OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 10, 05 – 12 March 2008

OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 10, 05 – 12 March 2008


HIGHLIGHTS

– Security forces strike at Sabaot Land Defence Force militia in Mount Elgon area
– Differences emerging over power-sharing pact
– Cautious return of IDPs in Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia districts
– Most Kenyan refugees at Ugandan transit site ask to be moved
– Schools, camps hosting IDP children need sanitation facilities urgently

The information contained in this report has been compiled by OCHA from information received from the field, from national and international humanitarian partners and from other official sources. It does not represent a position from the United Nations.

I. General Overview

While there is optimism for permanent peace in Kenya due to the power-sharing pact signed between the Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), a new row is brewing over the powers of the president, vice president, prime minister and deputy prime ministers.

Announcing the structure of the new coalition on Monday, Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura said the president would remain head of state and government and would retain powers to appoint the prime minister and his two deputies and cabinet ministers. However, the ODM balked at this saying Muthaura did not have the mandate to interpret the agreement. The disagreement, unless clarified, could awaken raw public feelings tempered by the signing of the accord 28 Feb.

The mediation teams from both parties have been holding talks to address Agenda Item No. 4, which focuses on long-term issues and solutions. Discussions under this Agenda item will examine and propose solutions for long standing issues such as, inter alia:

– Undertaking constitutional, legal and institutional reform
– Tackling poverty and inequity, as well as combating regional development imbalances
– Tackling unemployment, particularly among the youth
– Consolidating national cohesion and unity
– Undertaking land reform
– Addressing transparency, accountability and impunity

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Armed And Dangerous – International Crisis Group (ICG)

Armed And Dangerous

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
NEWS
22 February 2008
Posted to the web 22 February 2008
Nairobi
Kenya is at risk of plunging into a new wave of violence, despite progress in negotiations to end a political crisis, because several armed groups are mobilising on all sides of the country’s ethno-political divisions, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG) think-tank.

Firearms are much less widely available in Kenya than in neighbouring countries. In the context of this article, “armed groups” include those using machetes, spears, poison arrows and clubs.

Almost two months into the crisis, low-level insecurity persists in some areas and the threat of further unrest is hampering the delivery of essential assistance to displaced people and others affected by the crisis. UN personnel, for example, must observe stringent precautions, including the use of armed police escorts, when travelling in the Rift Valley Province.

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