Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Merchants of Nairobi

The merchants of Nairobi

Photo: Barbers and hairdressers are the most abundant of all local businesses, the photographer observed. (Steve Bloom/

Half London

Photo: At this greengrocer, Mr Bloom asked the woman running the store why it was called "Half London". "Because London is big," she replied, "and my greengrocer is small so it has to be 'Half London'". (Steve Bloom/

More photos from The Daily Telegraph, November 2009 - Trading places - The Merchants of Nairobi

Friday, 27 November 2009

Have the climate wars of Africa begun? Kenyans draw weapons over shrinking resources

Experts fear the conflicts involving cattle, water and land may be just the beginning of climate-driven violence in Africa. At least 400 people have died in northern Kenya this year, the U.N. says.


From The Los Angeles Times
Kenyans draw weapons over shrinking resources
By Edmund Sanders
November 27, 2009
Reporting from Isiolo, Kenya
Have the climate wars of Africa begun?

Tales of conflict emerging from this remote, arid region of Kenya have disturbing echoes of the lethal building blocks that turned Darfur into a killing ground in western Sudan.

Tribes that lived side by side for decades say they've been pushed to warfare by competition for disappearing water and pasture. The government is accused of exacerbating tensions by taking sides and arming combatants who once used spears and arrows.

The aim, all sides say, is no longer just to steal land or cattle, but to drive the enemy away forever.

It's a combustible mix of forces that the United Nations estimates has resulted in at least 400 deaths in northern Kenya this year. Moreover, experts worry that it's just the beginning of a new era of climate-driven conflict in Africa.

"There is a lesson in Darfur," said Richard Odingo, vice chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a global scientific body that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore. "Every dry area has the potential to be a flash point if we are not careful."

Africa is no stranger to conflict: The continent has been rocked by war, ethnic hatred, post-colonial border disputes and competition for resources, including oil and diamonds. But as the deserts encroach in Sudan, rainfall declines in the Horn of Africa -- a 15% decrease is predicted over the next few decades -- and fresh water evaporates in the south, climate change is transforming conflicts and kicking old tensions into overdrive.

"Climate change amplifies and escalates vulnerability," said Achim Steiner, director of the U.N. Environment Program. "It doesn't mean that conflict is inevitable, but it's much more likely."

Scientific and anecdotal evidence is mounting that the changes underway here are more than climatic variation. Droughts that once appeared every decade now hit every two or three years. Icecaps atop Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro are evaporating, and Lake Chad has lost 90% of its water since the 1960s.

And Africa is getting hotter. Maximum temperatures in Kenya's Rift Valley and on its northern coast have risen by more than 5 degrees over the last 20 to 40 years, according to research by the group Christian Aid. Malaria, once rare in Kenya's central highlands because the weather was too cold for the disease-spreading mosquitoes, has become a major health challenge.

But conflict is perhaps the most alarming symptom. Violence is becoming deadlier thanks to population growth and the proliferation of arms. Thirty years ago, a few dozen tribal warriors with spears might have clashed at a water hole. Today rural communities are armed with AK-47s and even national armies are jumping into the fray.

In October, Kenyan soldiers clashed with Sudanese tribesmen conducting a cross-border cattle raid. This summer, the Ugandan military was accused of using attack helicopters against Kenyan herdsmen attempting to graze their stock in their country.

In Kenya, experts say, the violence has become as unpredictable as the weather. Faced with the extinction of their age-old livelihood because of what appear to be permanent changes in rainfall patterns, many of the 4 million Kenyans who survive by raising livestock are embroiled in a fight with one another and with herdsmen from nearby countries for the remaining viable land.

"The situation is getting out of hand and people are starting to worry about where all this is headed," said Mohammed Ahmed, a field officer with the British aid group ActionAid in Isiolo, where scores of people have been killed in recent months.

He and others say the violence this year has been more brutal and random than anyone can remember. Women and children have been killed, among them two women slain while collecting firewood in September.

Cattle rustling, which historically occurred after rains when herds were large, this year began for the first time in the midst of the drought, even though bandits had no pasture to keep the stolen livestock alive. In one recent attack, rustlers shot and killed several hundred animals when they realized they would be unable to escape with them.

That has led many to suspect that the motive isn't just to profit or restock herds; it's also to strike a death blow at the enemy.

"They want to force us to move off the land for good," said Romana Nasur, a member of the Turkana tribe who lost 65 goats during an attack in September.

"The first step is to make us poor."

The village of Gambella has long been a peaceful oasis thanks to a natural spring that enables year-round farming. It became a killing field in July, when scores of attackers, mostly Turkana and Samburu tribesmen, ransacked and destroyed more than 100 huts, shot holes in the water tanks and fled with several hundred animals.

The Kenya Red Cross Society said 11 people died in a nearby village during a similar attack this month.

Six people were killed during the daylong July raid and a schoolboy was shot in the leg while fleeing his classroom. Two-thirds of Gambella's 1,500 residents, all from the Borana tribe, are too afraid to return, said Abduba Serera, a father of eight and village leader.

"They want to scare us away to take our water," he said.

The Kenyan government has largely ignored the brewing crisis, dismissing it as the usual tribal clashes. But the drought has pushed Kenya's cattle-raising tribes to the point where they feel they have nothing to lose, experts say.

"It's a recipe for a major disaster," said Choice Okoro, humanitarian affairs officer for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, noting the prevalence of AK-47s and other arms in northern Kenya. "We are seeing a militarization of their livelihood."

Okoro said it was a mistake to assume that tensions will abate if the drought ends. "It's different now, and it's alarming," she said. "It's not going back to normal anymore."

Sudan's Darfur region is perhaps the best example of what can happen when Africa's climate-related conflicts are mismanaged, exploited or left to fester. Desertification in northern Darfur over the last 50 years drove herdsmen south, pitting them against farmers. The Sudanese government is accused of exploiting the conflict by siding with the herdsmen, mostly of Arab tribes, and giving them virtual immunity to attack farmers, mostly non-Arab tribesmen.

More than 35,000 died in the fighting and at least 100,000 more died in the subsequent humanitarian crisis, according to the International Criminal Court. The U.S. has described the attacks as genocide.

Most climate-related conflicts in Africa have been localized, but experts warn that "climate wars" between neighboring countries could be on the horizon.

"If there will be any wars, they will probably be over water," said Odingo of the climate change panel.

Potential hot spots include the Nile River, which is the source of rising tensions between Egypt, which uses most of the water, and countries such as Sudan and Ethiopia, which are fighting for bigger shares.

Likewise, a new Ethiopian dam is causing the water level to drop at Kenya's Lake Turkana.

Odingo said he is confident that African governments will keep their heads and work together. But in Kenya, the government is accused of aggravating the violence through a series of questionable decisions.

In February, security forces raided a Samburu tribe stronghold, seizing more than 12,000 head of livestock and redistributing them to rival tribes. Government officials said they were trying to rectify previous thefts by Samburu raiders, but Samburu leaders alleged government bias. They launched retaliatory attacks.

The government has also armed the tribes, handing out more than 2,000 rifles over the last year to untrained "reservists," tribal leaders and government officials say.

The guns were intended to help remote villages defend themselves, but elders say that the government gave preference to certain tribes and that the weapons are being used in offensive attacks.

"The government is not being neutral," said Lawrence Ewoi, a Turkana leader. He said his tribe received only five of the 300 rifles recently distributed in Isiolo. "Now the other tribe is using the guns against us."

Mohamed Abdi Kuti, a Kenyan parliament member from the Borana tribe, denied that his tribesmen got most of the weapons around Isiolo, but he agreed that the spread of small arms was dangerous.

"There is a plan to recall all the guns because it's getting out of hand," he said.

But experts predict that few will heed the disarmament call.

Kuti said climate change had made tribes more susceptible to political manipulation.

"Because of the drought, people are desperate and they're willing to do anything," he said.

"It's easy to thrive on people's weaknesses."


One in a series of occasional articles about the effects of climate change on people around the world.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

ICC Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo wants to launch a formal investigation into post-election in Kenya


Photo (Associated Press): The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands

Where Is Amsterdam Located?

Where is Amsterdam, you might be wondering? Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands, and this country is located in North-West Europe between Germany in the east, Belgium in the south, and the North Sea in the north and west.

Amsterdam is located in the province of North-Holland. The provincial capital of North-Holland is not Amsterdam, though, but Haarlem. (Harlem in New York is named after Haarlem, because of the Dutch founders of New York.)

Sometimes foreigners mistakenly think that The Hague is the capital of the Netherlands, because the Dutch government is located there. Amsterdam is clearly the cultural capital of the Netherlands, though: it has the biggest museums, the leading orchestras, two universities, most national newspapers and a thriving art scene. It's a popular tourist destination: 4 million tourists annually come to see the old city center's architecture and canals, visit the museums and experience the liberal, international culture.

The Netherlands are sometimes popularly called 'Holland', but actually Holland refers to the western provinces of North-Holland and South-Holland within the Netherlands. The inhabitants of the Netherlands are called the Dutch.

Distances To Amsterdam From Abroad

How far is Amsterdam from some major world capitals?

Click here to read full story at The flying times refer commercial airliners and are averages.
- - -

Report from:
Date:  Thursday, November 26, 2009
16:33 MECCA Time, 13:33 GMT
Title:  Prosecutor requests Kenya inquiry
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has asked judges to allow him to launch a formal investigation into post-election in Kenya.

The ICC said on November 6 it would consider a prosecution request to investigate suspected crimes against humanity committed during the clashes, which left at least 1,300 people dead.

"There is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of the court were committed," Luis Moreno-Ocampo said in The Hague, Netherlands, on Thursday.

"In particular, crimes of murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, deportation or forcible transfer of population and other inhuman acts."

The violence broke out after Raila Odinga, now prime minister in a power-sharing government, accused his rival for the presidency, Mwai Kibaki, the incumbent president, of winning the December 27, 2007 poll through widespread fraud.

Hundreds of thousands of people were forced from their homes as the violence raged.


Moreno-Ocampo has been conducting a preliminary investigation into the clashes since February last year and said during a visit to Kenya last month that he wished to pursue "those responsible".

This is the first time that the ICC prosecutor has sought to open an official investigation on his own initiative, one of three ways in which a case can come before the international court.

Other cases before the court had either been referred by countries that have signed up to the court's founding Rome Statute or by the UN Security Council, as in the case of the conflict in Darfur, Sudan.

Elizabeth Evenson, counsel in the international justice programme of Human Rights Watch, said: "The ICC is a court of last resort, and when national authorities are unwilling to act, it is supposed to step in.

"Today's announcement shows that the ICC prosecutor can and will act on his own in situations of serious crimes."

The Kenyan government has yet to act on the recommendation of its own inquiry that a special tribunal be set up to investigate the violence.

Moses Wetangula, the Kenyan foreign minister, said earlier this month that Nairobi would assist any ICC to investigation, but was committed to a "local solution".

In July, Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general who helped broker the power-sharing deal between Kenya's leaders, sent the ICC a list of names of key suspects that is believed to include senior government officials.
Click here for photo - Moreno-Ocampo, left, has been carrying out his own investigation since February last year [AFP] - with thanks to
- - -

Books by Dr. Luis Moreno Ocampo & Bio

Here is a copy of a bio from
Luis Moreno Ocampo, a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires Law School, is currently in private practice in Buenos Aires, where he specializes in corruption control programs for large organizations. He also serves as an adjunct professor of Penal Law at his alma mater.

Mr. Moreno Ocampo played a key role in the trials related to Argentina's democratic transition.

He was the assistant prosecutor in the trials against the military junta (1985), and in the trials against the chief of the Buenos Aires Police (1986).

When he served as District Attorney for the Federal Circuit of the City of Buenos Aires from 1987 to 1992, he was in charge of the trials against the military responsible for the Falklands [Malvinas] war (1988), those who headed the military rebellions in 1988, and prosecuted many large public corruption cases.

He has worked with both the Inter-American Development Bank and the United Nations, aiding governments to establish systems to control corruption.

He was the co-founder of Poder Ciudadano, a non-governmental organization which promotes citizen responsibility and participation.

Mr. Moreno Ocampo is a member of the Advisory Committee of Transparency International, a world-wide organization that reduces corruption in international business transactions; in addition he serves as its President for Latin America and the Caribbean.

His publications include In Self Defense, How to Avoid Corruption (1993) and When Power Lost the Trial: How to Explain the Dictatorship to Our Children (1996). He has developed methods to teach law and conflict resolution through a daily television show called Forum.
Click here to see Dr. Moreno Ocampo's books listed on
Here is a snapshot of my search today on
Books › "Luis Moreno Ocampo"
Showing 4 Results

1. En Defensa Propia - Como Salir de la Corrupcion by Luis Moreno Ocampo (Paperback - Dec 1993)
2 Used & new from £29.95

2. La Hora De La Transparencia En America Latina: El Manual De Anticorrupcion En La Funcion Publica (Etica y Transparencia) by Valeria Merino, Juan Lozano, and Luis Moreno Ocampo (Paperback - 1 Mar 1998)
Buy new: £12.00
18 Used & new from £5.85
Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 weeks
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Delivery.

3. Brida by Paulo Coelho and Luis Gabriel Moreno Ocampo (Paperback - Jun 1998)
3 Used & new from £43.80

4. Cuando El Poder Perdio El Juicio by Luis Moreno Ocampo (Paperback - Jun 1996)
1 Used & new from £27.59

Books by Dr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo
Front cover of Dr. Moreno Ocampo's book.
Source: website, with thanks.
- - -

ICC's Chief Prosecutor

Photo: The Chief Prosecutor Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, sworn in on the 16th of June 2003. (Source:  ICC / Sudan Watch archives February 27, 2007)

ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo

Photo:  ICC to name first Darfur suspects - ST/Reuters (Source: Sudan Watch archives February 27, 2007)

- - -

YouTube:  ICC's Moreno Ocampo on arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir

Posted to YouTube by EUXTV, March 04, 2009 with the following caption and tags under the category of News & Politics:
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, reacts to the court's decision to issue an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir, the President of Sudan. Al-Bashir is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Category: News & Politics

Tags: Luis Moreno Ocampo war crimes Sudan Darfur Omar al Bashir president Africa Chad EUFOR MINURCAT genocides tubemogul eux the hague icc international criminal court tsjaad soedan khartoum al-Bashir goz beida EUX.TV European elections 2009 European Union European Parliament EuropeanUnion EuropeanParliament EUX EUXTV

The National Electoral Commission has cancelled arrangements which made voter registration easier for Sudanese citizens living in Kenya

Report from Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, 26 November 2009:
(Nairobi) - The National Electoral Commission has canceled arrangements which made voter registration easier for Sudanese citizens living in Kenya.

Earlier this week, the NEC had decided that a valid passport or a student ID was enough to enable people to register. People without a valid passport were able to register if they were accompanied by a witness who could vouch for their identity.

However, speaking to Sudan Radio Service on Thursday in Nairobi, the Sudanese ambassador to Kenya, Majok Guangdong, said the Embassy had received a letter from the NEC which set out the new registration requirements.

[Majok Guandong]: "Yesterday, we received a letter from the National Electoral Commission indicating that the procedures should follow the law, which states that a person should be Sudanese, 18 years and above, holding a valid Sudanese passport and a resident permit. People who do not meet these requirements will not be able to register."

Ambassador Guandong fears that fewer people will register following the announcement of the new requirements.

[Majok Guandong]: "I think the number of people will definitely reduce because there is no flexibility and the people who will turn out will be just those who meet the new requirements. I am expecting that the numbers of Sudanese coming to register will drop considerably."

He urged Sudanese citizens living in Kenya to continue to participate in the voter registration exercise.
Click on National Election Commission label here below to view related news and updates.  Cross-posted at Sudan Watch.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Voter registration requirements for Sudanese living in Kenya have been eased

Note that the voter registration process in Sudan, which was to end on November 30, has been extended to December 7.

Report by Sudan Radio Service, Tuesday, November 24, 2009:
(Nairobi) - Voter registration requirements for Sudanese living in Kenya have been eased to make it simpler for them to vote.

The Sudanese Ambassador to Kenya, Guandong Majok, described the new conditions to Sudan Radio Service on Monday.

[Guandong Majok]: “A Sudanese student who is 18 years old or above must have a valid passport and a student ID. This is considered as one of the conditions you should have to register. Regarding parents who are here with their children in schools, we have agreed that the mother should have a valid passport and have one of her children enrolled as a student in Kenya. This will enable her to register. We also formed a committee with a chief and people who know the members of the community because there are Sudanese who have been here since the war and after the peace agreement they got Sudanese passports and they live here. We also formed a committee between the Sudanese community and the embassy so that they can act as witnesses for people they know and these people will be allowed to register with their witness.”

There has been a marked increase of people going to register following the announcement of the new requirements.

Kuol Nyang Kuol is a registration officer at the Embassy. He spoke to Sudan Radio Service on Monday.

[Kuol Nyang Kuol]: “From November 10th until Sunday, only one or two people came during the whole day but today, as you can see, there are more than a hundred people.”

The voter registration process, which was to end on November 30, has been extended to December 7.
UPDATE on Thursday 16:16 PM GMT UK Nov 26 2009:

Monday, 16 November 2009

Sudanese in Kenya to Register at Embassy

The ambassador said the Embassy will also facilitate ways in which Sudanese living in other parts of Kenya will be registered. However he said that the process may be different for people living in refugee camps.

He called on Sudanese in East Africa to come out and register in large numbers in order to be able to exercise their right to vote in the elections.

Voter registration will go on for the next ten days.

From Sudan Radio Service, Monday, 16 November 2009:
Sudanese in Kenya to Register at Embassy
(Nairobi) - The Embassy of the Sudan in Kenya launched its voter registration campaign in Nairobi on Monday to register Sudanese living in Kenya for the upcoming general elections in Sudan.

The move follows concerns by Sudanese living in Kenya last week that they may not be able to take part in the elections since Kenya was not included in the list of countries that was circulated by NEC last month.

Speaking at a press conference in Nairobi on Monday, Ambassador Majok Guangdong said the Embassy will also facilate the issuing of documents to enable Sudanese in Kenya to register for the upcoming elections.

[Ambassador Majok Guangdong]: “The Sudanese in the Diaspora have the right to participate in the presidential elections which are going to be held concurrently with the other elections such as those for the president of GOSS, the national assembly, the state governors, state legislative assemblies, and the southern Sudan legislative assembly. The National Elections Commission has decided to open a registration centre in 14 countries outside Sudan, including Kenya, which hosts the majority of the Sudanese Diaspora in East Africa.”

Voter registration will go on for the next ten days.

The ambassador said the Embassy will also facilitate ways in which Sudanese living in other parts of Kenya will be registered. However he said that the process may be different for people living in refugee camps.

[Ambassador Majok Guangdong]: “We are also considering opening registration centers in Nakuru and Eldoret; this will take place in the course of next week so that we give our citizens there the opportunity to exercise their right to vote in the coming historical elections.
The question of Kakuma, we need to make an assessment. Most of the people in Kakuma are refugees and we assume that they may not have valid documents. We are also appealing to the Sudanese citizens who have no documents to come to the embassy and get valid documents to qualify for registration.”

He called on Sudanese in East Africa to come out and register in large numbers in order to be able to exercise their right to vote in the elections.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

NEW PUBLICATION: Peace and Security Council Report - November 2009

Here is a copy of an email received
From: Security Council Report
Subject: Peace & Security Council Report
12 November 2009

Readers of Security Council Report may be interested to know of the recent launch in Addis Ababa of a similar publication designed to provide monthly information about the work of the AU Peace and Security Council. It is called the "Peace and Security Council Report" (To access the November 2009 edition you can click here).

Peace and Security Council Report is produced and published by the Addis Ababa office of the Institute for Security Studies of South Africa. Security Council Report has assisted ISS with the development of this concept and it is pleased that ISS has taken SCR's Monthly Forecast as a model. We are pleased to have been able to help.

You are able to subscribe to regularly receive the Peace and Securty Council Report by clicking here.

Further details may be obtained from the programme directly at:
Peace and Security Council Report Programme
Institute for Security Studies
PO Box 2329
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251-11-372-11-54
Fax: +251-11-372-59-54


Security Council Report
One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza
885 Second Avenue at 48th Street, 31st Floor
New York NY 10017

Tel: 212.759.9429 • Fax: 212.759.4038
Cross-posted to Ethiopia Watch and Congo Watch and Sudan Watch and Here is a copy of an email received
From: Security Council Report
Subject: Peace & Security Council Report
12 November 2009

Readers of Security Council Report may be interested to know of the recent launch in Addis Ababa of a similar publication designed to provide monthly information about the work of the AU Peace and Security Council. It is called the "Peace and Security Council Report" (To access the November 2009 edition you can click here).

Peace and Security Council Report is produced and published by the Addis Ababa office of the Institute for Security Studies of South Africa. Security Council Report has assisted ISS with the development of this concept and it is pleased that ISS has taken SCR's Monthly Forecast as a model. We are pleased to have been able to help.

You are able to subscribe to regularly receive the Peace and Securty Council Report by clicking here.

Further details may be obtained from the programme directly at:
Peace and Security Council Report Programme
Institute for Security Studies
PO Box 2329
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251-11-372-11-54
Fax: +251-11-372-59-54


Security Council Report
One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza
885 Second Avenue at 48th Street, 31st Floor
New York NY 10017

Tel: 212.759.9429 • Fax: 212.759.4038
Cross-posted to Ethiopia Watch and Congo Watch and Sudan Watch and Uganda Watch.

Friday, 13 November 2009

IMPORTANT NEWS: Some Sudanese living abroad may vote in elections - Ten arrested for impersonating registration officials in Rumbek, Southern Sudan

Report by Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, November 12, 2009:
Some Sudanese Living Abroad May Vote in Elections
(Nairobi) - Sudanese living in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Malaysia will now be able to register for the elections scheduled for 2010.

The National Election Commission had earlier exempted some countries from participating in the voter registration exercise which started on November 1.

The Sudanese Ambassador to Kenya, Majok Guandong, told Sudan Radio Service in Nairobi on Thursday that he had received a circular from the NEC instructing him to start the voter registration. exercise in Kenya.

[Majok Guandong]: “Yes it is true, the news came yesterday morning (Wednesday) that the NEC has allowed us to establish voter registration centers in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Malaysia. So since yesterday we have been informing the Sudanese who are residing here, starting from tomorrow (Friday). The registration process will start at the Embassy and the GOSS liaison office. This is good news, because it is a constitutional right for the Sudanese to vote in the elections.”

Majok Guandong said that the registration period will be extended to compensate for the late start. He emphasized that the exercise will take 30 days, as required by NEC.

[Guandong]: “If we start tomorrow (Friday), we will be counting the days we have missed since the official start day, because it should be 30 days as scheduled. Secondly, all the documents are available at the Sudanese Embassy, and all Sudanese have the right. Since 1997, more than 5000 Sudanese have managed to get official documents, the passport, identity cards etc. The process is still on. So they have the right, if they need any official documents, there is no problem at all.”

Earlier, the deputy chairman of the NEC, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, told Sudan Radio Service that NEC was only concentrating on the countries with large Sudanese populations.

The countrywide voter registration exercise is scheduled to finish at the end of November.
- - -

Report by Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, November 12, 2009:
Ten Arrested for Impersonating Registration Officials in Rumbek
(Rumbek) - Ten people posing as registration officers have been arrested in Rumbek, Lakes state.

The 10 are under police custody as investigations are going on. They are being held for registering voters, collecting people’s identification and convincing people not to register at the official registration centers set up by the state High Elections Commission.

Our correspondent in Rumbek, Mageng Wade, sent this report.

[Mageng Wade]: “These people said that they were being sent and given money by the NCP to come and register people locally in order to prevent them from registering for the elections next year. So that is the agenda behind the registration of people in their houses.”

Rumbek Central county commissioner Abraham Akol Bol also spoke to Sudan Radio Service.

[Abraham Akol] “They have been arrested by the police and they are now under police investigation and we have not yet received information from the police whether this group belongs to a political party. They were trying to register people and were telling them not to go to the registration centers because they had already been registered. They also took ID cards from the citizens, those who tried to register but the culprits were found by police and they are now under investigation.”

The deputy governor of Lakes state, David Ngok, said that the people are trying to sabotage both the voter registration exercise and the elections.

[David Ngok]: “If there are some people who are trying to sabotage the voter registration process then they are also sabotaging the elections. We will not tolerate this as the government because this is government policy and it’s part of the CPA and the constitution so we will not allow them to do it.”

The deputy governor of Lakes state, David Ngok, spoke to Sudan Radio Service on Thursday
Click on 'Election' label (here below at Sudan Watch) to read news report Nov. 10, 2009, entitled "SSDF to sue NEC for denying Sudanese in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia a chance to register as voters in the general elections"

Cross-posted to Sudan Watch and Uganda Watch and Ethiopia Watch and Egypt Watch and Congo Watch.
- - -

UPDATE: From Sudan Tribune by Ngor Arol Garang, Friday, Nov. 13, 2009:
National election board accepts additional countries for Sudanese Diasporas
November 12, 2009 (MALAKAL) — The National Election Commission (NEC) of Sudan today confirmed acceptance of additional countries to the previous list for registration and voting to enable Sudanese abroad to participate in the upcoming elections next year.

Following the publication of a list of countries comprised mostly the Golf countries where the members of the Sudanese Diaspora are from northern Sudan, the SPLM asked to take in consideration African countries where Southerners reside massively.

The initial list includes Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Sultanate of Oman, Bahrain, the UK, Belgium (for all Western Europe) and Washington, New York, Los Angles for the USA.

"We have allocated more registration and voting centers in Africa and Asia, said Abel Alier, NEC chairman at Malakal airport as he was en route to Khartoum after inspecting southern states voter registration centers.

Countries newly agreed upon for inclusion by the two parties in Africa includes Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa as well as and Malaysia, he said adding discussions are underway to add other neighboring countries.

Therefore, as commission, "we request Sudanese people residing in those countries to immediately establish contacts with the Sudanese embassies and other designated offices for registration," he emphasized.

Asked why being selective with countries hosting number of Sudanese people abroad to participate in the ongoing voter registration, he said, national election commission gets approval of countries to be included in the registration process from the presidency.

"The Presidency is the highest authority which decides on issues pertaining to country affairs such as voter registration," he commented expressing wishes all Sudanese people abroad open registration centers.

However, he was quick to say the Commission tries its best to ensure inclusion of more centers so that every Sudanese participates in the upcoming elections.

He said constitution allows participation of legally registered citizens to elect their leaders in the upcoming April 2010 elections.

"If you are not registered, it will be hard to vote for the person one sees as leader," he said adding voter registration remains opened to the last day of November 2009.

Alier also requested local authorities to give logistical supports to voter registration teams. He also acknowledged assistance being rendered by United Nation Mission in Sudan in transportation of voter registration materials and teams in where government supports is required.

"UNMIS is greatly supporting registration process in water zones and areas without good roads mostly in the southern part of the country and transitional areas," he stressed.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

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SSDF to sue NEC for denying Sudanese in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia a chance to register as voters in the general elections

From Sudan Radio Service, Tuesday, 10 November 2009:
SSDF to Sue NEC over Foreign Voters
(Khartoum) - The South Sudan Democratic Front Party says it will mobilize other political parties in southern Sudan to sue the National Elections Commission for denying Sudanese in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia a chance to register as voters in the general elections.

In an interview with Sudan Radio Service in Khartoum on Monday, the Chairman of SSDF Party, David de Chand, said it is against the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the National Elections Act to deny Sudanese living abroad a chance to exercise their rights to vote.

[David de Chand]: “Nowhere it is mentioned in the CPA that those in Nairobi, Kenya or Uganda and Ethiopia should not be allowed to vote. I think the right to vote is a democratic right guaranteed to every citizen by the constitution and it is an unalienable right to all people. We the political party leaders would also go to the NEC to challenge such a statement and they will have to prove to us beyond reasonable doubt. If not, we can file a case before the Constitutional Court to challenge such a statement. Why should southern Sudanese refugees in Kenya, Uganda and in Ethiopia be denied their legitimate right to be registered?”

De Chand said that if the National Elections Commission fears that non-Sudanese may register to vote as southern Sudanese, it should allow the United Nations to undertake the exercise abroad.

He urged southern Sudanese to register to vote in the elections next year because it is a step towards the possibility of self-determination offered by the 2011 referendum.
Cross-posted to Sudan Watch and Uganda Watch and Ethiopia Watch

Friday, 6 November 2009

FOCA: China, Africa hold summit to reinforce bilateral trade

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao can expect a warm welcome from Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and finance and foreign ministers from 50 countries when the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCA) starts in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh on Sunday.

Ever-eager for raw materials and markets to sell its products, China has said the new meeting will lay down a “road map” to further boost cooperation between 2010 and 2012.

Direct Chinese investment in Africa leapt from $491 million in 2003 to $7.8 billion in 2008. Trade between the two has increased tenfold since the start of the decade.

Last year, China-Africa trade reached $106.8 billion - a rise of 45 percent in one year and on a par with with the United States, which estimated its two-way trade with sub-Saharan Africa at $104 billion for 2008.

Chinese imports from Africa last year were worth $56 billion, dominated by oil ($39 billion) and raw materials.

Its $56 billion of exports in 2008 consisted mainly of machinery, electrical goods, cars, motorbikes and bicycles.

FOCAC is held every three years and this will be the fourth since it started in 2000.

Source: AFP report via Saudi GazetteFriday 06 November 2009. Copy:
China, Africa hold summit to reinforce bilateral trade
CAIRO - Leaders from China and Africa start a three day summit on Sunday that will again throw the spotlight on Beijing’s strategic sweep for energy, minerals and political influence in the continent.

China has over the past decade paid for dams, power stations, football stadiums across Africa and scooped up copper, oil and other fuel for its breakneck economic expansion from Algeria to Zimbabwe.

It has invested billions of dollars while raising eyebrows in the United States and its allies by pursuing the hunt for oil and other resources in Sudan, Somalia and other nations that the West has shunned.

Many African leaders praise China however for not preaching about rights and corruption. So despite neo-colonialist qualms, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao can expect a warm welcome from Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and finance and foreign ministers from 50 countries when the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation starts in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh on Sunday.

FOCAC is held every three years and this will be the fourth since it started in 2000.

Ever-eager for raw materials and markets to sell its products, China has said the new meeting will lay down a “road map” to further boost cooperation between 2010 and 2012.

Direct Chinese investment in Africa leapt from $491 million in 2003 to $7.8 billion in 2008. Trade between the two has increased tenfold since the start of the decade.

Last year, China-Africa trade reached $106.8 billion - a rise of 45 percent in one year and on a par with with the United States, which estimated its two-way trade with sub-Saharan Africa at $104 billion for 2008.

Chinese imports from Africa last year were worth $56 billion, dominated by oil ($39 billion) and raw materials.

Its $56 billion of exports in 2008 consisted mainly of machinery, electrical goods, cars, motorbikes and bicycles.

Some in the West have accuse China of worsening repression and human rights abuses in Africa by supporting countries such as Sudan and Zimbabwe.

US intelligence director Dennis Blair told a Congress committee in March that US agencies are keeping close tabs on China’s expanding influence in Africa, especially in oil-producing countries like Nigeria.
Cross-posted to:
China Tibet Watch
Congo Watch
Egypt Watch
Ethiopia Watch
Niger Watch
Sudan Watch
Uganda Watch
Africa Oil Watch

AGI: Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative

AGI:  Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative

From The Office of Tony Blair
November 05, 2009
Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative to create development through good governance becomes charity
The Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative has become a registered UK charity after creating a unique 'hands-on' approach to development and poverty eradication over the past eighteen months.

The Charity Commission approved the application from this relatively new organisation, which is underpinned by the belief that good governance and sustainable development are key to poverty eradication in the long term.

Tony Blair, founder of the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI), said:

"I'm extremely proud of our excellent project teams who are working in partnership with the governments of Rwanda and Sierra Leone to reduce poverty and develop new opportunities for growth.

"It is a privilege to work with leaders as talented and as committed to their people as President Koroma and President Kagame who represent a new generation of leaders in Africa with a commitment to building a new future for their people.

"The developed world needs to keep up its commitment to Africa expressed at the 2005 G8 Summit in Gleneagles. But lasting change in Africa will only come in the end from African solutions. By building the capacity to create sustainable long-term development through good governance and providing high level advice, we have already started to help deliver that change.

"And it won't stop here. Whilst developing our work in Sierra Leone and Rwanda, we want to launch new projects with other countries, sharing our knowledge, experience and expertise. We want more countries to develop sustainably, paving the way to a prosperous future.

"This work has reinforced my optimism about Africa's future, as well as my conviction that governance and growth are the key ingredients to effectively reduce poverty across the continent."

Commenting on Tony Blair and the work of the Africa Governance Initiative, Ernest Koroma, President of Sierra Leone, said:

"Mr. Blair has demonstrated an enduring commitment to Sierra Leone and its people. The work comes at a critical stage in Sierra Leone's development. I believe together we have an opportunity to ensure that Sierra Leone puts in place the policies, people and institutions to achieve real and lasting change."

Commenting on the work of AGI, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda said:

"What I would like people to know is that the type of partnership we have with Tony Blair is totally different from the type of consultancy people are used to. We work in very strong partnerships whereby not only gaps are filled where they exist, but there's also the notion of transfer of skills, mentoring, actually doing things that are measurable such that over a period of time, we will be able to know what kind of impact was made."
Cross-posted to:
China Tibet Watch
Congo Watch
Egypt Watch
Ethiopia Watch
Niger Watch
Sudan Watch
Uganda Watch
Africa Oil Watch

Monday, 2 November 2009

Al-Shabab: Somali group with Al-Qaeda ties threatens Israel, Ethiopia, Ghana, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya

A militant Islamic group associated with al Qaeda has threatened to attack Israel, far from its normal base of operations in Somalia. CNN writes that Al-Shabab, which is fighting to control the east African country, accused Israel of “starting to destroy” the Al Aqsa mosque, where standoffs have recently been taking place between Israeli police and Palestinians.

The mosque is part of the complex that Jews called the Temple Mount and Muslims call Haram al-Sharif. The group also threatened other African nations on Friday, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya.

Source: Monday 2 November 2009 - Somalia: Somali group with Al-Qaeda ties threatens Israel, Ethiopia, Ghana, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya
- - -

Abu Mansur al-Amriki

(AFP photo) This still image provided by SITE, an organization which monitors Islamist websites, from a video entitled 'At Your Service Osama' released 20 Sep 2009, shows Abu Mansur al-Amriki (R) teaching mujahedeen small unit tactics

Source: Voice of America report by Alisha Ryu (Nairobi) 27 October 2009 - Uganda Tightens Security Following Al-Shabab Threat

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Kenya calls on Sudanese parties to respect peace accord

Southern Sudan President Salva Kiir arrived in Kenya on Tuesday and has since held meetings with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

From China View, 29 October 2009:
Kenya calls on Sudanese parties to respect peace accord
NAIROBI, Oct. 29, 2009 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Thursday called on the people of Sudan to respect the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which was inked in Nairobi in January 2005, ahead of their country's elections.

Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka also urged the Sudanese to always give priority to matters pertaining to the CPA if they have to overcome the challenges facing them and realize lasting peace.

"Reality is almost coming to Sudan because of the CPA. I am sure people of Sudan are working hard towards rebuilding their nation," Musyoka told journalists in Nairobi after holding talks with visiting southern Sudan President Salva Kiir.

He said Kenya will continue to facilitate and give the necessary impetus to the process, noting that a peaceful and prosperous Sudan is great importance for Kenya.

The CPA is a set of agreements signed in January 2005 between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLA) and the government of Sudan.

The agreement was meant to end the second Sudanese civil war, develop democratic governance countrywide and share resources.

He hailed the cordial relations between southern Sudan and Kenya and assured that the two sides would continue working together to strengthen the bilateral ties in several fields.

Kiir, who is also the first vice president of Sudan, thanked the government of Kenya for the role it is playing in the search for peace and stability in Sudan.

"The government of Kenya has made the investment for peace through Inter-Governmental Authority Development (IGAD) not only for the people of Sudan but the whole of Africa," Kiir said.

The southern Sudanese leader said his country was facing many challenges, especially now that it was heading for elections.

Kiir praised Musyoka for having worked tirelessly as mediator towards peace in Sudan, especially when he was the foreign affairs minister and assured him that they will do everything possible to protect CPA.

The southern Sudanese leader arrived on Tuesday and has since held meetings with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

During his meeting with Kiir on Wednesday, Odinga stressed that the government was committed to upholding good relations with neighboring countries to ensure that peace co-existence prevailed in the region.

He reiterated on the government's determination to see the implementation of the Kenyan brokered peace pact between southern Sudan and the government of Sudan.

"Kenya as the principle Guarantor to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) wants to see the implementation of the accord to the letter as the African Union and UN seeks amicable solution to the Darfur conflict," Odinga said.

During the meeting, Kiir said the Sudanese people wanted to foster harmonious coexistence with their neighbors to promote bilateral ties in the region.

He told the press conference that the amicable resolution to the cross-border conflicts between communities could only be realized when affected countries conducted a regional disarmament exercise.

Editor: Deng Shasha

Monday, 19 October 2009

Kenya: Country steps up security at Sudan border

It was reported at the weekend that 16 Kenya Army personnel were killed by the Toposa raiders at the Nadapal Barracks on the Kenya-Sudan border.

Nadapal has remained a contested area, with both countries claiming it. This has triggered frequent clashes.

Source: The Nation (Kenya) October 19, 2009 - via -
Kenya: Country steps up security at Sudan border
Nairobi (Kenya) — Kenya has stepped up security near its border with Sudan after reports of clashes between police and Toposa pastoralists.
The General Service Unit, Administration Police and regular police are said to have engaged a combined force of Toposa militia for the second day running on Sunday.

The fighting is reported to have taken place at Nadapal, five kilometres inside Kenya. Some Kenya Army personnel are also said to be on the ground to give backing in case they are issued with orders.

Scores of people have fled Nadapal area towards Lokichogio, some 25 kilometres away following the fight which began on Thursday.

The Kenyan security team, led by Lokitang police boss Ngonya Waigonya and Turkana West district officer Eric Wanyonyi, has denied claims that 16 Kenyan soldiers had been shot dead by the Toposa militiamen.

Mr Waigonya said the Kenya security forces have been involved in an operation to flush out criminals along the Nadapal-Lokichogio highway who have been terrorising motorists and local residents.

"There were exchange of fire between our security forces and the Toposa militia but no fatalities were reported on our side" said Mr Waigonya.

It was reported at the weekend that 16 Kenya Army personnel were killed by the Toposa raiders at the Nadapal Barracks on the Kenya-Sudan border.

Nadapal has remained a contested area, with both countries claiming it. This has triggered frequent clashes.

According to Riam Riam peace network coordinator Joseph Elim, the Toposa established an army barracks near the Nadapal border point in order to give them full access to grass and water on the Kenyan side.

He said more than 10 people had been killed and more than 11,000 animals stolen in the last two months following attacks by Toposa raiders.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Why is Africa poor? Africa is not poor, it is poorly managed

Quote of the Day
"Africa is not poor, it is poorly managed." - President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, 2009.

The following report also tells us that Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says she underestimated the problem of graft.

From BBC News, Monday, 24 August 2009:
Why is the African continent poor?
By Mark Doyle, BBC world affairs correspondent
The desolate, dusty town of Pibor on South Sudan's border with Ethiopia has no running water, no electricity and little but mud huts for the population to live in.

You would be hard put to find a poorer place anywhere on earth.

I went there as part of a journey across Africa to ask the question "Why is Africa poor?" for a BBC radio documentary series.

I was asked to investigate why it is that every single African country - with the exceptions of oil-rich Gabon and Algeria - is classified by the United Nations as having a "low" broadly defined Human Development Index - in other words an appalling standard of living for most of the people.

In Pibor, the answer to why the place is poor seems fairly obvious.

The people - most of whom are from the Murle ethnic group - are crippled by tribal conflicts related to disputes over cattle, the traditional store of wealth in South Sudan.

The Murle have recently had fights with the Lol Nuer group to the north of Pibor and with ethnic Bor Dinkas to the west.

In a spate of fighting with the Lol Nuer earlier this year several hundred people, many of them women and children, were killed in deliberate attacks on villages.

There has been a rash of similar clashes across South Sudan in the past year (although most were on a smaller scale than the fights between the Lol Nuer and the Murle).

And so the answer to why South Sudan is poor is surely a no-brainer: War makes you destitute.

Why is there so much war?

And yet South Sudan is potentially rich.

"It's bigger than Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi combined," the South Sudan Regional Co-operation Minister Barnaba Benjamin, enthused.

"Tremendous land! Very fertile, enormous rainfall, tremendous agricultural resources. Minerals! We have oil and many other minerals - go name it!"

The paradox of rich resources and poor people hints at another layer of explanation about why Africa is poor.

It is not just that there is war. The question should, perhaps be: "Why is there so much war?"

And the headline question is in fact misleading; Africans as a people may be poor, but Africa as a place is fantastically rich - in minerals, land, labour and sunshine.

That is why outsiders have been coming here for hundreds of years - to invade, occupy, convert, plunder and trade.

But the resources of South Sudan, for example, have never been properly developed.

During colonial rule South Sudan was used as little more than a reservoir of labour and raw materials.

Then independence was followed by 50 years of on-off war between the south and north - with northerners in Khartoum continuing the British tactic of divide and rule among the southern groups.

Some southerners believe this is still happening today.


On my journey across the poorest, sub-Saharan swathe of the continent - that took in Liberia and Nigeria in the west, Sudan in the centre, and Kenya in the east - people explored the impact that both non-Africans and Africans had had on why Africa is poor.

Almost every African I met, who was not actually in government, blamed corrupt African leaders for their plight.

"The gap between the rich and the poor in Africa is still growing," said a fisherman on the shores of Lake Victoria.

"Our leaders, they just want to keep on being rich. And they don't want to pay taxes."

Even President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia came close to this when she told me she had underestimated the level of corruption in her country when she took office.

"Maybe I should have sacked the whole government when I came to power," she said.

"Africa is not poor," President Johnson-Sirleaf added, "it is poorly managed."

This theme was echoed by an architect in Kenya and a senior government official in Nigeria.

Both pointed out that the informal sector of most African economies is huge and almost completely unharnessed.

Marketplaces, and a million little lean-to repair shops and small-scale factories are what most urban Africans rely upon for a living.

But such is their distrust of government officials that most businesspeople in the informal sector avoid all contact with the authorities.

Kenyan architect and town planner Mumo Museva took me to the bustling Eastleigh area of Nairobi, where traders have created a booming economy despite the place being almost completely abandoned by the government.

Eastleigh is a filthy part of the city where rubbish lies uncollected, the potholes in the roads are the size of swimming pools, and the drains have collapsed.

But one indication of the success of the traders, Mr Museva said, was the high per-square-foot rents there.

"You'll be surprised to note that Eastleigh is the most expensive real estate in Nairobi."

He added that if Eastleigh traders trusted the government they might pay some taxes in return for decent services, so creating a "virtuous circle".

"It would lift people out of poverty," he said.

"Remember, poverty is related to quality of life, and the quality of life here is appalling, despite the huge amount of wealth flowing through these areas."

Then the young Kenyan architect echoed the Liberian president, some 5,000km (3,000 miles) away on the other side of the continent.

"Africa is not poor," he also said.

"Africa is just poorly managed."
See blog: Why is Africa poor? Have Your Say

Friday, 14 August 2009

Patricia Musyimi - CECAFA Under-17 Youth Championship (Hassan el Bashir Cup) August 19-31 2009 Sudan

Nairobi, June 26, 2009 - By appointing Patricia Musyimi to head its delegation for the CECAFA Clubs Championship in Sudan next week, Mathare United (MUFC) is setting a new and healthy precedent as Patriciah is evidently the first female to lead a Kenyan football delegation abroad.

Patricia Musyimi

Patriciah was recently appointed as the MUFC Public Affairs and Marketing Manager but also became the MUFC Acting CEO in early June as David Waithaka had to travel urgently on short notice to the USA to help and care for a seriously ailing family member.

Born and raised in the Mathare slums, Patriciah has managed to struggle against the odds and achieve some of her dreams as one of the pioneering players and leaders in the girls football programme of the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA). For example, in 1996 Patriciah was a key player on the first MYSA U14 girls team to feature in the Norway Cup, the world's oldest and largest youth football tournament.

Source: CECAFA

The CECAFA U-17 Championship is the a football (soccer) tournament in Africa. It is a tournament of FIFA and the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA), and includes national under 17 teams from Central and East Africa.

The tournament was to be hosted in 2008 but CECAFA could not raise enough money so the tournament was delayed a year.

Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

CECAFA U-17 football tournament: Kenya v Uganda (Juba, S. Sudan, 4.30pm on 19 Aug 2009)

From Pana via Afrique en ligne, Wednesday, 12 August 2009:
Fixtures of Cecafa youth football tournament in Sudan
(Kenya) - Below are the fixtures for this month's Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) championships taking place in Sudan.

The regional event, known as the Cecafa U-17 tournament, is slated for 19-31 August in three Sudanese cities - Khartoum, Juba and Medani. It is being sponsored by Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir to the tune of US$ 700,000.

Aug. 19 - Ethiopia v Zanzibar (Juba 2.30pm); Kenya v Uganda (Juba 4.30pm).

Aug. 20 - Somalia v Nigeria (Khartoum 5.30pm); Sudan v Tanzania (Khartoum 9.30pm )

Aug. 21 - Zanzibar v Kenya (Juba 2.30pm); Uganda v Ethiopia (Juba 4.30pm).

Aug. 22 - Nigeria v Tanzania (Khartoum 5.30pm); Somalia v Sudan (Khartoum 9.30pm ),

Aug. 22 - Eritrea v Rwanda (Medani 5.30pm); Egypt v Burundi (Medani 9.30pm).

Aug. 23 - Kenya v Ethiopia (Juba 2.30pm); Zanzibar v Uganda (Juba 4.30pm).

Aug. 24 - Tanzania v Somalia (Khartoum 5.30pm); Sudan v Nigeria (Khartoum 9.30pm ).

Aug. 24 - Rwanda v Burundi (Medani 5.30pm); Eritrea v Egypt (Medani 9.30pm).

Aug. 25 - Rest Day.

Aug. 26 & 27 - Quarter finals

Aug. 28 & 29 - Semi finals (Khartoum).

Aug. 30 - Rest Day.

Aug. 31 - Third place play offs/Finals (Khartoum).
Cross posted from Sudan Watch on Wednesday 12 August 2009: Fixtures of CECAFA U-17 football tournament in Sudan 19-31 Aug 2009

Click on labels here below for related reports and updates.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Kenya: Hillary Clinton highlights Africa's potential but warns against corruption

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s tour of seven African nations ends on 13 August 2009 after visits to Kenya, South Africa, Angola, the DRC, Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde.

From Sudan Radio Service, Friday 07 August 2009:
Clinton Highlights Africa's Potential but Warns Against Corruption
(Nairobi) – During her visit to Kenya earlier this week, the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton described Africa as having the potential and the resources to compete in the world economy.

In a speech from the Kenyan capital Nairobi, Clinton urged African countries to create markets with each other rather than focus on trading with first world countries.

[Hillary Clinton]: “Africa is capable and is making economic progress. In fact, one doesn’t have to look far to see that Africa is ripe with opportunities. The single biggest opportunity that you have right now is to open up trade with each other. The market of the United States is 3 hundred million people; the market of Africa is 7 hundred million plus people. Nations of Africa trade the least with each other than any region of the world. That makes it very difficult to compete effectively.”

However, Hillary Clinton has attributed the lack of economic progress in Africa to the failure by various governments to attract investors through stability.

[Hillary Clinton]: “It's not just about good governance, this is about good business. Investors will be attracted to states that do this and they will not be attracted to states with failed or weak leadership, or crime and civil unrest, or corruption that taints every transaction and decision.”

Clinton called on African states to reform their countries by ending bad governance, corruption and impunity. She encouraged government to ensure that the private sector and civil society organizations abiding by the rule of law.

Clinton’s tour of seven African nations ends on August 13th after visits to Kenya, South Africa, Angola, the DRC, Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde.

Democracy cartoon: Obama comes to Africa

Obama Comes To Africa

Source: Friday, July 10, 2009, Patrick Gathara,

Kenyan Stocks Climb: Kenya Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered

From Bloomberg by Eric Ombok, Friday 07 August 2009:
Kenyan Stocks Climb: Kenya Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered
Kenya’s price-weighted All-Share Index climbed 0.11 points, or 0.2 percent, to 57.75 points at close of trading in Nairobi after two days of declines. The measure gained 0.1 percent in the week.

The shares of 14 companies advanced, 14 fell and 27 were unchanged. The following were among the most active stocks on the Nairobi Stock Exchange today.

Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd. (KNCB KN), the East African nation’s biggest lender by assets and outlets, climbed 3.6 percent, the most in six weeks, to 21.75 shillings.

The lender said July 30 first-half net income declined two percent to 2.41 billion shillings as expansion costs rose.

“Demand is coming from high net-worth individuals and institutional investors,” Snehal Shah, head of research at Nairobi-based Kestrel Capital East Africa Ltd. said in a phone interview. “They are discounting these results and looking ahead at future growth.”

The lender, which has 156 outlets in Kenya and 26 in four neighboring nations, plans to increase the number of outlets in Southern Sudan to nine from five and seven in Rwanda from one currently, it said July 30.

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Ltd. (SCBL KN), a unit of Standard Chartered Plc, gained 2 shillings, or 1.4 percent, to 149 shillings. The share price has risen 8 percent since Aug. 5 when the company said first-half net income jumped 46 percent to 2.34 billion shillings.

“Stanchart looks good, the balance sheet is strong.” Shah said. “Most people were surprised positively because they did not expect such good results”.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at

Last Updated: August 7, 2009 09:14 EDT

What is going on in NE Kenya? Update on Isiolo/Samburu: must read by Ory Okolloh

From - The NCA Africa Blog Forum:
Update on Isiolo/Samburu: must read
Sunday, July 19, 2009 by Ms. Ory Okolloh
I’m posting reports that I’ve received in response to my earlier post, I’ve not verified the information but the sources appear credible and at the very least warrant further investigation.

Kenyan media. Again. Please step up. What the frick is going in in North Eastern Kenya?

Citizen reporters, please keep the info coming.


- On Tuesday, July 1, the Samburu community of Sera, population 300, was attacked by Somali and Borana forces as villagers slept. Sera is located approximately 83 miles NW of Archer’s Post in Samburu North. 15 people were shot in the attack, leaving 8 critically wounded and 5 dead, including a young girl. Over 1000 cattle were taken from 8 herds. The cattle, originating from the Samburu West community of Laisamis, had been herded through this area in search of a place to graze because of the widespread drought. The attacks were reminiscent of the February attacks by the Kenyan police which resulted in the loss of thousands of head of cattle. Similarly, large lorries and Landcruisers were used to transport the stolen cattle and raiders. There has been no investigation or response by the Kenyan authorities to recover the cattle or to arrest those responsible for the murders and injuries in this attack. The Samburu East MP Raphael Letimalo gave a press conference on 3rd July which has not yet been published in the Kenya press.

- On the evening of Monday July 6, Samburu moran warriors successfully defended their people and cattle from a similar raid SE of Lerata in Samburu East, the 2nd attack in just days. This attack occurred at the Nachamune area near the Ewaso River, 40 km east of Archers Post. Borana and Somali raiders surrounded the bomas at dusk, just after their livestock came into the boma, and began shooting at women and children. One group of moran escorted all children and women out of their homes to hiding places while the remaining moran fought off the attackers. They requested back up from local government officials such as the area MP, DO, councilors, and others to assist when the Kenyan police refused to intervene.

- On Monday July 13 at approximately 6 PM, a group of Somali Borana raiders attacked a Turkana community in Ngara Mara, between Archers Post and Isiolo, accusing the Turkana community of sympathizing with the Samburu tribe. They stole 450 cattle and kidnapped 2 children, reminiscent of the first attacks in February of this year on a Samburu community near the Kalama Wildlife Conservancy 6 km from Lerata, where 300 cattle and 2 children were kidnapped. Those children were later found dead with their throats slit.

- According to Samburu District County Council officer Raphael Leilikei of Archer’s Post, the 2 young Turkana children, ages 8 and 9, from the community of Ngara Mara were also found murdered the following day in a similar fashion, throats slit. (They were badly mutilated, there are pictures) – The cattle have not yet been recovered and there has been no police response to the murders or thefts.

- At approximately 1 PM on July 17, fighting broke out in the northern Kenya town of Isiolo, according to Kenya army leiutenant James Lerinainen. Armed Borana and Somali gunmen opened fire in a marketplace, targetting Turkana and Samburu tribesmen trading in the city center. 15 people are dead and many more injured. 3 police were shot and killed by the Borana and Somali gunmen, as well as 3 Turkana. In the fighting that ensued, 12 Borana were shot by Turkana. Fighting took place in the marketplace, at a petrol station, and at the bus station.

- At 7am the following morning, July 18th, 4 more Turkana were again shot dead by Borana and Somali gunmen in the marketplace. 3 lorries filled with police arrived tonight July 18 in Archer’s Post to reoccuppy the outpost.

- “I believe the marked increase in intensity and impunity of the Pokot raids against the Samburu that you summarise so well in Western Laikipia during the past three years has mainly to do with the fact that cattle are now fetching~ $1000 USD per head in So Sudan as cattle markets resume and So Sudan Pastoralists now have access to money and are able to refinancing of the herds that the lost in more than 30 years of civil war.”


- ” The raids of our cattle in the west by the Pokot supported by the government in the background which have gone on for over 3 years and still continue are one problem and are connected to the raids that took place more recently in the east.”

-”A total of 4122 Samburu cattle were reported taken by the recent GOK raids, and these were taken to pay back the 52 which the Samburu attempted to return to the DO and the OPCD before the raids started. But the government officers said they didn’t want the Meru cattle. We think this was because the raids against us were already being planned.”

- “If the governemt wants to solve this problem, the first thing they must do is remove Hassan Noor Hassan as the Provincial Commissioner for the Rift Valley Province.”

- “The Government should also be aware that the so-called Borana MP for Isiolo is in fact a Somali, and he manipulates the Borana to attack us. Both Borana and Samburu suffer because of this.”
Further reading

Historical context of Isiolo/Samburu raids/violence
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 by Ms. Ory Okolloh

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Kenya: Microfinancing - Launch of new Mobile Money Transfer Directory will focus on Sub-Sahara Africa

A new Mobile Money Transfer Directory at launches in 2 wks focus on Sub-Saharan Africa (by @CreditSMS)

Source: White African Erik Hersman via Twitter 04 Aug. 2009
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Snippets from CreditSMS website:
In December 2009, CreditSMS will launch several pilots throughout Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Additional pilot requests have been submitted for Kenya, Sudan, and Sierra Leone. Uganda and DRC have 87% and 66% rural populations respectively, constituting a nascent market of as many as 76 million potential clients and consumers. By enabling MFIs [microfinance institutions] to reach and meet the demands of this market, CreditSMS will facilitate a form of 'bubble up' development whereby the income of microloan recipients will increase and the price of newly-available goods and services will trend toward market equilibrium. All pilot results will be made free and accessible via as they become available.
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The Beginning...
By Ben Lyon
Published: July 14, 2009

Formal banks were hesitant to give "the bottom billion" loans because they didn't have collateral. Today, microfinance institutions (MFIs) fill that void by providing collateral-free loans to micro-entrepreneurs. In order to compete with traditional moneylenders, however, those MFIs had to charge exorbitant interest rates, mostly to absorb the high transport cost of making weekly visits to rural areas to collect loan repayments. With teledensity penetration and mobile commerce growing faster by the day, one has to wonder: why are loan officers still making the trip? Read More...
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Increasing revenue and impact through technology
By Ben Lyon
Published: July 22, 2009
[article written for Project Diaspora]

Aaron Ewedafe wakes up every morning at least one hour before the sun rises. Donning his satchel full of client records and repayment schedules, he hails the nearest okada driver and races into the surrounding countryside to begin a long day of loan group meetings. The trip from headquarters in Oshogbo to the village of Ojudo and back can take all day. Aaron rarely makes it home before nightfall. Altogether, Aaron spends 112 hours and 5,000 naira a week to manage 350 microloan recipients. His profit is negligible. Read More...
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The 'Phone as Cow' Model
By Ben Lyon
Published: August 1, 2009

Mobile phones are quickly becoming the hottest topic in development. Everyday, waves of new innovations are rolled out to connect 'bottom of the pyramid' (BOP) entrepreneurs to markets and information. But many advocates and implementers seem to neglect a fundamental question: What good are mobile innovations if BOP entrepreneurs can't afford handsets? According to Iqbal Quadir of Grameenphone, the answer is to issue the handset as the first microloan. Read More...
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Saturday, 11 July 2009

Ocampo to open Waki envelope

From The Standard by Ben Agina, News Editor, 11 July 2009:
Ocampo to open Waki envelope
International Criminal Court Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo will on Monday open the envelope containing the names of key Government officials and prominent businessmen suspected of perpetrating post-election mayhem.

Mr Ocampo has confirmed he will open the envelope and other documents handed over to him by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Dr Annan gave the documents to Ocampo on Thursday. The former UN chief has had the documents since he received them from Justice Philip Waki in October, last year. Justice Waki chaired the commission that investigated post-election violence.

Ocampo said: "On Monday (tomorrow), I will be back in my office and probably open the envelopes to understand what they say. But I will seal them again."

The news of the opening of the envelope will further heighten the anxiety that has gripped the country.

Up to now, it is only Justice Philip Waki who knows the contents of the envelope he gave Annan when he completed work of the Commission of Inquiry Into Post-Election Violence.

Justice Waki’s mandate was to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the violence, the conduct of State security agencies, and to make recommendations on these and other matters.

Speaking in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Saturday, Ocampo recalled the visit by a Kenyan delegation to his offices at The Hague, late last month.

"They confirmed the commitment of Kenya to end impunity for the crimes committed during the post-election time, "said Ocampo, in the interview, with The Standard on Sunday stringer, then in the DRC.

He said the delegation comprising Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo, Attorney General Amos Wako, and Lands Minister James Orengo, informed him the Government plans to establish a local tribunal to try the suspects.

But Ocampo said, they also told him Parliament had a different position and wants suspects of post-election chaos referred to the International Criminal Court.

Post-election violence

"In the meantime, they commit themselves to provide all the information they have, on the allegations and crimes committed," said Ocampo.

It was after this, Ocampo disclosed, that Annan called him, saying: "Hey, look. I also have to give you the information I have. And he handed over boxes with documents and an envelope with names of persons under suspicion that the Waki commission considered we have to investigate."

While handing over the envelope to Ocampo, Annan "welcomed the Government’s renewed efforts to implement the recommendations of the Waki Commission and to establish a special tribunal".

Annan said: "Any judicial mechanism adopted to bring the perpetrators of post-election violence to justice must meet international legal standards and be broadly debated with all sectors of the Kenyan society to bring credibility to the process."

The former UN chief, who headed the Panel of Eminent Persons that brokered peace in Kenya early last year, said it "reaffirms its conviction that combating impunity and bringing to justice the perpetrators of the post-election violence in Kenya is fundamental to the country’s reform agenda".

Mr Annan added: "Justice delayed is justice denied. The people of Kenya want to see concrete progress on the fight against impunity. Without such progress, the reconciliation between ethnic groups and the long-term stability of Kenya is in jeopardy."

On Monday, Ocampo will be back at The Hague after a tour of African countries that took him to Ethiopia and the DRC.

"So on Monday (tomorrow), I will open the envelopes to understand what they say, but will seal them again. It is just advice. I have to make my own impartial judgement," he said, in Kinshasa, the DRC capital.

He reiterated that Kenya is committed to deal with the post-election atrocities. But he pointed out: "If they cannot do it, assuming it is clear they cannot do it, and they refer the case to me or not I will be ready with all the information I need to start a very fast investigation".

War crimes

At least 1,200 Kenyans were killed in the violence, 600,000 displaced, and many jobs lost. Most of those displaced in the post-2007 General Election violence are yet to be resettled.

Ocampo spoke as an African Union (AU) panel led by former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki backed the ICC indictment of Sudanese officials, including President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, for war crimes.

The panel’s recommendation showed the differences around Africa over the indictment for crimes in the Darfur conflict.

An AU summit in Libya last week voted to suspend co-operation with the ICC on the matter.

Mr Mbeki told reporters that the panel of eight eminent Africans had consulted widely in and outside Sudan.

"The consensus is that those charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity should appear in court and defend themselves," he said.

"The warrant has been issued. There is nothing that can be done."

The ICC has indicted Bashir on seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and torture.

But he has dismissed the allegations as part of a Western conspiracy, and the AU has sought a deferment of the indictment, saying it has complicated peace efforts in Darfur.

UN officials say the Darfur conflict in Sudan’s western region has killed as many as 300,000 people since 2003.

—Additional reporting by Reuters

Friday, 10 July 2009

USA - President Obama's popularity slipping

From EU Digest, 09 July 2009 - excerpt:
USA - President Obama's popularity slipping
A recent Rasmussen poll shows hat 30% of the US voters now strongly approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) strongly disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential approval rating of –8. Thirty-nine percent (39%) now give the President good or excellent marks for handling the economy while 43% say he is doing a poor job. Overall, 51% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance so far. Forty-eight percent (48%) disapprove.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo has his eyes trained on Kenya

Three Kenyan Government officials briefed the ICC's chief prosecutor on plans to prosecute those who committed violence during post-election upheavals. 

From The Standard, Nairobi, Kenya:
Candid talk with ICC prosecutor Ocampo
The International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo has his eyes trained on Kenya following the handing over of the envelope containing the names of suspects by Chief Mediator Kofi Annan.
KTN’s Beatrice Marshall interviewed Ocampo last week. Here are excerpts of the interview.

Question: You met members of the Kenyan delegation recently and reached an agreement on certain issues. Could you clarify?

Answer: Yes I met three Kenyan Government officials and they were briefing me on plans to prosecute those who committed violence during post-election upheavals. They informed me they have to go to Parliament to make a decision. However, they also expressed commitment that should they fail to pass a law, they will refer the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Q: Following the meeting, there are details emerging in Kenya to the effect that the deadline has been extended to July 2010. Could you confirm this?

A: As a prosecutor I respect genuine national proceedings. Kenya has already conducted national inquiries including the work done by the (Justice Philip) Waki Commission. At the moment Kenya is not doing anything and that is why it was important to have the meeting. Since they have informed us they are doing something, I would like to respect this. In the meantime, I asked them to provide me with certain information, which they committed to do as soon as possible.

I am collecting information and building my case and should they fail then I will step in immediately.

Q: Is there a timeline provided?

A: Kenya is a sovereign country my duty is not to give timelines or guidelines. The Kenyan Government promised during the meeting that they would have a detailed plan presented to us in September. They further indicated they suspect the process of investigation would take one year, which I presume is from September once they hand over the plan on how they intend to implement the investigations.

Q: There has been concern in Kenya that if the case were referred to the ICC proceedings would take long. How much of a priority is Kenya to ICC and if you intervene how fast will the process be?

A: In the Darfur case, the government was against the process, so the case took 20 months. In the case of Lord’s Resistance Army, the Ugandan government co-operated and provided information and the case took nine months. Kenya is providing information that is already being consolidated. If they do not start genuine proceedings, by next year I will be ready to start the case.

Q: After your talks with the Kenyan delegation, do you think the Kenyan political leadership is unwilling or unable to set up a Special Tribunal because the deadline keeps shifting?

A: I cannot make that judgement and have to be objective and look at the national proceedings and establish if the process is genuine.

Q: Has ICC started investigations into the Kenyan situation?

A: I am already collecting information and preparing my case to establish whether crimes against humanity were committed.  In the next one month, in September, the Kenyan delegation promised to be back with a detailed plan.  For now, let us wait and see. However, it is better a country establishes national proceedings. Colombia has done it and they are doing quite well

Q: Does the Kenyan situation warrant ICC intervention?

A:  Serious crimes against humanity are systematic attacks against civilian population, and from what happened the crimes were probably crimes against humanity.

Q: It has been acknowledged the violence may have been as a result of the stiff competition between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Based on the African Union position on the warrant of arrest for President Bashir of Sudan, is there hope for Kenyan people?

A: We have to differentiate between political responsibility and criminal responsibility. We are not doing a political analysis of the situation but rather want to prosecute those who did the crimes. No one is immune, no one is above the law and that is a promise to Kenyan people there will be no impunity. Depending on how it ends, it may end up being a classic model on how to handle conflict.