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Archive for October 25th, 2007

Posted by African Press International on October 25, 2007

jaduong-leo.jpg<Posted by Leo Odera Omolo, API/APN correspondent,

Kisumu – Kenya

By Bob Ndira Uradi (Leo Odera Omolo)

The latest development in Alego Usonga politics has indicated that a Mombasa based business tycoon has taken the early lead in the scramble for the areas Parliamentary seat.

Mr. Edwin Ochieng Yinda now lead the pack of close to 20 parliamentary aspirants. The upsurge in his popularity came about two weeks ago following the widely spread rumours that the former KANU supremo in Siaya has taken the ODM nomination papers from Mwenge House, Nairobi. And is now seeking the party ticket to contest the election as a fully paid ODM member.

Yinda a soft spoken businessman cum politician who at one time gave the former Alego Usonga MP Peter Castro Oloo Aringo a run for his money in a closely contested election in 1988 is credited for having contributed immensely towards the development projects in the area.

After losing the most grueling election battle against Oloo Aringo, Yinda took a low political profile but he embarked on a quiet maneuver visiting his Ngiya based political home on weekly basis during which time he consulted widely with his former supporters on the ground and constituents in general.

Yinda could have beaten Aringo hand down in 1988, but only lost the election because he was in the wrong party (KANU) while Oloo Aringo was technically also in KANU, but leaning towards the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga left with political ideologies.

This time around emerging reports from the ground are pointing out that Yinda is the most popular among the close to two dozens aspirants vying for the same seat.

The outgoing immediate former MP Sammy Weya is trailing in the tail end. Weya stood no chance of recapturing his seat. The real battle of the giants will be between Prof. Florence Oduol, Peter Oloo Aringo, Nicholas Rajula and Charles Odinga Mamba a Kisumu based hotelier.

Several opinion leaders interviewed this week in Siaya confirmed that Yinda waves of support has taken the usually quiet Siaya Municipality by storm.

We want to compensate Mr. Yinda by sending to the August House for five years on the account of his credible attitude towards the development of numerous economic projects in the area.

Yinda said Mzee J. Oduor has done a lot for the people and now that he has abandoned KANU and he is firm in ODM we shall vote for him.

Oloo Aringo, they said had represented Alego Usonga for close to 22 years, but left nothing to his credit on the ground, though he had even served in the cabinet former KANU regime as a Minister for well over 10 years.

The battle will be between Yinda, Prof Oduol Charles Odinga Mamba, Oloo Aringo and Nicholas Rajula. One among the four would definitely say through the ODM preliminaries but the ground now favour Yinda than any other aspirant.

This is due to the fact that Siaya town which the largest concentrations of voters are Yinda stronghold but most of the many aspirants have yet to be on the ground but now that parliament is dissolved the aspirants are expected to intensify their campaign with the next two weeks.

Alego- Usonga has for many years been represented by unproductive and ineffective MPs. This has contributed largely to the stagnation of development but this time around the voters are quite awake. We want an MP who can deliver the goods and Yinda is the only trustworthy person, said Mr. S. Ooko a prominent businessman in Siaya Town.

Ends.

leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

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Posted by African Press International on October 25, 2007

Posted by Leo Odera Omolo, API/APN correspondent,

Kisumu – Kenya

_________

By Bob Ndira Uradi

The latest development in Alego Usonga politics has indicated that a Mombasa based business tycoon has taken the early lead in the scramble for the areas Parliamentary seat.

Mr. Edwin Ochieng Yinda now lead the pack of close to 20 parliamentary aspirants. The upsurge in his popularity came about two weeks ago following the widely spread rumours that the former KANU supremo in Siaya has taken the ODM nomination papers from Mwenge House, Nairobi. And is now seeking the party ticket to contest the election as a fully paid ODM member.

Yinda a soft spoken businessman cum politician who at one time gave the former Alego Usonga MP Peter Castro Oloo Aringo a run for his money in a closely contested election in 1988 is credited for having contributed immensely towards the development projects in the area.

After losing the most grueling election battle against Oloo Aringo, Yinda took a low political profile but he embarked on a quiet maneuver visiting his Ngiya based political home on weekly basis during which time he consulted widely with his former supporters on the ground and constituents in general.

Yinda could have beaten Aringo hand down in 1988, but only lost the election because he was in the wrong party (KANU) while Oloo Aringo was technically also in KANU, but leaning towards the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga left with political ideologies.

This time around emerging reports from the ground are pointing out that Yinda is the most popular among the close to two dozens aspirants vying for the same seat.

The outgoing immediate former MP Sammy Weya is trailing in the tail end. Weya stood no chance of recapturing his seat. The real battle of the giants will be between Prof. Florence Oduol, Peter Oloo Aringo, Nicholas Rajula and Charles Odinga Mamba a Kisumu based hotelier.

Several opinion leaders interviewed this week in Siaya confirmed that Yinda waves of support has taken the usually quiet Siaya Municipality by storm.

We want to compensate Mr. Yinda by sending to the August House for five years on the account of his credible attitude towards the development of numerous economic projects in the area.

Yinda said Mzee J. Oduor has done a lot for the people and now that he has abandoned KANU and he is firm in ODM we shall vote for him.

Oloo Aringo, they said had represented Alego Usonga for close to 22 years, but left nothing to his credit on the ground, though he had even served in the cabinet former KANU regime as a Minister for well over 10 years.

The battle will be between Yinda, Prof Oduol Charles Odinga Mamba, Oloo Aringo and Nicholas Rajula. One among the four would definitely say through the ODM preliminaries but the ground now favour Yinda than any other aspirant.

This is due to the fact that Siaya town which the largest concentrations of voters are Yinda stronghold but most of the many aspirants have yet to be on the ground but now that parliament is dissolved the aspirants are expected to intensify their campaign with the next two weeks.

Alego- Usonga has for many years been represented by unproductive and ineffective MPs. This has contributed largely to the stagnation of development but this time around the voters are quite awake. We want an MP who can deliver the goods and Yinda is the only trustworthy person, said Mr. S. Ooko a prominent businessman in Siaya Town.

Ends.

leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

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KENYAN MINISTER AND THE US AMBASSADOR ENGAGED IN VERBAL CLASHES.

Posted by African Press International on October 25, 2007

jaduong-leo.jpg<By Leo Odera Omolo, API/APN correspondent,

Kisumu – Kenya

A cabinet Minister in Kenya was on Monday this week involved in unusual diplomatic verbal exchange with a foreign diplomat in a public forum.

Labour Minister Dr. Newton Kulundu exchanged harsh words with American Ambassador to Kenya Mr. Michael Ranneberger at a public forum in the Kenyan Capital, Nairobi.

The exchange was triggered by Minister Kulundu in what was termed as diplomatic spat which saw the US envoy snub the Minister twice and eventually left the forum venue in huff.

Kulundu had launched scathing attack on the US and the UK governments for hypocrisy when dealing with African countries. And for applying double standards policy towards African government

I dare take the bull by its horns and declare that the greatest violators of human rights democracy and transparency are not in Africa but are the US, UK and other European countries, Kulundu said boldly in the presence of the US envoy.

Minister Kulundu spoke during the launching of a report entitled Trafficking in Persons from a Labour Perspective, the Kenyan experience.

Apparently provoked by the Ministers utterances Ambassador Rennerberger openly displayed his displeasure when he refused to shake Kulundus hands after the address.

Participants watched in disbelief the unfolding drama and were obviously dismayed!!.

And when it was his turn to address the forum, Rennerberger simply dismissed the Ministers harsh remarks against his country as ludicrous. At the end of his speech the US envoy again snubbed Kulundu and hurriedly left the conference hall.

Earlier on, Kulundu had told off Western countries accusing them of random for preaching water while drinking wine over their poor human rights record and disrespect to sovereignty of other countries.

According to the report, thousands of victims of human trafficking are in the dark about the illegal trade and become easy pray for traffickers.

It says in part, Lack of awareness among vulnerable group such as poor women and children desperate to escape their deplorable lifestyles fuelled the illicit trade.

The report describe it as modern day slavery. The vice, adds the report, is rampant in the Kenyas coastal region especially in Mtwapa where between 10,000 and 20,000 children are trafficked to engage in sex tourism.

Participants at the launch of the report heard that globally the illegal trade generate more than USD 9.5 billion annually for internationally organized crime, second only to smuggling of arms.

The Ambassador later told newsmen the incident was just simple nonsense that doesnt qualify intervention to that level he played it down saying there was nothing to warrant a proper note.

Ends.

leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

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Posted by African Press International on October 25, 2007

Nouakchott (Mauritania) The United States rejected allegations that they intend to transfer the United States Africa Command from Germany to Mauritania, a communiqu said Tuesday.

Even though some AFRICOM offices may be installed on the African continent, the US have not initiated any talk with the Mauritanian Government on a possible presence of AFRICOM in Mauritania, and do not intend to start any such talks, the US embassy in Mauritania said in a statement.

AFRICOM is currently based at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany, and is aimed at supervising and enhancing security cooperation and the various other activities and programmes in progress between the American Army and its African partners, the communiqu copied to APA read.

The American ambassador reminds that the setting up of this command by the American government marks a new era in which the security problems of the continent can be addressed from Africa-centred perspectives.

AFRICOM will be a new type of command, committed to the reinforcement of security in Africa and a response to possible crises.

The communiqu further said that the welfare of Africa is instrumental to the long term interests of America and it is in the interest of both America and the African States to work hand in hand for peace, prosperity and stability in Africa.

A stable, healthy and wealthy Africa will further contribute to international security and to a faster growing world economy, the statement said, adding that AFRICOM aims at enabling a safer Africa, without installing a single military force on the African continent.

AFRICOM will rather have some staff at its headquarters, who determine the kind of support that can enable African governments and regional organisations to have an increased responsiveness capacity, if necessary.

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AU, UN receive 90% pledges for its joint mission in Darfur

Posted by African Press International on October 25, 2007

 

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) The African Union (AU) Commission and the United Nations have got around 90% of their needs for the joint UN-Africa Mission In Darfur, APA learnt on Tuesday.

General Henry Anyidoho the deputy UN /AU representative designate to Darfur told journalists in Addis Ababa that a number of African and non-African countries have pledged to contribute troops for the hybrid force, expected to be deployed in Darfur, beginning 2008.

Still discussions are on going between the AU and UN where they are discussing details on the deployment of the joint forces to Darfur, General Anyidoho said.

He was speaking after attending the closed session of the AU Peace and Security Council meeting held this evening in Addis Ababa to discuss the deployment of the hybrid force to Darfur.

The general indicated that by31 December 2007 transfer of authority from the existing African Mission in Darfur(AMIS) to the United Nations Africa Mission to Darfur (UNAMID) should be completed in order to facilitate the deployment of 19,555 troops and around 6,000 police and military observers.

However, General Anyidoho indicated that there are still shortfalls in critical areas like medium helicopter units and medium heavy transport company as well as one light tactical helicopter unit.

No pledges have been received despite AU-UN efforts. This will have negative impact on the UNAMID operational capability, General Anyidoho added.

According to sources, so far 7,600 African and 1,462 non-African troops were pledged by a number of countries for the hybrid force to Darfur.

This does not include the 7,000 AMIS military personnel that are on the ground. They will join the hybrid force, sources said.

Accordingly, it was reported that 14,284 peace keeping forces, including those 7,000 of AMIS on the ground have been pledged so far.

Ethiopia, Egypt, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Nigeria are countries of Africa that pledged 7,600 troops to the hybrid mission in Darfur so far.

Other countries, both African and non-African are still being asked by the AU and UN to contribute troops for the mission.

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ECOWAS in Banjul to drum up support for Small Arms Convention

Posted by African Press International on October 25, 2007

 

Banjul (The Gambia) The coordinating body for the sensitization and advocacy mission of the ECOWAS Small Arms Unit (WANEP) in The Gambia is organizing a meeting on Wednesday between an ECOWAS delegation and the local civil society organizations and the media.

The objective WANEP is to encourage the government to expedite the ratification of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

APA received on Tuesday a press release from the WANEP Gambia office, stating that an ECOWAS delegation arrived in Banjul on Sunday to advocate for the quick ratification and coming into force of the convention.

The delegation was led by Maj. Charles Okae (Retired), the director of Peace Keeping and Regional Security. Other members comprise Commandant Abdourahmane Dieng, deputy head of the Small Arms Unit and Oluwafisan Bankale, who is policy, advocacy and communications officer.

The release adds that by the time the delegation leaves Banjul on October 25, the members would have met with and sensitized top government officials in the executive, legislature, armed forces, police and immigration, besides meeting and exchanging views with members of the civil society and the media.

For the convention to come into force, nine member states must ratify it. So far, only Niger has done so, although many countries are said to be in advanced stages of concluding the process.

On 14 June, 2006, ECOWAS heads of state and government adopted the convention in Abuja, Nigeria, with the aim of promoting a culture of peace through the control of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the sub-region.

The ECOWAS Commission has in the past embarked on similar sensitization missions in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote dIvoire, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Senegal and Togo.

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Angolan president dos Santos arrives in Namibia for state visit

Posted by African Press International on October 25, 2007

Windhoek (Namibia) Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos arrived in Namibia Wednesday afternoon for a 48-hour visit which government officials say is meant to strengthen bilateral co-operation and trade ties between the two neighbours.

Responding to Namibian president Hifikepunye Pohambas invitation, dos Santos is accompanied by his first lady, Ana Paula dos Santos, and other senior officials, including his ministers.

Dos Santos is expected to hold talks with Pohamba this afternoon and attend a special plenary of the Namibian Parliament Thursday morning.

Government said that the visit is part of an effort to strengthen bilateral relations. Dos Santos is expected to sign a string of co-operation and trade agreements during his visit.

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Mediteranean Union (MU) is around the corner – Sarkozy’s initiative applauded

Posted by African Press International on October 25, 2007

Marrakech (Morocco) King Mohammed VI of Morocco on late Tuesday hailed initiative of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to create a Mediterranean Union that will pave the way for a new pact between Europe and Africa.

Speaking at the state banquet in honour of the visiting French president, King Mohammed VI described this project as visionary and daring.

He expressed his resolve to explore with President Sarkozy all opportunities in order to promote an unprecedented and gradual approach of the planned partnership and to address in an innovative and united way the various challenges facing our Mediterranean region.

According to the Moroccan King, the various stakes triggered by globalisation call on the Mediterranean region to achieve more harmonised policies on collective security, sustainable development and management of the cultural and religious space perfectly in line with the desire to consolidate the Barcelona process.

The Barcelona Process is a wide framework of political, economic and social relations between the Member States of the European Union and Southern Mediterranean partners.

Mohammed VI hopes that the second Africa European Union Summit next December in Lisbon will create new mechanisms, the driving forces of an efficient intercontinental cooperation.

For his part, the French president hailed the French-Moroccan friendship noting that the Moroccan and French peoples have a unique reciprocal fascination for and attraction to each other.”

Over the years, France and Morocco strengthened their relation despite it being conflicting and even painful at times, he said, noting that the relation was heroic during the great events of the 20th century.

The French head of state further paid tribute to the Moroccan veterans, the anonymous heroes who contributed to defend France and its values during the two World Wars.

Our two peoples are linked by geography, a common history but also by the same attachment to their roots, identity and culture, President Sarkozy stressed.

President Sarkozy said Paris wants to support the big structuring projects Morocco announced in order to make full use of them in its integration into the global economy.

On Tuesday in the Moroccan northern city of Tangier, President Sarkozy called for a summit of the Mediterranean regions heads of state in June 2008 in France to discuss the Mediterranean Union project.

This summit seeks, according to the French president, to lay the foundations for a political, economic and cultural opinion based on the principle of strict equality among the countries in the Mediterranean region.

President Sarkozy also urged all States outside the Mediterranean region, but concerned with the project, to attend the maiden summit as observers.

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Rwanda, Nigeria deploy troops in Darfur

Posted by African Press International on October 25, 2007

 

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) Two battalions of Rwandan and Nigerian troops are expected to be deployed in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan beginning Wednesday, APA learnttoday.

A senior African Union military official said the two countries will send a total of 1,800 troops beginning today and tomorrow.

The deployment will be completed before the end of this month, the official said.

Rwanda and Nigeria previously pledged to contribute two battalions to the African Union mission in Sudan.

Colonel Mayell Mbaye, head of military component of the Darfur Integrated Task force said the Rwandan and Nigerian troops will be part of the hybrid African Union-United Nations approved by the Security Council due to be deployed in 2008.

The hybrid force will consist of 19,555 peacekeeping forces and around 6,000 military observers and police.

The AU mission has around 7,000 peacekeeping forces in Darfur deployed in 2004.

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CAMPAIGNS TO GET HOTTER AND VEERING TO RISKY HEIGHTS!

Posted by African Press International on October 25, 2007

This year’s general election is promising to be an uphill task for the presidential and parliamentary candidates to be precise. There are legion of issues and challenges to overcome to get to the desired goal.

At the presidential campaign level there are several emotive and
explosive issues and interest groups to deal with. They among others include Majimbo, economy, the youth, the women folk, unemployment, land, consumer prices, education fees, western world factor, Muslim factor, infrastructure, succession, tribalism etc.

The big trick lies in the articulation and propaganda. ODM have an edge over the rest on this one. The PNU have an edge in articulating achievement on the economy under Kibaki administration. However cost of living and consumer prices are eroding the achievements.

But a great catch is on Majimbo. It is a very emotive issue due to the underlying issues as on land, distribution of resources and tribal emotions. Unfortunately majimbo in Kenya is associated with chasing non indigenous or rather emigrant communities in their areas they have emigrated to. This not without a very bad precedent in the tribal clashes which locked mainly parts of Rift Valley 1992,1993, 1997,1998 and in Likoni in Coast province in 1997.

But however if majimbo does not mean chasing away other communities as perceived, it could be not be a bad idea if only it is meant for devolution in re-distribution of resources. The worst Kenya need at present is another tribal conflagration of any nature. It simply cannot entertain even the thought of it. Tourism the leading foreign exchange earner and with potential to grow enormously, would for instance go up in flames.

But politicians need to watch out, as the ambers of tribal hatred are very deep in the nation psyche. Tribal competition is on a time high. It only needs a little spark to take it to the next bad level. But one can bet that politicians will exploit it to the fullest. Any of the leading candidates able to employ the best tactics to align majority in numbers with due regard to tribes plus be able to lure more of the youth, women and the unemployed is guaranteed victory.

ikunda6.jpgBy Harrison Mwirigi Ikunda, API/APN correspondent, Nairobi. Kenya.

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