Tag Archives: Kenya

Kenya Impasse Results In Mob Violence

The struggle to create a new Kenya government which represents the interests of all parties and confronts the election debacle caused by President Kibaki’s vote manipulation, continues without any final resolution. Kibaki has agreed with opposition leader Raila Odinga’s demand for creation of a prime minister, but he is fighting to reduce the power of that office. Raila Odinga insists he has full confidence in the mediation team headed by Kofi Annan, and he received support from prominent parliamentary leader, Frances Ole Kaparo who urged a shift away from an imperial presidency towards a partilamentary system of governance.

As politicians endeavored to establish the basis of government, many Kenyans are witnessing gangs take over their businesses or apartments. Ms. Pascalia Njuku Mutuku told a reporter for the Daily Standard a gang had simply taken over her apartment buildings, evicted her from the premises, and assumed the role of landlord. Similar stories are reported all over Kenya as mob and ethnic rule has become the order of the day.

Does President Kibaki ever ponder the effects of his blatant stealing of an election? Had he simply accepted the voice of the electorate he would have gone down in history as a man who placed interests of the nation in front of his own needs for power. A perennial problem in Africa is the presence of men like Kibaki. Africa needs more Nelson Mandelas.

Kibaki Putting Kibash On Mediation

From the moment tally results came in for the Kenya elections for president, the incumbent, Kibaki was engaged in manipulation of votes and a quick assumption of power. Weeks of violence and death have torn his once peaceful nation into fragmented tribes vying to express latent anger and hatred. Former UN head, Kofi Annan, has been quietly attempting to reconcile opposing groups and has approached the possibility of a settlement. His plan would create the new position of prime minister and allow Kibaki to continue as president. President Kibaki has been forced to accept the new position of “prime minister” who would be someone from the opposition Orange Democratic Movement, but he wants to ensure it will be a powerless position in order to maintain his own power.

Secretary of State Rice whisked trough Kenya urging all sides to cooperate and President Bush on his trip to Africa is warning Kenya to avoid a Rwanda outcome. The ODM wants action since the process has been dragging on for weeks. Its leader, Raila Odinga believes Kibaki is stalling and frustrating peace efforts because of its refusal to surrender any power to the opposition. Step one is concluding the process is for Odinga and Kibaki to sit down and work out details of power sharing. Kibaki can not be allowed to continue his complete control of executive power.

Bush Talks-Kenya Reacts!

Kenya’s Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula, reacted with anger to a recent comment by President Bush concerning the political crisis in the African nation. Bush commented a power sharing agreement was the only way out of the impasse. The African diplomat angrily responded; “We will not be led, guided or given conditions by foreign States on how to reach a solution to solve the political impasse in Kenya. They will not tell us to do this or that. Holding a gun to our heads is something we will not take.” Leaders of the Orange Democratic Movement endorsed the Bush comment leading to angry words between parties trying to deal with the problem.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has been working with all sides in an attempt to reach a consensus for a solution that can work. This is not the time for an American or British or any other foreign nation to intrude into the complex task of resolving opposing views. President Bush appears to forget that within a day of Kibaki claiming victory in the presidential election, the Bush administration endorsed his “victory.” Did that swift endorsement play a role in hardening the initial desire of Kibaki not to compromise? At this point, Annan is the best hope for achieving a solution. It would be best if, for once, the Bush administration relied on the old adage that silence is golden.

State Department Foot And Mouth Disease On Kenya

The Bush adminisltration constantly proclaims its commitment to democracy and the rights of nations to pursue their own destinies because our beloved president does not wish to repeat the failed policies of Bill Clinton’s nation building. Kenya is in the midst of a crisis and former UN Secretrary General Kofi Annan is hard at work to find a compromise solution. However, Jendayl Frazer, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa recently commented: “We’ll find an international mechanism if they can’t find it internally(within Kenya).” Of course, the US embassy in Kenya, immediately contradicted the Frazer comment. T.J. Dowling bluntly stated, “The U.S. has no plan B and an intervention plan will certainly not come from us. However, the UN and the African Union will intervene if major problems occur, but that is a very long shot.”

The only certainty about a Bush foreign policy in any area of the world is that at some point contradictions regarding his goals will emerge. One is left with the impression no one is ever in charge at the State Department. Annan is handling the situation, the least Bush people can do is to remain silent and let the man do his work. If George Bush had a brain he would have invited Annan to the Annapolis Conference and tried to use his talents in resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Of course, one must always remember George Bush promised, if elected, not to follow the Clinton nation building approach to foreign policy.

Peace In Kenya– Or Else, Warn Powers

The British government has warned any individuals who stand in the way of the Dr. Kofi Anan-led mediation talks that any obstruction would “face the consequences.” The Swiss government also supported the tough stand of Great Britain by saying it would cancel visas for obstructionists. The mediation effort has reached a critical point and there is need for all parties to work with Annan on completing the task of reconciliation and peace. England’s Foreign Minister David Miliband is encouraged that Annan has been able to usehis panel of Eminent Persons to make the process of peace work.

The concerns expressed by Great Britain and Switzerland revolve around Annan’s proposal that, after a two year period of coalition government, there would be a new general election for president. This has upset the Kibaki government which does not wish to relinquish power before its completion of office. Reality is there must be an election in the near future if peace is finally to arrive in Kenya.

Kenya Moves Towards Peace Settlement

Former UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, apparently has been able to get both political parties engaged in a dispute over the recent presidential elections, to come togther in a spirit of problem solving. President Kibaki and the opposition Orange Democratic Movement, have agreed there must be a negotiated settlement. Annan said: “We all agreed that a political settlement is neceessary.” There is some talk, Raila Odinga of the ODM, will be given a role in the government, but these details have yet to be completely resolved. As Annan noted: “These things always begin with intransigence. They will have to shift.” The obvious major issue is how much power will President Kibaki agree to share. He already has backed down from telling the ODM to take their complaints to a court.

There is increasing evidence Kibaki’s blatant vote stealing was used as a pretext by tribal groups to deal with old grievances that date back to colonial and post colonial events. Over a 1000 people are dead and 350,000 displaced. A political settlement is merely the first step in confronting issues that have been placed on the backburner of history for far too long.

Kenya Peace Plan Proceeds-Everyone Hopes!

Weeks of violence and disorder have wracked the nation of Kenya after its president, Kibaki, manipulated election results in order to claim he was re-elected. Mediator Kofi Annan said talks have “reached far” and was optimistic there would be a resolution of the growing civil war in order to end bloodshed. William Ruto, of the Opposition Orange Democratic Movement said, “we have finally agreed there is a problem in the country, and neither side can proceed on it own. We have agreed to form a joint government.” Raila Odinga, ODM leader, made it clear his party wanted a resolution of the problem and was now agreeing o cease insisting President Kibaki step down.

The sad aspect of their entire story is the blatant power grap on th part of Pesident Kibaki even though it meant hundreds would die.

Bugging And Bans Hit Kenyan Leaders

Ten high pofile leaders of Kenyan political parties have been banned from traveling to the United States over their alleged links to post-election violence in their nation. This apparently is a sign international pressure is shifing from subtle verbal threats to actual action against those who have plunged the nation into violence and chaos. Another incident raised even more issues when it was discovered the hotel rooms of UN-backed mediator, Kofi Annan, had been bugged. Although Kenya’s police denied the veracity of the story, an independent sources told the Kenya Standard, “Annan’s security aides found the device while the talks were in session on Tuesday.”

The center of this entire conflict is President Kibaki who stole the election and has stood by idly while people in his country are killing one another. He refuses to consider alternatives such as a coalition government or calling of new elections in the near future. One outcome of his stubborn refusal to compromise is the apparent drop, if not virtual halt, of foreign investment in Kenya. Kibaki increasingly is behaving like Robert Mugabe, the meglomaniac ruler of Zimbabwe.

Kenya Political Leader Urges UN Intervention

Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement urged outside intervention in order to end the chaos created by the nation’s president who stole an election through means of vote fraud. Odinga claims both the army and the police are no longer able to serve as objective enforcers of law. “The Kenya Army personnel are not neutral. They serve Kibaki’s interests and are not fit to be used to restore peace.” Under UN provisions, troops can be deployed in cases of civil war or when local military forces are unable to ensure law and order. Odinga was particularly upset at police failures since he claims their minds are “poisoned” and they are unable to deal with the unrest that has resulted in over 300,000 people being left homeless.

It is quite clear President Kibaki has lost the confidence of a significant portion of his own country, if not the world. The African Union apparently will not act in Kenya anymore than it made moves to assist the people of Zimbabwe in their current crisis where President Mugabe has also manipulated vote counts. The UN is probably the best alternative at this point in time.

Chad Rebels Fighting In Capital

Hundreds of Chad rebels penetrated the capital of Chad as they fought against government forces. It is believed the fighting is raging just outside the presidential palace after the rebels made a lightening advance across the oil-producing African nation. Col. Thierry Burkhard, a French miiitary spokesperson, said about 1,500 rebels are now actualy in the capital. Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh, a leader of the opposition which is supporting the rebels, said the state radio has gone off the air, and “at the moment we are not hearing any firing. The rebels are in the city. Civilians are in the streets. They are watching what is happening.”

The fighting has led the European Union to delay dispatching its peacekeeping mission to both Chad and the neighboring Central African Republic. The EU forces were supposed to protect nations from the chaos caused by the Sudan government’s policies in Darfur which has led to insurgencies flowing out of Darfur into neighboring African nations. The new head of the African Union said Satrudy that the bloc would not recognize Chadian rebels should they seizee poweer. “If the rebellion succeeds cetainly we will excommunicte them from the African Union ntil normalcy and democratic institutions are restored in that country,” said Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete.

One can only support the African Union’s decision to protect democracy in Chad. But, it is confusing that no such stand has been taken against President Kibaki in Kenya who, literally, overthrew an election result through voting fraud and manipulation which has resulted in chaos in the country. Why does the AU have contradictory policies?