rateng Oginga Ogego was hardly a month old and was yet to present his credentials to President Bush when he attacked Senator ...

Uganda: Slowed Down Growth in Kenya Will Hit Region, IMF Predicts, Washington - 2 hours ago
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that despite recent political progress in Kenya, uncertainty remains about the extent of growth slow down and ...

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