Author Topic: Kenya's election results disputed  (Read 7325 times)

GDKitty

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Kenya's election results disputed
« on: December 31, 2007, 03:53:18 AM »
This is something I've been following this week, with both curiosity and serious apprehension. Now, after two days of vote counting, the results are kinda, sorta in: Kenya has two presidents!  

Well...not really.  Incumbent Mwai Kibaki has been sworn in for a final term, but his main opponent, Raila Odinga, is also claiming victory.

"Violence erupts after Kibaki sworn in"
Quote
President Kibaki was sworn in Sunday for a second and final term as Head of State as riots and protests erupted in parts of the country over the disputed presidential results.

And shortly afterwards, the ODM leadership insisted that Kenyans had elected Mr Raila Odinga “as the legitimate president” and were “ready to see him serve democratically”.

[...]

After being sworn in at State House Nairobi, President Kibaki asked his opponents to accept the outcome of the polls, which he described as “credible”.

[...]

In other developments, the Government through Internal Security minister John Michuki suspended all live broadcasts by television and radio stations and threatened to arrest anyone publishing alarming materials. [...] Before announcing the results on KBC television, [Electoral Commission of Kenya chairman Samuel Kivuitu] said: “A lot of things which were said were not correct but one can understand when an election is this close. In an election, there are invariably winners and losers. While the winner celebrates, it is unpleasant to lose. Furthermore, the backers (of the loser) will be disappointed... The contest this year was furious. Negative ethnicity did not help”.

[...]

Sunday’s events were the culmination of a second day of chaos and protests at the manner in which the results were being released.

Demonstrations, looting and burning of property were reported in parts of Nairobi where a commuter bus was reduced to ashes.

Cases of violence were also reported in Kibera, South “B”, Kariobangi North, Jamhuri estate, Komorack, Juja Road and Eastleigh in Nairobi and Eldoret, Kericho and Kisumu.

Suspicion and claims of vote rigging delayed the announcement of the final results for at least six hours.
On the one hand, EU observers are calling foul:
Quote
[British] Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Sunday expressed "real concerns" at "irregularities" reported in the Kenyan presidential elections.

Miliband urged leaders in Nairobi to work together to address the irregularities noted by European Union observers and others, in a joint statement with International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander.

The pair said deaths in election-related violence -- in which 18 people have died since Thursday's ballot -- had marred the election in the former British colony, which became independent in 1963.

[...]

EU election observers in Kenya said Sunday that the country's electoral commission had failed to ensure the vote's credibility.
On the other hand, the US is congratulating Kibaki:
Quote
"The United States congratulates the winners and is calling for calm, and for Kenyans to abide by the results declared by the election commission. We support the commission's decision," said spokesman Robert McInturff.

He reiterated a State Department statement from Saturday that asked Kenyans "to reject violence and respect the rule of law."
"Reject violence"--now that's awfully rich coming from the country that's been mucking about in Kenya's (and Somalia's and...) affairs, setting up
'counterterrorism' outposts and rendition programs etc. :evil: Kenyans know this sh!t is going on and, according to a recent NYT article, the US waronterra has become an opposition "rallying cry for Kenya's opposition parties."  (h/t mattt for the NYT link)
Quote
One prime target of U.S. counterterrorism forces in the region for nearly a decade — and an example of just how virulent locally brewed jihadism has become — is Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, who was indicted for planning the 1998 embassy bombings and, according to the F.B.I., has had a hand in nearly every terrorist act in the Horn of Africa since. A native of the Comoros Islands, Mohammed received training in Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and Somalia in the 1990s and settled on the Swahili coast of Kenya. After the embassy attacks, Mohammed regrouped with other terrorist cell members on the island of Paté, married into a local family, taught at a madrassa and started a local soccer team called Kabul. (It competed with the island’s other team, known as Al Qaeda.) During this period, he recruited a cell of eight other militants from mosques along the Swahili coast. On Nov. 28, 2002, two suicide bombers from Mohammed’s cell, according to the F.B.I. and the Kenyan police, attacked the Paradise Hotel near Mombasa, killing 13 people; almost simultaneously, other cell members tried to shoot down an Israeli chartered jetliner with shoulder-fired missiles. The attackers purportedly took refuge in the immediate area, then fled by motorized dhow, a traditional sailing craft, to Somalia.

By early 2004, the Kenya Anti-Terrorist Police, trained and financed by the United States, were raiding mosques and detaining suspected radicals all along the Swahili coast. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed’s next stop was Somalia, where radical Islam was establishing its strongest beachhead in the Horn of Africa. Mohammed reportedly became a high official in the Islamic Courts Union, a loose affiliation of Shariah courts that were in control of much of the southern part of the country in 2005. In 2006, the Islamic Courts Union militia defeated a coalition of U.S.-backed secular warlords in the capital, Mogadishu, began implementing Shariah law there and subsequently consolidated control across most of Somalia. Ethiopia, which shares American alarm about the spread of fundamentalist Islam in Africa, moved troops into Somalia and, late in December 2006, backed by U.S. Special Forces, sent 4,000 troops into Mogadishu. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed escaped the onslaught and fled. Hundreds of fighters and other supporters of the I.C.U. crossed the border into Kenya; between Jan. 2 and 31, 2007, Kenyan police officers rounded up 152 of these men and women from 21 countries, including the United States, Great Britain, Yemen and Sudan. Then, in the controversial practice known as extraordinary rendition, 85 were placed on three chartered aircraft and flown to Mogadishu and Baidoa, where they were turned over to the Ethiopian Army. According to Muslim human rights groups in Kenya, those flown out of Kenya included 18 native-born Kenyans, one of whom was transferred to Guantánamo; the rest remain under house arrest in Addis Ababa. The renditions have become a rallying cry for Kenya’s opposition parties and, for many Kenyan Muslims, a symbol of how their government has grown beholden to American policy.
The story of Fazul and the other renditions was touched on in a recent "Frontline World" doc by Stephen Grey.  Grey discovers that Fazul's wife and daughters were among the 85 people disappeared/'renditioned' last year--a kind of blackmail to get to Fazul:
Quote
The man accused of coordinating the [1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania], Fazul Abdullah, alias Harun, has never been caught.

Fazul was said to be hiding in Somalia. Last December, when Ethiopia moved its army into Somalia, the United States went after him, launching bombing raids against the country’s suspected al Qaeda hideouts. Thousands fled for the Kenyan border. Some were picked up in a dragnet by the Kenyan anti-terrorist police and disappeared without a trace.

Outraged Muslims in Mombasa began to protest and a Kenyan human rights lawyer took up the cause. The activist, Alamin Kimathi, shows Grey a flight manifest he obtained as part of the court case. It is rare documentary evidence of an extraordinary rendition. The Kenyans had taken a page out the CIA’s handbook. Eighty-five people, including 11 children, had been put on the planes. The passenger list includes Fazul Abdullah’s wife and daughters.

Kimathi tells Grey he believes the wife and children were “hostages…pure and simple,” detained in an effort to “smoke out” Fazul Abdullah. The tactic did not work.
skdadl will definitely recognize this gyu, Jack Cloonan--he's appeared as a source in many articles about rendition and torture:
Quote
A former FBI agent involved in anti-terrorist work, Jack Cloonan, says he believes the Kenyans would not have acted without the knowledge and support of the U.S. “It would be naïve frankly in this day and age to think that the FBI or the CIA, primarily the CIA, is not witting of what's going on. In point of fact I’d suggest to you that they probably were witting and they were the power brokers behind the scenes pushing this forward.”

The prisoners were “rendered” on a Kenyan plane to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a U.S. ally, which has its own conflicts with neighboring Muslim countries.

Grey believes this could be an indication of a new way in which renditions are being carried out by third countries, while U.S. officials remain in the shadows.

Sorry for the length of this post.  I've been meaning to blog about Kenya's elections all week, but I've wanted to work-in the "terra" and Fazul story, too.  I'll think of a way to do it, eventually, but there's much I still don't know...

skdadl

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2007, 05:59:24 AM »
Very odd thing -- I just went to search the International Crisis Group, who have taught me most of what I know about Somalia, and they don't have a section for Kenya. Some of Kibaki's history comes up in others of their articles, but nothing very recent at all. I do find that odd. Reuters is always a great source on the region, though.

We have known about a division of attitudes between the EU and the U.S. over Somalia -- even Blair was uncomfortable with U.S. adventures in the region -- so all that stuff is still going on, I guess.

Oh, yes, Cloonan -- he's another one of that group from the New York offices who knew so much, did such great work before 9/11, and then watched the intel amateurs screw things up. Here's a good interview with him that is still topical, given the current flurries over the torture tapes.

skdadl

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2007, 11:54:16 AM »
Things are not improving --130 dead so far.

Quote
A joint statement by the British Foreign Office and the Department for International Development cited "real concerns" over irregularities, while international observers refused to declare the election free and fair.

The EU's chief observer, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, said that, in one constituency, his monitors had seen official results for Kibaki that were 25,000 votes lower than the figure subsequently announced by the electoral commission.

"Because of this and other observed irregularities, doubt remains as to the accuracy of the result of the presidential election as announced today," he added.

The US, which cooperates closely with the Kibaki government on anti-terrorism matters, initially congratulated the president on his re-election but today withdrew its acclaim.

"We do have serious concerns, as I know others do, about irregularities in the vote count, and we think it's important that those concerns ... be resolved through constitutional and legal means," the US state department spokesman, Tom Casey, said.


Choke on it, U.S. State Department. I mean, excuse me: stuff it.

matttbastard

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2007, 03:33:28 PM »
I've been wanting to post on this, too, but can't seem to find the right approach.  

One thing I find striking is the similarity to last year's disputed Mexican election, right down to the "losing" left-leaning (though far from revolutionary) faction establishing a parallel "people's" gov't.

I know there are nakedly obvious clues staring me in the face, but checking my bookmarks isn't helping.  The tinfoil hatty part of my personality sez the key lies within the GWOT angle--Kibaki is and always was Washington's man.

Plus, supplementing Kitteh's mention of rendition, there's this:

Quote
Odinga seems to have snatched the Muslim vote from Kibaki, who has been criticized by Muslim human rights leaders for illegally detaining Kenyan Muslims and in some cases sending them hooded, handcuffed and without trial to neighboring Ethiopia in an attempt to cooperate with U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

Odinga said he opposes such illegal renditions, though he has pledged to continue working with the United States to combat terrorist threats.

Regardless, the leader from Monday's Grauniad makes plain the stench wafting from the results:

Quote
Halfway through the count in Kenya's presidential and parliamentary elections, the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, was so far ahead - by 700,000 votes - that analysts predicted it would take a minor miracle for the incumbent, Mwai Kibaki, to survive. Last night, that miracle duly came to pass. Mr Kibaki was declared the winner with a comfortable majority, and the pro-opposition shacks in the south of Nairobi went up in flames.

The result defies more than 50 opinion polls giving Mr Odinga the lead, the fact that more than half of Mr Kibaki's cabinet had lost their seats, and that Mr Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement had won three times as many seats as Mr Kibaki's Party of National Unity. It also defies what EU election monitors saw with their own eyes in one constituency, Molo, where the result declared in their presence was 25,000 votes short of that subsequently announced by the Election Commission of Kenya.

[...]

There were other oddities about the count - the unnatural delay in results from Mr Kibaki's heartland, or the impossibly high turnout figures at two polling stations in Mr Kibaki's own Othaya constituency. Within minutes of the result being declared, black smoke was billowing from the Nairobi slum Kibera, and within an hour Mr Kibaki was sworn in again as president at State House. The ceremony was performed with unseemly haste, and in it Mr Kibaki promised to form a government free of corruption. This may be easier to promise than to deliver, because with only 33 seats to his party's name in the 210 member parliament it will have to be a minority government even with the help of other parties.
 

(As an aside, the "populist(tm)" Odinga can't be that outside the neoliberal mainstream--Dick Morris was one of his advisors, ferrchrissakes! ;) ETA: more on Morris and Odinga from The Blotter)
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skdadl

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2007, 03:40:54 PM »
mattt with three tees, American meddling in Somalia, and then in the region generally, is key. I don't know how they would have been involved in these elections, but the border concerns the CIA greatly, and the evidence of their misbehaviour in Somalia for some time is overwhelming.

As usual, when they think they're fighting al-Qaeda, they are in fact creating it or feeding it.

matttbastard

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2007, 04:13:28 PM »
Well, I'd say that AFRICOM (and Kenya's status as a key staging area in the Horn) is a strategic investment that the US doesn't want to see threatened by even a pseudo-populist who isn't entirely on board with the counterterrorism/neo-colonialist program:

Quote
The word came down suddenly in early January to the fifty or so U.S. troops stationed inside Camp Simba, a Kenyan naval base located on that country's sandy coast: Drop everything and pull everyone back inside the compound wire. Then they were instructed to immediately clear a couple acres of dense forest. Task Force 88, a very secret American special-operations unit, needed to land three CH-53 helicopters.

"We had everybody working nonstop," says Navy Lieutenant Commander Steve Eron, commander of Contingency Operating Location Manda Bay, a new American base in Kenya, including a dozen or so on-site KBR contractors. By the next day, every tree had been hauled off and the field graded and packed down using heavy machinery. The pad was completed in thirty-six hours.

Soon after, U.S. special operators flying out of Manda Bay were landing in southernmost Somalia, searching for survivors among the foreign fighters and Al Qaeda operatives just targeted in a furious bombardment by a U.S. gunship launched from a secret airstrip in eastern Ethiopia.

The 88's job was simple: Kill anyone still alive and leave no unidentified bodies behind.

A few weeks later, the president would announce the creation of a new regional command -- Africa Command -- that would commit U.S. military personnel to the continent on a permanent basis.

[...]

Manda Bay's origins tell you everything you need to know about why the Americans showed up here. The Kenyan navy built the base in 1992, in response to the collapse of the Siad Barre dictatorship in Somalia the year before, right about the time U.S. marines were stepping off their amphibious ships and entering Mogadishu. Kenya's predominantly Muslim northern coastal area is so remote that it was simply easier to send military supplies to its border with Somalia along the coast using naval vessels than to head up inland by vehicles, as the sandy roads are impassable in the rainy season.

Years later, as Somalia began spiraling downward yet again, Central Command sent a special-operations contingent into Manda to begin training the Kenyan navy on antiterrorism tactics using high-speed patrol craft. That effort laid the groundwork for Task Force 88's sudden appearance earlier this year.

Rear Admiral Rich Hunt, who commanded HOA in 2006, likes to brag that "we've never fired a round in anger," which is a little like saying, "HOA doesn't kill people; special operators do."

This is a part of the world where military trucks and helicopters suddenly appearing on the horizon typically set off alarm bells with the locals, because it has usually meant that troops from the capital were coming to round them up and/or kill them, just like our troops were doing to those high-value targets in southern Somalia earlier this year. Here, you're just another scary guy in a uniform until you prove differently.
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Croghan27

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2007, 09:49:07 PM »
I wonder if America and the world would have been stuck with Bush had the good, democratic believing  people of Florida reacted in a similar way to having their election stolen?   :ducking:

Perhaps Keynians are more serious about their electorial processes than North Americans.
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GDKitty

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2008, 01:27:38 PM »
Oh Gawd, this is bad: Kenyans hiding in church burned to death
Quote
A mob torched a church sheltering hundreds of Kenyans fleeing election violence on Tuesday, killing as many as 50 people as the convulsion of bloodshed continued after the disputed vote that gave the president a second term.

President Mwai Kibaki said political parties should meet immediately and publicly call for calm after rioting killed at least 263 people in what had been east Africa's most stable and prosperous democracy.
:cry:

Holly Stick

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2008, 03:10:53 PM »
I don't know if it's relevant here that a US diplomat and his driver were shot in Sudan.  http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/01/01/sudan-shooting.html
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skdadl

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2008, 03:35:43 PM »
I'm sure it is relevant, although I don't know entirely how. Relations are tense between Sudan and Ethiopia; Ethiopia is an American ally in Somalia; and Kenya is a jump-off point for the Americans in dealing with Somalia.

So. Who knows?

It's also true that this whole mess is drawing militants to the region generally. I should think that American agents/diplomats are more and more obvious targets.

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2008, 04:30:31 PM »
Energy, energy, energy...Kenya crisis causes regional fuel shortages
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Political violence in Kenya is choking off supplies of fuel and petroleum products to neighboring countries such as Uganda and Burundi and is likely to hit a swathe of others from eastern Congo to south Sudan.

matttbastard

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2008, 11:10:48 PM »
Getting worse and worse -- ethnic cleansing in Eldoret provides further indication that Kenya is spiraling towards civil war.

The Guardian:

Quote
Grace Githuthwa heard the attackers before she saw them. They were singing war songs, running from two sides towards the church compound where she and 200 others were sheltering from outbursts of ethnic violence. She grabbed her four children and ran inside the Kenya Assemblies of God Pentecostal church. The hundreds of youths from the Kalenjin tribe armed with bows and arrows and machetes easily overpowered the few Kikuyu men and turned on the women and children.

"They started cutting the church door with a panga [machete]," Githuthwa said. "They were from around here, and even knew some of our names. We kneeled down and surrendered. It was quiet, as we were all praying. We knew this was the end."

Mattresses soaked with paraffin were pushed through the windows and used to block the door. Matches were thrown in.

As the fire engulfed the wooden building, the women grabbed their children and jumped through the burning windows. Githuthwa pushed her two elder children out of the window, and then climbed out holding her three-and-a-half year-old daughter, Miriam, in her arms.

The Kalenjin youths were still waiting, "cutting people like firewood" as they emerged. "They snatched Miriam from me and threw her back into the fire," said Githuthwa, as she returned to the church, near Eldoret in western Kenya, hoping that by some miracle Miriam had survived.

[...]

A few miles away, the road was littered with obstructions every few hundred metres: trees, telephone poles and large rocks forced cars on to the verge, where youths with clubs and knives were sitting. At Ngeria Junction, hundreds of angry youths and men, all from the Kalenjin ethnic group, were gathered.

They said they felt cheated by the election, awarded in dubious circumstances to President Mwai Kibaki over opposition leader, Raila Odinga. They wanted revenge, and it was Kibaki's Kikuyu ethnic group who were going to suffer. Asked if they knew about the church massacre, all the youths nodded.

"We were there," said one man, who said his name was Patrick. "We got message that the Kikuyus were arming near the church. So we went to give reinforcements to the Kalenjins there."

Another man carried on: "The men and women had babies and small children, but they carried pangas to defend themselves. Is someone with a panga innocent? It is not our custom to kill women and children. We told them to come out of the church, but they locked the door and refused to come out. So we burned them."

A third youth spoke. "They were not worshipping in the church. They were hiding. That makes it a cave not a church. Let Kibaki send a plane for the Kikuyus. They can go ... or they will be killed."

Several more men confirmed that youths from this village had helped carry out the attack.

[...]

At the New Heuvel petrol station in Cheptiret, telephone poles were laid across the road. Dozens of men stood around, many of them holdings bows with quivers full of metal-tipped arrows slung across their backs. Suddenly they pulled back, crouching in ditches and behind walls, their bow-strings taut, only desisting when the approaching police detail announced its peaceful intention.

As a few of the Kalenjin men approached the vehicle, Chief Inspector Salesiho Njiru said: "These people don't need a harsh tone. We are just going to try to negotiate a way through."

Rugut Brigen, an assistant university lecturer, told Njiru that the bodies of two Kikuyu men lay beside a burnt-out minibus a few hundred metres on. They were killed on Monday, and Brigen wanted police to remove the bodies. "The people stoned them when they did not slow down for our roadblock," he said. "They could not control their anger at the election result."

In front of the minibus, several truck trailers blocked the way. On either side of the road were more than 1,000 armed men, who occasionally broke into a war song. Keeping them in check was their leader, "Michael", who works for an international aid agency. At a single shouted word everyone sat down.

"We are not going to have a ceasefire until the true results are announced," he told the police. Nobody should try to stop them until then, he said. The district officer, a Luo from Odinga's ethnic group, had been killed by a bow and arrow the day before after shooting a boy in the leg while he was putting up roadblocks.

"Today, it is bows and arrows. In three days, if Kibaki has not resigned, we will have guns from Uganda,"
said Michael.

Several army vehicles arrived, and after tense negotiations, it was agreed that they could escort a long line of vehicles through the town, driving slowly as the Kalenjin men, their clubs, knives and bows at their sides, looked on.

Among those fleeing by car was Moses Maina, 36, a Kikuyu. He had already sent his wife and children by air to Nairobi after chartering a plane with several other families. "I was born in Eldoret," he said, glancing nervously towards a burnt-out minibus. "My father came here in 1950. This is my home, and now I am are running away from it. Where am I supposed to go."

Michael said that was not his problem. "The Kikuyus were treated like guests in the Rift Valley, but Kibaki let them down. It is over. We can never trust them again. We will never let them back," he said.

WaPo:

Quote
Since Sunday, when President Mwai Kibaki was declared winner of an election amid charges of vote-rigging, a massive wave of house burnings has overwhelmingly targeted members of his ethnic group, the Kikuyus, who have been driven from their homes by the tens of thousands, according to victims, aid workers and local officials.

Perhaps nowhere have Kenyans been transformed so quickly from ethnically integrated neighbors into tribal warriors than in this western city, which has been the scene of previous bouts of ethnic fighting but not on this scale.

The situation has quieted in Nairobi and elsewhere across the country, but here in Eldoret, scores of houses were burned to the ground Wednesday.

Some of the attackers call themselves Raila's Army, for fiery opposition leader Raila Odinga, who says the election, initially praised for its openness and high turnout, was stolen from him by a Kikuyu elite that refuses to relinquish power. Massive rallies are planned for Thursday, offering a chance for the venting of anger or creating a venue for larger confrontations between protesters and police.

In Eldoret, though some of the gangs are composed of Odinga's ethnic Luo community, the mobs are overwhelmingly made up of Kalenjin, who consider the land here historically theirs and appear to be waging a war against what they consider to be entrenched Kikuyu power.

For generations, Kikuyus have settled here among dozens of other ethnic groups, but they are now being distilled from the mix -- flushed out of their cosmopolitan neighborhoods into frightened huddles in schools, churches and police stations by bow-and-arrow-wielding mobs that roam the city.

Officials said that at least 110 people had been killed here since Monday, and because of the prevailing insecurity, at least 50 bodies still lay in the roads.

"They are saying, 'Go back,' " said Salome, a Kikuyu afraid to give her last name, who was waiting at the Eldoret Airport on Wednesday with several hundred others trying to catch a flight out. "They are saying all the Kikuyus must go away -- back to their home province."

[...]

"I don't think right now there's a feeling of national identity, even among national leaders," said the Catholic bishop of Eldoret, Cornelius Kipng'eno Arap Korir, who noted that his church is hosting 10,000 people, mainly Kikuyus whose homes have been torched. "What comes first is your people."

In the green grass of the church courtyard, Jidraph Muiruri, a Kikuyu mason, was among scores of people camped out amid foam mattresses and heaps of belongings. He said Kalenjin gangs burned 50 homes in his neighborhood and then warned the remaining residents to leave.

"They said they'd burn all the houses -- and us -- if we didn't go by 9 a.m.," he said, adding that he recognized people with whom he had traded timber and milk for years. "They want us to go back to our motherland."

The fundamental problem, he said, was a flawed election that had polarized communities against Kikuyus, who have been demonized for what many perceive as government favoritism.

"They see us as Kikuyu, not Kenyan," Muiruri said.

[...]

At a hospital Wednesday, dozens of survivors, including elderly men and babies, rested in a courtyard with burns on their faces, arms and legs.

One man said that although he was bitter, reconciliation with his old neighbors was still possible.

In Nairobi, international diplomats have been pressuring Kibaki and Odinga to reach a political compromise, though it was unclear whether Odinga's most strident supporters would accept anything less than their leader becoming president.

Inside the hospital, hallways were filled with hundreds more people with machete and arrow wounds. The bandaged survivors described marauding fighters sweeping through their neighborhoods, burning houses and beating anyone who did not flee.

Omar Aly, deputy director of the hospital and a resident of Eldoret for 20 years, said the fighting was "the worst I've seen."

"The emotions that have been generated are so intense," he said, referring to the convictions among opposition supporters that the vote was rigged. "People have been living together, and all of a sudden they are turning against their neighbors."


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GDKitty

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2008, 11:11:14 PM »
Kenyan media accused of pro-government bias
Quote
Kenyan media, ordered by the government to halt live broadcasting during an election crisis, are censoring the opposition while covering government activities, the head of the industry's association said.

The government imposed an indefinite ban on all live TV and radio broadcasts on Sunday as violent protests raged over disputed polls that returned President Mwai Kibaki to power and triggered ethnic riots killing more than 300 people.

"I wish to express my disgust with how some of my members have handled the live ban," Hannington Gaya, chairman of Kenya's 20-member Media Owners' Association, said late on Tuesday.

He said some members applied the law "selectively", stopping coverage of Ralia Odinga's opposition Orange Democratic Movement while continuing to cover Kibaki's Party of National Unity.

[...] The main local TV stations used to switch over to round-the-clock news channels like CNN and BBC World overnight.

But when the ban came into effect, and international media networks increasingly started focusing on events in Kenya, local media abandoned that and screened repeats instead.

KTN television replaced its CNN feed with hours and hours of the Keifer Sutherland drama "24".

"When we met the Permanent Secretary at the Information Ministry, Bitange Ndemo, he said that news like those (channels) should not be shown," Gaya told Reuters.

"That directive was given verbally by the PS. Ndemo said it was too risky to put it in writing." Satellite broadcasters continued beaming international news to subscribers.

[...] "The news blackout could result in the streets being ruled by rumor and disinformation," it said on Monday. "It imposes a climate of intimidation and plunges the country into confusion."

The replacement of news feeds with "24"?! With the torture and the terrists?!  Oy.

matttbastard

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2008, 11:38:18 PM »
On the ground coverage from Eldoret @ Afromusing, including pics (twitter account here).

From the most recent post:

Quote
-Friends telling a kikuyu friend pole (sorry) because his house was burned. The thing is the people doing the burning are not even known to the people in the area, they are coming in from other places. I feel sick about this whole mess, cant even get myself to type the tribes kikuyu, kalenjin etc when typing this post. people are people. Because we are supposed to be ONE KENYA, this is shocking and utterly…shit, i cant find the word.
I have to go…


Contrast with the optimism of this post from December 28th.

One goddamn week...

Also see this Daily Nation editorial, where the attempted (likely offically-mandated) even-handedness barely conceals the naked despair engendered by recent events.

ETA: Comprehensive list of blogs covering the Kenyan election and its aftermath @ White African.
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Croghan27

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Kenya's election results disputed
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2008, 11:48:42 PM »
Are they speaking about the same area as in the previous posts?

Quote
The thing is the people doing the burning are not even known to the people in the area, they are coming in from other places
does not seem to square with:
Quote
"They were from around here, and even knew some of our names.
and:
Quote
adding that he recognized people with whom he had traded timber and milk for years. "


Not that it matters much .. is it worse to be killed by someone you know or by a stranger?
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

 

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