UN genocide adviser urges end to violence in Kenya, sends staffer there – 28 Jan 08

UN genocide adviser urges end to violence in Kenya, sends staffer there

28 January 2008 – The United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide today called for an immediate halt to the destructive cycle of attacks and revenge attacks in Kenya, where post-electoral violence continues to claim lives, and announced plans to dispatch a staff member there. Francis Deng urged national and local leaders on all sides to publicly call for an end to the violence and to statements inciting violence, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters in New York.

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IDP children falling through protection cracks

KENYA: IDP children falling through protection cracks

Photo: Keishamaza Rukikaire/IRIN
Children run for cover during a raid on the IDP camp at Nakuru showground, 26 January 2008, Nakuru Town

NAKURU, 29 January 2008 (IRIN) – Violence in the Rift Valley town of Nakuru has seen the numbers of displaced at the town’s largest camp skyrocket, but camp officials say it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide security for the IDPs, and children are being particularly affected.

“At the moment we have more than 5,900 IDPs in the camp, and more than 2,800 of these are children,” Jesse Njoroge, coordinator of the camp at the Nakuru showground, told IRIN. “Many children come in alone because of the haste with which these families have to leave their homes.”

According to Mary Muthumbi, Nakuru district’s children’s officer, at least one child has reported being sexually abused since the camp was opened on 30 December.

“Unfortunately, although the case has been taken up by the Rift Valley Law Society, the child cannot identify the attacker, so prosecuting it is proving somewhat difficult,” she told IRIN.

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MPs united in call for peace – 23 Jan 08

MPs united in call for peace

Political differences were set aside Thursday when 40 MPs from the violence-torn Rift Valley Province joined hands and made a passionate appeal for peace. The MPs from PNU, ODM and other small parties vowed to work closely with provincial commissioner Hassan Noor to bring to an end the post-elections violence which has claimed more than 600 lives and left 600,000 people displaced countrywide. Bureti MP Franklin Bett said in a statement: “It’s our hope that the on-going dialogue and mediation by President Kibaki and the ODM leader Raila Odinga will yield positive results, and go a long way in bringing about the desired peace.”

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Education – 60,000 miss class due to chaos – 23 Jan 08

60,000 miss class due to chaos

More than 60,000 students from primary and secondary schools in Rift Valley Province have been displaced following the post-elections violence. Already 6,665 secondary school students have transferred to schools in Nakuru. About 660 primary and secondary school teachers have also been temporarily transferred to safer areas. However, Rift Valley Provincial Director of Education Peter Macharia said they would return to their former stations once calm is restored. Mr Macharia told a provincial heads meeting in Nakuru yesterday that the victims had been absorbed by 21 municipal schools. He said the ministry of Education was looking for funds to buy furniture and stationery for victims who are learning under tents.

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ICC- International Criminal Court Observing Violence Closely – 23 Jan 08

International Criminal Court Observing Violence Closely

The Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is closely observing recent post-election Kenyan violence, according to reports from The Hague, the court’s seat. Two Kenyan opponents, President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), threatened separately Tuesday to appeal to ICC, but apparently being unaware of the rules of referral. Asked over the issue, a member of the office of the prosecutor told the Hirondelle News Agency, that “Kenya is a state party of ICC and the Office of the Prosecutor follows all allegations of crimes within its jurisdiction.” The statute of the ICC enables it to exercise its jurisdiction if a situation is submitted to the Prosecutor by a State Party or by the Security Council of the UN but it also allows it (Art 15) to exercise its jurisdiction under the terms of an investigation opened by the Prosecutor by his own initiative.

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Museveni proposes power sharing deal to Raila, Kibaki – 24 Jan 08

Museveni proposes power sharing deal to Raila, Kibaki

President Museveni yesterday handed three proposals, including a power sharing deal, to his Kenyan counterpart, President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader, Raila Odinga, in his renewed push to quell a polls dispute that has left hundreds dead. Mr Museveni’s press secretary, Tamale Mirundi told Daily Monitor yesterday by telephone from Nairobi that the first proposal the Ugandan leader tabled was the creation of a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate “areas of contention as provided on both sides, especially on the claims of vote rigging.”
Museveni revealed that the two warring sides had in principal agreed to the proposal “but President Kibaki insisted that the Kenyan government should appoint members of the commission.”

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Human Rights Watch – Eldoret, January 24, 2008

Kenya: Opposition Officials Helped Plan Rift Valley Violence

Police Should Protect Displaced Persons Camps

(Eldoret, January 24, 2008) – Human Rights Watch investigations indicate that, after Kenya’s disputed elections, opposition party officials and local elders planned and organized ethnic-based violence in the Rift Valley, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks, targeting mostly Kikuyu and Kisii people in and around the town of Eldoret, could continue unless the government and opposition act to stop the violence, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch called on the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leadership to take immediate steps to stop its supporters from committing further attacks. At the same time, Human Rights Watch said the Kenyan police should urgently deploy extra officers to the region to protect displaced people and resident Kikuyu communities.  

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