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Archive for January 30th, 2008

Pledge to reunite Kenya

Posted by African Press International on January 30, 2008


President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga Tuesday evening pledged to reunite Kenyans as crucial talks to end the spiralling post-election violence started in Nairobi last evening.

Mediator Kofi Annan (left) with President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga during tea break at a function to launch mediation talks aimed at ending the political crisis facing Kenya. Photo/ PETERSON GITHAIGA

Standing side-by-side at the lawns of County Hall at 6.15pm, they promised to ensure peace and stability are restored after a month of chaos sparked by the December presidential election.

The Government side and their ODM rivals had converged at County Hall to commit themselves to mediation under former UN boss Kofi Annan and to endorse the agenda aimed at curing the political malaise that has brought the country to its knees.

Mr Odinga was the first to commit ODM to the talks at 5.52pm, saying: I will leave no stone un-turned, nor fail to travel that extra mile, to ensure that His Excellency Kofi Annans mediation mission between PNU and ODM succeeds. This is the least I can do for our country. But this mediation process must quickly show our people that peace, justice and security are around the corner. President Kibakis turn came nine minutes later when he stated that the Government was committed to the talks that would result in national healing and reconciliation.

I wish to pledge my support and that of my entire Government to this process. I am glad that this process seeks to discuss, not just the immediate actions that must be taken to restore peace in our country, but will also address the long-term solutions to the underlying issues that have caused the problems. I remain fully committed to national reconciliation, Mr Kibaki said.

Mr Annan had earlier urged them to move fast and solve their political differences to end the suffering of innocent children, grandmothers and distraught women caught in the violence.

National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende opened the session at County Hall with similar words. He pledged the Houses support to peace saying: Kenyans look up to you (President Kibaki and Mr Odinga); do not let them down at this hour of need.

Mr Annan, who is leading the mediation team that is composed of former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa and Mrs Graca Machel said the talks were entering a new phase.

The teams that you have chosen will address themselves to short term and long term solutions, but you must bear in mind that they are linked… substantial work has been done on some of them, he said.

Mr Annan said that with determination and political will, the short term issues on his agenda ending the violence and solving the elections dispute could be resolved within four weeks while the long-term issues, which go into the deeper questions of unequal distribution of resources, marginalisation and land ownership could be fixed within a year.

The coming together of Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga for the second time since last week officially launched the talks between the two teams within the parameters set by Mr Annan on Sunday.

After six days of collecting views from both sides and stakeholders, the mediators identified an end to the spiralling violence, solving the disputed Presidential election results and crafting long-term solutions to glaring inequality in the country as the cure to the present crisis.

He handed the documents containing his agenda to President Kibaki on Saturday and to Mr Odinga on Sunday evening and asked them to name teams of three negotiators each and one person who will serve as a liaison officer.

The papers bound the two sides to mediation and its outcome. PNU named Cabinet ministers Martha Karua, Sam Ongeri and Mbooni MP Mutula Kilonzo on its team with Mr Gichira Kibara and Mr Ludeki Chweya as alternate liaison officers.

ODM appointed presidential running mate Musalia Mudavadi, Pentagon member William Ruto and Aldai MP Sally Kosgei as its negotiators, with Mr Karoli Omondi as its liaison person.

The team went into its first session shortly after the meeting. They are expected to form their own schedule under the mediators guidance.

The session to launch the talks was delayed for more than an hour as ODM protested at the sitting arrangement putting Mr Kibakis seat between Mr Odinga and Mr Annan. ODM Pentagon members Mudavadi, Ruto, Najib Balala, Joseph Nyaga and Charity Ngilu led their delegation out of the meeting room in protest saying it portrayed Mr Kibaki as session chairman.

It took 40 minutes for the seats to be shuffled to ensure Mr Annan chaired the meeting before the ODM group returned to the meeting room.

The session which begun with prayers, marked the killing of Embakasi MP Melitus Mugabe Were with a minutes silence and observed a further minutes silence for hundreds of Kenyans who have died in the violence that started after the elections were announced on December 30.
President Kibaki said the violence had driven the country to the brink.

It is unfortunate that in some parts of the country, neighbours who have lived side-by-side peacefully for many years and have undertaken many cultural and social activities together have been incited to hate one another and view one another as enemies. I feel deeply saddened to see Kenyans confronting one another violently over issues that can be discussed and resolved peacefully through dialogue, he said.

He urged leaders to reconcile the communities and announced that Sh700 million had been set aside to build 32 police stations in areas deeply affected by fighting.

He said he had also created a national fund for the mitigation of the effects of the inter-communal violence.

Mr Odinga said death and despair were littering the country, and it was the duty of the leaders to save the country from the spiralling violence.
We have seen this kind of bitterness that has engulfed our nation since December 30 when the disputed results were announced. We are being tested in a way that we have never before, he said.

Mr Odinga said although the disputed elections were a strong grievance, they did not warrant the bloodshed witnessed in the country.

On arrival in the country last week, Mr Annan said his mission was to help Kenya get out of its political quagmire. He said he had not come with a solution but would have direct talks with President Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga.

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Kenyan MP murdered

Posted by African Press International on January 30, 2008

Shock of MP shot dead after midnight

The shock of the murder of young Embakasi legislator, Mellitus Mugabe Were, added a chilling dimension to the crisis engulfing the country as details of a well-executed crime emerged.

mp-were.jpgEmbakasi MP Mugabe Were, who was shot dead by hitmen.

The MPs last moments, pieced together from interviews with family members and fellow MPs, showed an apparent intricate plot crafted to end the life of a man who came from lowly civic ranks to win the most populous Nairobi constituency.His death sent shockwaves across the country and among fellow MPs, with whom he was sworn in two weeks ago.

The cold blood murder occurred shortly after 12.30am as the 39-year old MP arrived at his Woodley Estate home.

Later in the morning, the family was hit by another assault as police officers, pursuing a group of youths, lobbed eight teargas canisters into the compound, choking women and children in the house.

Accounts by Weres family members and workers show he was possibly trailed home by his killers, who were in two cars, as he drove home alone in his Mercedes Benz car.

It also emerged that Were had told an ODM Parliamentary Group meeting last week that he feared for his life.

MPs who attended the PG said Were had said he was being trailed and the meeting advised him to report the matter to the police.

According to one of his workers, Mr Joseph Ojoro, who spoke to The Standard yesterday, the MP approached his gate hooting frantically, indicating he had spotted the gunmen behind him.

Witnesses said when Weres car stopped at his gate, one of the assailants cars also pulled up behind his.

But apparently, Were had stopped too close to his gate, blocking it with his car, and his worker could not manage to yank it open.

“I could not open the gate because the car had been parked too close,” said Ojoro.

weres-widow.jpgMugabes grieving widow, Agnes Wairimu.

And as the MP waited in terror, two men jumped out of the car behind and dragged him out as an argument ensued.Ojoro said before he could raise an alarm, he heard gunshots. He then peeped through the keyhole of the gate and saw two men holding Were to the ground. More gunshots were fired seconds later. Said Ojoro: “I climbed over the gate and saw the white car speed away. My boss lay there bleeding and I started screaming.”

It was then that Weres widow, Agnes Wairimu, dashed out to establish what was going on.

Wairimu said she hurriedly opened the gate with the help of the workers and carried Were into his car and sped to Nairobi Hospital. The MP was pronounced dead on arrival.

He had been shot at point blank range with the precision of expert hit men who did not rob him of anything. His mobile phone was found on the cars bonnet, family members said.

They then called the police who arrived minutes later and recorded statements from them. Weres body, which was later seen by ODM politicians, led by Mr Raila Odinga at the Lee Funeral Home, had bullet wounds to his left eye and chest.

Were had spent his final evening at Parliament Buildings and chatted with fellow MPs before driving home to his death.

He had been with Matungu MP, Mr David Were, and Gem MP, Mr Jakoyo Midiwo, before he drove towards Mombasa Road and to a popular exclusive nightspot in Kilimani.

One of his two widows, Wairimu, told journalists that it was normal for Were to go home late.

“He has been a busy man all along because he attends to many issues,” said a sobbing Wairimu, a mother of two.

Last night, Police Spokesman Mr Eric Kiraithe said two suspects had been arrested. They include a motor vehicle dealer and a female university student.

Earlier, senior police officers, led by deputy director of police operations, Mr Henry Barmao, and other detectives visited the scene.

Kiraithe also visited the family to convey a condolence message from the Commissioner of Police, Maj-Gen Hussein Ali.

He termed the incident murder and asked the family to co-operate with investigators in bringing the killers to book.

He, however, said they had not established the motive of the shooting and were pursuing several angles, including a political one.

“From the look of things, it seems to be murder even though we cannot rule out politics,” he said.

Detectives from the Special Crimes Prevention Unit, the Flying Squad and those from Nairobi Area command have interrogated two people who are helping with investigations.

After visiting and consoling the family, Raila said: “It was an assassination targeted at reducing the partys majority in Parliament. We ask our supporters to mourn Were peacefully. The message from the ODM Parliamentary Group is that of peace and orderliness. Everyone must desist from acts of thuggery.”

He added: “This is the best description of the state of affairs in Kenya today. No Kenyan is safe, but the death will not cow us from our quest for justice.

“The grief that has struck this family is beyond description. We are in a state of shock,” he said.

Raila, who was flanked by Pentagon members, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Mr Najib Balala, Mr William Ruto and Mr Joseph Nyagah and more than 40 MPs, demanded the truth and motive of the murder.

An emotional Raila eulogised the slain MP, saying his life and blood would not go in vain.

“His blood will water the tree of liberation we will walk tall and stronger, we shall plant a flag on top of the mountain to remember him Were shall be remembered we will remember you brother,” a teary-eyed Raila said to colleagues and family members.

Among the MPs who expressed shock at the murder were Mr James Orengo, Mr Mohammed Aden, Deputy Speaker, Mr Maalim Farah, Mr Chris Okemo, Dr Sally Kosgei, Mr Orwa Ojodeh, Mr Alfred Odhiambo, Mr William ole Ntimama and Mr Fred Outa, among others.

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Posted by African Press International on January 30, 2008

Opening Remarks by Amb. Juma V. Mwapachu, Secretary General, East African Community
<Posted by Leo Odera Omolo-In Kampala Sunday 27th January,2008.
Mr. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile (Governor, Bank of Uganda and Chairperson of the EAC Monetary Affairs Committee),
Prof. Njuguna Ndungu (Governor, Central Bank of Kenya ),
Prof. Benno Ndulu (Governor, Bank of Tanzania ),
Mr. Franois Kanimba (Governor, National Bank of Rwanda ),
Mr. Gaspard Sindayigaya (Governor, National Bank of Burundi ),
Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the East African Community, I join the Governor of the Bank of Uganda in welcoming you to this meeting of the EAC Monetary Affairs Committee. The presence of all the five Central Bank Governors at this meeting testifies to the importance you attach to this Forum. It also clearly manifests your personal interest and commitment to promoting deeper integration in the EAC.
May I take this opportunity to extend a special warm welcome to Professor Benno Ndulu to this august Committee and meeting and to congratulate you, Governor, most sincerely on your recent appointment as Governor of the Bank of Tanzania. Personally, having known you closely for several years, I have total confidence that, under your leadership, the Bank of Tanzania will quickly recover the crucial trust of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and of the people of Tanzania following the recent damaging report on the management of the External Payments Arrears Accounts.
Chairperson, Distinguished Governors,
I am beholden to extend EACs deep appreciation to the Bank of Uganda and to the Government of the Republic of Uganda as a whole for hosting this meeting; for your warm hospitality and for the excellent facilities that have been put at our disposal.
This meeting, Distinguished Governors, takes place against the backdrop of a disturbing and tragic environment in Kenya , EACs main economic powerhouse. The EAC is deeply concerned by the post-general elections violence, loss of lives, wanton destruction of property and the continuing political impasse in Kenya . The economic dislocation that has so far emerged and which would deepen, if return to normalcy is delayed, is most worrisome to all the five Partner States, some affected more than others. Indeed, the very viability of the EAC project has now been put under heavy test. As you meet and deliberate on deepening our integration process, we cannot be oblivious of these testing events and of the hard lessons we must draw therefrom.
Evidently, the EAC political leadership has all along been seized of the difficult situation engulfing and confronting this important sister Partner State of the EAC. Last friday, I was in Bukoba where I met the Tanzanian President, His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, and was able to learn about his discussions with the Chairperson of the EAC Summit, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, on how to deepen EACs engagement in bringing about a modus vivendi and a rapprochement in the Kenyan political stalemate. On Monday this week, I had occasion to meet President Museveni at State House, Entebbe , and received assurances about what the EAC political leadership is doing in resolving the Kenyan political impasse. As you may be aware, President Museveni is now leading this effort from the frontline and on the ground.
Chairperson distinguished Governors,
Much as this is my first meeting with you, at this level, and thus the temptation is high, I am not going to act historian by recollecting the excellent work that this Committee has done in recent years in putting in place some of the key policy benchmarks and actions focused on monetary integration. Suffice to state that it is your commendable achievements, to-date, that has prompted the EAC Heads of State to believe that an EAC Monetary Union can be fast tracked and realized by 2012. Indeed, there is a directive by the 6th Extra-Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State that met in Ngurdoto, Arusha on 20th August 2007 that requires the EAC to explore how best we can move expeditiously towards the establishment of the Monetary Union by 2012.
In this context, I am aware that the Monetary Affairs Sub-Committee, comprising Senior Technical Officials from the Central Banks of the Partner States and from the EAC Secretariat, met in October last year to begin some ground work that would lead to the formulation of a strategic framework for fast tracking the establishing of the Monetary Union. The same Committee met over the last two days to further refine the work it undertook last October and which constitutes your working document at this meeting. I wish to pay tribute to this Sub-Committee for the hard work they have put in and the excellent document they have produced.
Chairperson, Distinguished Governors,
My hope, in this whole process, is that, as professionals, you will be bold enough to recognize that political will should always be ideally tested against realities on the ground. Monetary integration is complex and often shrouded in sensitive issues of sovereignty and economic preparedness. We should not, therefore, seek to re-invent the wheel. For instance, the experience of the European Union in moving towards and realizing the Monetary Union, which remains a quasi Union in that some key EU members still remain outside it, should constitute a useful lesson for our thinking and approach . As you know, the EAC is still grappling with the consolidation of the Customs Union. Yet, the process towards the establishment of the Common Market has already been launched with the aim of putting it in place, come January 2010.
So, yes, we must run while others walk, to cite a famous mantra of the Late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. However, some hard realities clearly stare us in the face, especially since we live in complex and challenging times, globally and in our region. As a start, EACs enlargement does not make our vision and resolve for deeper integration any easier.
One could pose the question, for instance, whether we should have a two-speed EAC on the Monetary Union issue? And if so, how then do we respond to the current Treaty requirement for the Council of Ministers and the Summit of Heads of State to make decisions on the basis of unanimity or consensus? In turn, should the decision to establish a Monetary Union be taken by the Summit or should it, as is the case in the EU, be subjected to a referendum in the Partner States?
But the hard realities that stare us in the face have other bearings outside politics as well. These are fundamentally economic. In fact, the Economic Affairs Sub-Committee of the Monetary Affairs Committee addresses some of them quite well in their Report before you. They largely centre on the wide variation in the desired macro-economic convergence criteria that has been set out for the EAC Partner States. At the same time, the state of economic development and of preparedness to embrace a single currency and being subjected to a central fiscal and monetary authority, lies at the heart of the challenge of fast tracking the Monetary Union.
Even in the EU, the desired convergence as set out in the Fiscal and Stability Pact remains a nightmare several years of its being in place. Thus, compliance to laid down benchmarks on issues such as inflation rates, budget deficits, state subsidies and protection of the so called national champions (strategic state and private industries) remains fluid in the EU. On our part, centralized enforcement of a similar Pact, under the EAC, would require, as a start, the development of a robust and well managed database and system of macro-economic fiscal and financial statistics. This remains a major deficit in the EAC organizational system. There will also have to be an East African Central Bank working closely with what will necessarily have to be an EAC Commission. In the EU, such relationship has only consolidated after sometime. All these dimensions constitute onerous challenges. They can be met; but we need to work on the basis of accepting complex realities on the ground.
Chairperson, Distinguished Governors,
I hope that my hard sobriety about the way forward in this work shall not dent our spirits and resolve. I personally believe in the benefits of a monetary union and, in a related context, I am presently working earnestly to have an East African Capital Market established at the earliest moment. In this regard, I truly hope that Governor Ndulu will quickly make sense of the need for Tanzania to fully liberalise its capital account.
Finally, I commend the proposals of the technical team to you as the basis for the way forward. The journey to our economic liberation through deeper integration through monetary union must go on and the first step, probably not a hop and step, is crucial and urgent.
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Posted by African Press International on January 30, 2008

odera-omolo.jpgBy Leo Odera Omolo
THE Republic of Tanzania has envisaged plan to set up 13 export processing zones ( EPZs) close to border areas to help its business community access markets in neighbouring countries.
The new initiative seeks to export locally manufactured goods such as conned fish and beef, juices, leather items, soft drinks, minerals products, furniture, textiles and garments to the region.
The focus, according to a source in Dar es Salaam, will be on Kenya, Malawi, Zambia Mozambique, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Although the concepts of duty. free EPZs has not done well in the region with such ventures failing in neighbouring Kenya and Uganda , the Tanzanian government has set a total of 2,000 hectares in its region such coast, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Morogoro, Mara, Ruvuma, Lindi, Tanga, Mbega, Kagera, Mtwara and Mwanza for the purpose.
The Director- General of the Export Processing Zones Authority, Dr. Adel Herm Meru said recently that the projects were expected to attract local investors who normally distance themselves from EPZ project in the belief that they are capital intensive.
Dr. Meru said EPZs have emerged as an effective instrument to boost export of locally manufactures products.
The zones set up as enclaves separated from the domestic Tariff Area by physical barriers, are intended to provide an internationally competitive duty free environment for export production at low cost he said, adding that the objectives of EPZs are to enhance foreign exchange earnings, develop export-oriented industries and generate employment opportunities.
Tanzania has so far licensed 23 forms under EPZ programme eight as developers and 13 as operators. These include reclaimed Appliances African Pride Textile, Tsubas Renewercar Mwananchi Gold Company and Kibo Trader Textiles.
Other are Net Health International, Victor Health, African Packing International, Metrec Tanzania, Dist century comprint internal and Nagoya Motors.
The country has three major Export processing zones millennium business parks and Hitadhi EPZ in Dar-es-salaam and A to Z in Arusha town
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Posted by African Press International on January 30, 2008

odera-omolo.jpgBy Leo Odera Omolo
Kisumu , Kenya
The Tanzanian government has leased the Kigoma port on Lake Tanganyika to a Burundi firm Maopi Operators- to run for fire year
This move was confirmed by Mr. Charles Kiondo, The director of Lake Port at the Tanzania Ports Authority. He told journalists that the Bujumbura based firm will manage the terminal instead of Agence Maritime International (AMI) whose contract of the port ended last year.
Mr. Kiondo further disclosed that Cramviport Muapis holding firm- will be required to revive the business and review the condition of the port for the first three years.
AMI ceased to operate the ports cargo terminal after a 15 years spell.
Trading under the name AMI port operations the Belgiam Company did not bid for a fresh contract.
AMI had a close working relationship with Kigoma and Dar es Salaam, which dates back to 1921. The firm used to have dedicated goods sheds and berths.
Kigoma port was built by the Belgium government in 1922 and commissioned five years later.
Ami was essentially an arm of Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo, which was established in 1895 to facilitate trade with the Belgiam Colony of Congo
The cargo terminal was initially owned by the defunct Tanzania Railways Corporation, (TRC) which leased it to AMI in 1995 for a five- year period in line with its policy of with drawing from direct operation, its non-core business.
The corporations subsidiary _ Maritime Service Company extended the leasing agreement with AIM in the year 2000.
The cargo terminal has a 301- metre ship berthing facility, goods storage sheds with a capacity to store 10,300 tonnes at a time and container stacking yard with an area of 3, 745 square metres, which can store up to 380 containers.
It also has an additional cargo storage facility with an area of 10,000 square metres . The port also has a 100 metre passenger quay with the capacity to handle 300,000 tonnes of cargo per annum.
The ports overall handling capacity is 500,000 tonnes of no- liquid cargo per year it has tanker berthing facility that can handle 30,000 tonnes of oil annually
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Posted by African Press International on January 30, 2008

odera-omolo.jpgBy Leo Odera Molo
Kisumu ,Kenya
IN the early 1980 and late 1990 the churches in Kenya, especially the Catholic and the Anglican, the two most powerful religions in this country were outspoken and took bold steps against injustice.
But the two influences churches in the country have maintained total silency against the ongoing slaughter and extra judicial killings in Kenya today. .
This is the hour when Kenyan needs a brave and principled Bishop who should stand and be counted
No wonder even Mr. Emilio Mwai Kibaki the man who is fragrantly, illegitimately and fraudulently sitting at the state house pretending to have won the presidential election which in actual sense he did not win at all, he said to be a staunched member of Catholic church !!.
In 1992, as the nation reeled from tribal skirmishes in parts of the Rift Valley the churches especially Catholic and Anglican, were bold and unsparring then. It was at the time when what was then referred as Land clashes spreading like bushfire from the Rift Valley, Nyanza, Coast and Western Provinces. And the Catholic Church confronted then President Moi with cruel facts.
In May 1992 the late Maurice Cardinal Otunga in the company of other Catholic prelates visited Moi at Estate House and told him to his face that the wananchi had lost faith in him and his government.
But in the current political impasses the head of Catholic Church in Kenya Cardinal John Njue appeared not to be sufficiently neutral. The Cardinal impartiality was seen in his numerous political utterances in the pre-election period, when he came out bold and hard on the ODM leadership. He openly supported re-election of President Kibaki to the chagrins of the church followers.
As a good Catholic I have lost my faith in the Church under Cardinal Njues leadership in the same way I have also detacted the utterances of other Bishops whose comments on religion. Matters are all hell-bent on politics. The political Bishops have no business hiding their tribal hatred towards the leadership of a certain community behind the pulpit..
The on-going political stalemate will be placed squarely at the doorsteps of the chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) Mr. Samuel Kivuitu.
Kivuitu was mandated to deliver a tree, fair and transparent election to the people of Kenya He and his commission had 5 years to prepare for the job. But instead he messed up with the election results.
The ECK has a tremendous pool of resources, skills, technical support, to draw on, including the experience and advice of his peers in the field leaders and exports in governance, Human Rights Electoral process and Constitutional Law.
Kivuitu has the trust of the 37 million Kenyans when the country as a whole has chosen the path and spoke through ballot papers em masses. This is the reason why, a record 65 per cent of the registered voters rose as early as 4 am on December 27 to vote.
Kenyans stood in lines for up to 10 hours in the blistering sun, without food, drink, toilet facilities. And as the results began filtering back they enthusiastically cheered when big names started tumbling. Minister after minister who includes the most powerful individuals lost their parliamentary seats.
The most encouraging results were those from the Rift valley province where the voters had categorically rejected the three sons of Daniel Arap Moi, the despot who looted Kenya for 24 years.
Kenyans had then spoken through the ballot, en masses against the mind- blowling greed, corruption, human rights abuses, callous dismissal and exploitation of the Kenyas poor that have characterized the Kibaki administration. The call for meaningful change became clear and loud.
But Kibaki wasnt going to go. When it become clear that Mr. Kivuitu was announcing vote tallies that differed sharply from those counted and confirmed in the constituencies and the figures counter- signed by the agents of the competing parties, there was also the incident of a sudden power black- out at the Kenyatta International Conference centre, where the returns were being announced.
Contingent of GSU (General Service Unit) paramilitary police suddenly marched in!!. All the representative of media houses, both local and international were ejected of the venue except the government mouthpiece, the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation ( KBC).
And strangely enough fifteen minutes later, Kenyan watched dumbfolded, as Mr. Kivuitu declared Mr. Kibaki the winner. And 30 minutes later Kenyan watched in sickened disbelief and outrage, as the chairman of the ECK handed the victory certificate to Mr. Kibaki on the lawns of State House where the Chief Justice, strangely enough has already arrived and was readily waiting while fully robed, to hurriedly swear him in!!!.
Surely Mr. Kivuitu you betrayed Kenyans. Perhaps theyll never know when, or why, the chairman of the ECK made that decision. One rumours claims Mr. Kivuitu was threatened with execution of his entire family. If he did not name Kibaki as presidential victor. When we heart it, we hoped it was true. Because at least we could understand why he chose instead to plunge our country into civil war.
Kenyans, however dont believe this rumour anymore. Not since Mr. Kivuitu appeared on TV looking tormented, sounding confused, contradicting himself, saying among other things, that did not resign because he did not want the country to call him coward but he was able to state with certainty that Kibaki won the election.
And following that with the baffling statement there are those around him (Kibaki) who should never have been born the camera operator has a sense of irony the camera shifted several times to the scroll on his wall that read Help me Jesus!.
As the Kenyan chapter of the international Jurists rescinded the jurists award of the year bestowed on Mr. Kivuitu, as The law society of Kenya ( LSK) strikes his name from their roll of honours and disbars him, one may be left wondering about what goes through Mr. Kivuitu mind these days!!.
Does Mr. Kivuitu really think of the 500,000 Kenyan displaced from their homes, their lives?.
Of the thousands still trapped in police stations, churches, any refuge they confined across the country? Without food, water, toilet, blankets and shelter?
Crops in fields ready for harvest razed to the ground? Of granaries filled with rotting grain, because no one can get to them? Of Nairobi slums residents of Kibera, Mathare, Huruma, Dandora ringed by GSU personnel and regular police, denied exit routes of access to medical treatment and emergency relief for the crime of being poor Kenya?
As the result of Mr. Kibakis cowardice actions Kenyan has plunged into a distasteful state of anarchy. This country will never be the same again.
The blood of the close to 1000 innocent Kenyan who perished in the chaos followed should be placed in the doorstep of Mr. Kivuitu and a few Kikuyu hardliners who masterminded the rigging of presidential voters.
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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) depends on copper – Zambia

Posted by African Press International on January 30, 2008

wilfred-zulu.jpgBy Wilfred Zulu
LUSAKA–Zambia, a country whose more than half of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) depends on copper has long complained of not maximizing benefits from its mineral resources that are run by mostly Australian, Chinese, Indian, and Canadian firms. But the country has now turned around to take a strong grip on its resources.
At a time when copper prices have in the last five years leaped to record highs of about UDD7,000 per tonne and the mines taking home a staggering USD4.7 million in profits for the period 2006/7 financial year, only USD142 million was paid to government in form of taxes and royalties.
Interestingly, the international financial institutions, which had initially persuaded government to sell the mines at what experts call for a song, have joined Zambians in calling for the review of the mining agreements that government signed with the mines during the time when metal prices were low because Zambia is now being deprived of its rightful share of mineral wealth.
A serious election issue in last years elections, President Levy Mwanawasa has responded by severing the concessions given to the mines and introduced measures that would see the treasury getting up to USD400 million fatter this year. The national revenue authority has also set-up a special unit to study the operations of the mines to ensure that no loop-holes are left seeping.
President Mwanawasa in his annual State of the Nation address at the opening of Parliament said the mining agreements government signed with the mines were unfair and unbalanced. He introduced windfall tax and increased tax rate from 31.7 percent to 47 percent and raised mineral royalty to three percent from 0.6 percent. He said the new tax regime would earn the country in excess of USD 400 million in the 2008/9 financial year.
The debate about the scandalous privatization of Zambias copper mines took a twist late last year when the World Bank conceded messing up the countrys sale of the mines.
The development agreements gave the new investors between 15 to 20 years to pay lowly pegged taxes, effective the date when the Agreements were made between 1997 and 2003.
On his recent visit to Zambia, World Bank vice-president for human development Joy Phumaphi admitted that the bank was responsible for the poor manner in which the mines were sold. The reason being that it (Bank) did not expect the price for the metal to shoot up – at least not within the next two decades.
Criticism has been rife in Zambia where the public has increasingly been attacking government, the World Bank and its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for selling, or causing to sale, the copper mines at a give away price and now that the market price for the metal has gone up, the foreign investors who are the owners are minting huge profits that are not trickling down to Zambians, of which 80 percent of the population is poor, according to government figures.
The single case that ignited deep public anger is the $25 million purchase of Konkola Copper Mine (KCM), Zambia largest copper mine, in 2004 by London Stock Exchange-listed Vedanta Resources. Within three months of operations, Vedanta was able to recoup its money with a staggering profit of $26 million on its bosom.
Zambias mining exports account for more than 70 percent of export earnings. Despite this, the mining companies contribute only 12 percent of corporate tax, according to the World Bank 2004 report on taxation in Zambia.
In last years budget, government indicated that it would receive less than $11 million from the royalties for copper mined in 2005. This was 0.1 percent of the value of production in that year. A 2001 IMF survey of tax and royalties in developing countries, says no any other African country charged royalties below two percent Zambias was 0.6 percent. According to the World Banks Doing Business database, the total tax rate on business in Zambia is 22 percent on average across the different sectors. This is the seventh lowest rate in the world. The other six lowest are Maldives, Vanuatu, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Samoa.
Why did Zambia agree to such low rates? Former Finance Minster Edith Nawakwi who was a signatory to the development agreements said: The IMF and World Bank forced us to privatise the mines because according to them, copper prices were not likely to increase for a very long time. So it would have been a big loss on the part of government to continue subsidizing the minesso you find in the Mines Act provisions for these unreasonably huge concessions. The companies were looking for a situation where they could be profitable. Today I think we are the lowest in the world and causing our people to be so poor yet watching their own money-spinning resource being enjoyed by foreigners.
As if the 0.6 percent mineral royalties is not low enough, very few mines are paying. The answer lies in the nature of the development agreements that give the firms plenty of leeway on how they can pay these royalties as well as exemptions in the first five years, such as when a firm has a zero cash-operating margin.
This has affected the governments ability to maximize revenues from copper. A report by the Zambia Chamber of Mines shows that the mining industrys contribution to the treasury was $200 million in 1992 when the copper price was $2,280 a tonne and Zambia produced 400, 000 tonnes. Comparatively, in 2004 when copper was at $2,868, government revenue was just over $8 million.
Experts add that between 2002 and 2004, Zambia lost $63 million in revenue that would have come in if the mineral royalty was at three percent. However, the high-prices and low-tax regime has led to an investment boom.
Figures from the Chamber of Mines investments in copper mines in its last seven years, 1990-1996, was around $125 million a year. After privatization, this went up to $350 million for the next seven years, 1997-2003.
Notwithstanding, government expects to use much of the revenue from the mines to invest in education, health and infrastructure development in rural areas. ENDS//
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Posted by African Press International on January 30, 2008

Editorial: (Thereleigious leadersstart their open letter with the following “the people of Kenya feel cheated ………. (Are they representing all the Kenyans? (API editorial)
The people of Kenya feel cheated and betrayed by 1st term of President Kibakis administration in the following areas:
1. In the year 2002 NARC Government was overwhelmingly voted into power, headed by President Kibaki on a platform of change on Zero tolerance to corruption, eradication of tribalism, equity and accountability.
a) The Kenyan people have not experienced meaningful change they were expecting as promised.
b) Corruption has doubled during Kibakis rule He failed to address grand corruption on Goldenberg and Anglo leasing which have robbed Kenya of colossal sums of monies.
c) Tribalism is at its highest point and can be seen in personnel and resource allocation, favouring mostly one community to the exclusion of over 40 other tribes of Kenya.
2. When Kibaki was elected he told Kenyans at UHURU PARK Dec 30, 2002, that he
would produce a new Constitution to ensure equity, good Governance and a just society
within a hundred days. This was not to be. With the exertion of a lot of pressure by Kenyans
he came up with a status quo Kilifi draft which Kenyans rejected in November 2005
3. Kenyans are people with a purpose and in 1992 fought for democratic space which ushered
in the first multiparty elections. When NARC came to power in 2002 under Kibaki, he began
stifling the democratic gains, and examples are many:
a) He went against the IPPG (Inter party parliamentary Group) Spirit of respecting political parties and democracy. In 2003 for example he lured several MPs from KANU then the official opposition party and others to join the Government without observing the rules of IPPG. The opposition party went to court but upto now the judiciary headed by Justice Evans Gicheru has not given a hearing date for the case.
b) Between 2003 2007 Kibaki blatantly disregarded democratic principles replacing the ECK with his cronies without giving other political registered parties a chance to nominate commissioners to the Electoral commission. This was again a manifestation of defiance against the Spirit . this is what brought the present problem when the new commissioners falsified figures and rigged election
c) Communities and politicians who voted against Kibakis Kilifi Constitution were ejected from their ministerial positions and in the Civil Service those perceived to be sympathizers of Bomas Draft were also ejected from their positions in the Civil Services and their desire to serve the Nation extinguished at prime age
4. Kenyans are yearning for a constitution they participated in making and that constitution is the BOMAS DRAFT CONSTITUTION which was a real face of Kenya, by Kenyans for Kenya. It took the input of all tribes, civil society, Government, Churches, special and Marginalized groups etc. it was about Wanjiku & Anyango, it was about reducing the power of the imperial presidency and devolution of power and resources to ensure equity, growth and development.
Without it:
a) No meaningful growth and development can be realized.
b) No commission of inquiry can be meaningful. We have had many inquiries under this failed constitution and no results have been forthcoming.
c) No good governance and respect for power and authority can be achieved. Kenyans would continue languishing in poverty and displacement in their own land.
d) No justice and lasting peace can be realized.
5. One of the most contentious issue haunting Kenyans and which we believe His Excellency Koffi Annan saw during his visit to the Rift valley is the issue of Land and settlement. Land owned by White settlers in Kenya, was to be purchased by the Kenyan Government through a grantly by the British Government way back in 1960s under the million acre scheme to resettle the Landless. The Government instead put that money into the hands of few individuals, who formed land buying companies eg Ngwataniro, Nyakirinywa and others and began pushing the people into the Rift Valley unprocedurally. Who bought the White Highlands? And who were settled in those Highlands as the British House of Commons had directed? Could it be only a few capitalist took all these millions of acres for themselves? If so what can be done to harmonize this anomaly?
6. we urge His Excellency Koffi Annan to also visit other regions affected by abuse of human right like Kisumu, Mombassa, Kakamega and Mumias and not only selected areas which government mandarins want him to go
7. The Party of National Unity andSome religious Leaders from the Main stream church
organizations who are not ready to stand for transparency are now pushing for the formation
of truth and justice commission to
address what is happening in the country. Yes, if the truth be told then it should cover all
historical injustices from 1960s and this is only possible when there is a new constitutional
dispensation (Bomas Constitution) which has the capacity to turn the Country around.
Kenyans must have faith in their spiritual Leaders like the Prophets of old
7. Lastly is the issue of insecurity and the Government security apparatus as left a lot to be
a) That the Ugandan Troops have been deployed in several parts of Nyanza, Rift valley and Western Provinces of the Republic of Kenya.
b) That warrior Like groups eg the Mungiki are being transported from Central Kenya & Nairobi to the Vast Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western Province on a killing mission.
We want to observe the following: –
a) Kenya is a sovereign state and no foreign troops can pass on to Kenya without the knowledge of parliament. Kenya is not ripe for occupation by a foreign troop. We will not be occupied by Ugandans.
b) If warriors were to be used to protect citizens, then we are afraid we can be one of the failed states of the world as every tribe would then raise an army of its own warriors and you can imagine which way the country can go. God forbid!!
c) The current crisis was not planned in advance as alleged by certain groups of government sympathizers and other peddlers of untruth but was a spontaneous reaction by the voters against wanton rigging of their votes in the just concluded general elections. It is not logical for Kibaki to be perceived as the winner in the election with a lead in only two Provinces and the rigging was so massive that any sensible person can affirm that the elections was stolen. We should bear in mind what the Bible says in Proverbs 6: 30 31 thatYet when the thief is found, he must restore seven fold..
d) In the real sense it is hard to convince Kenyans that the Government can be formed with a minority since Hon. Mwai Kibaki only got 47 Members of Parliament while Hon. Raila Odinga got 99 Members of Parliament it is open to all Kenyans that ODM in the last general elections took the day with majority MPs and civic leaders.
Our prayer is that H.E Kofi Annan mediation talks lead to the formation of an interim government pending a presidential re run inorder for Kenyans to get a democratically elected government that will bring sigh and relief and put us back to the map of democracy.
God bless the Mediation Team.
God bless our Leaders.
God bless Kenya.
Dated 30th January 2008
Signed by Bishops


































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Posted by African Press International on January 30, 2008

Kenya woke up to the sad news of the death of MP Elect for Embakasi, Melitus Mugambe Were. As all Kenyans of goodwill we send our condolences to his family and friends. It is always tragic to lose a beloved husband, father, son and a Kenyan who made his debut for Parliament in 2007 in such a heinous way calculated by people who you call friends and who will cry and wail most at your funeral. As a nation, and for his constituents, we shall never know the difference he would have made in Embakasi and in Kenya in general. May the almighty God gave his family endurance and may he rest in eternal peace. Our hearts pull for the family of the late Hon Were.

Now to the matter of his death; Who is the MP , Hon Were, was little known in Embakasi politics, if you compare him to the heavier weights of the likes of Mwenje and Sumra, a Kenyan of Asian origin, who Kenyans saw battle it out, verbally and most of the time physically for the Embakasi seat. His death was crafted to gain political mileage in a brinkmanship style not witnessed in Kenya in a long time. He was a small fish that was easily expendable for the ODM to up the ante of their Orange Revolution. His second wife is also a Kikuyu, his death was crafted to ignite fires among tribes, instill fear in MPs, make the government defensive and if possible push it out. Who would be the first suspect to kill the late MP?

The crafters knew this would be placed at the door step of his ardent rivals, would it be Sumra, maybe, but definitely Mwenje. Why Mwenje? Let us take you back to a month ago. When the ODM war against Kenyans began, with the political school of Ruto, they targeted to kill the Kikuyus and most important, drive them away from RV, Western and Coast, then demand a re-election and ensure no PNU or affiliated candidate would garner 25% in these 3 provinces, add Nyanza to it and the candidate would have lost the presidency despite popular vote. For one month, Ruto has supervised the killing of Kikuyus and wanton destruction that has rivaled the battles Kenyans fought for independence. No one in the ODM camp came out to condemn the killing.
After the initial skirmishes across various towns in Kenya, it became obvious that the genocide against Kikuyus was only being perpetrated by Ruto through his Karamojong militia. The Luos continued to fight, but their destruction was mainly concentrated on rampage to destroy infrastructure, their wanton killing of Kikuyus had subsided. Which other major group did not sustain the genocide and retreated back to rebuild their lives in realization that politics and politicians come and go, but poverty will remain if people did not work hard the Luhyas. Therefore MP Were and his numbered days enter into the equation.

Why will Mwenje be a suspect? From last week, the country has witnessed the Kikuyus waking up to defend themselves and some fierce battles have been fought over the weekend. The full scale war is still between the Kikuyus and the Kalenjins with the Luos continuing with their demonstrations. All along the Luhyas have been quite silent, Mudavadi as the VP in waiting has not marshaled a lot of venom, the Luhya leaders have not urged their people to rise and kill the Kikuyus, and they had to be made to join the fray. It was therefore calculated to eliminate Hon. Were, he was little known, and quite expendable in the ODM genocide campaign of a revolution to grab power by whatever means necessary. The brutal murder of the Hon Were the MP for Embakasi by ODM militiamen is aimed at achieving the following objectives: Blame Mwenje read the Kikuyus that they are killing the Luos and an MP of the Luhyas. Sources have confirmed that the ODM think tank knew it would be easy to blame Mwenje, he has not been known to be soft in the belly and has been rumored to use gangs to terrorize his opponents in the past in the slum areas. However, his ability, if he did, was only on the use of crude method of slum fighting using pangas and machetes and rungus, and not the sophisticated execution of an MP in an elite neighborhood of Woodley. This would shield the ODM perpetrators from scrutiny by placing the death squarely on Kibaki’s door step. That the president has invited ODM MPs for a meeting in Statehouse today, lends a lot of credence to this.

Inflame the Luhya who were the majority voters who voted the MP in, force them to join the killing orgies against the Kikuyus. Embakasi constituency’ s composition is mainly PNU and affiliated parties supporters. It has over 247,000 registered voters. The major slums that traverse the constituency are: Mukuru, Sinai, Lungalunga, other densely populated areas are Dandora, Kayole, Ruai, Komarock, Umoja, Donholm, Embakasi area itself. The majority tribe here is the Kikuyus followed by Luhyas, a sizeable mix of Kambas as they border Kangundo and of course Luos. However, the PNU+ affiliates lost because of fielding many candidates and they split the votes as was witnessed in Kasarani as well. Thus the votes that the late MP got were mainly from the Luyhas who make the second majority. To the Luhyas, this was their MP in the city beside Gumo, his death is crafted to look like a continuing Kikuyu revenge and succeed in setting the Luhyas against the Kikuyus. The riots that have been witnessed attest to this. The ODM power barons with the use of the media come out strongly as has happened and call it political assassination; inflame passions, locally and internationally. The timing is very apt with Kofi Annan trying to mediate an amicable solution.

The ODM has felt it can hold international sway even with Kofi Annan as convinced by Raila’s spokesman, Salim Lone (remember he owned Viva magazine in the 1980s and the ensuing fallout with the then government) who was a Director of Communication in Annan’s administration in the UN and they personally got to know each other well after the bombing of UN offices in Baghdad. However, Mr. Annan is whole lot smarter than that as was witnessed by the political, managerial and administrative ability he exuded to steer the UN to great heights in his ten year tenure. He has successfully tackled more wily politicians that would make ODM machinery look like farex baby food.

The late MP was a cheap target to eliminate, remember he is married to a Kikuyu, true sons of the lake do not marry thieves as Raila would like to remind Kenyans over and over again and especially not after 2007 general elections. On 24th December 2007, during Raila’s exit speech, he spoke in dholuo and forced Mudavadi to speak in Maragoli language. Amongst his hate speech to his people was to ensure they elected 3 piece in Nairobi, he wanted to have all his MPs in the City to carry out his ethnic cleansing even in Nairobi, which is perceived to be a Kikuyu stronghold. MP Were was elected, fair enough he is ODM, but another stronger man had lost, a closer ally of RO a staunch supporter who would die for him and who would execute his commands without a second thought. The man has displayed a lot of muscle strength and little acumen in brain power, he was a boxer and that is Rueben Ndolo. He lost the Makandara seat to PNU former Mayor of Nairobi, Dick Wathika. The loss was so tragic that when the returning officer announced the results, Ndolo woke and congratulated Wathika with a hard fist (boxed him) that connected his cheek. Ndolo was arrested and later released. Thus, even if Were was ODM, a stronger candidate and supporter had lost and a constituency had to be curved out for him by blood, to ensure ODM’s stranglehold of city affairs.

Therefore exit Were, enter Ndolo into Embakasi. ODM is not interested in mediation, reconciliation, peace and those other niceties and adjectives that civilized societies use. They are good students of revolution that sacrifice masses for their naked unbridled ambition to power. RO’s stakes to presidency are so high that we ask;

who is the next on line? Kenyans will continue to watch.

Dr.Abdallah Fatehali Executive Director,
Communications and Public Relations
People Foundation, Inc,

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Let me start by saying; I’m a kikuyu; my parents originated in the central province

Posted by African Press International on January 30, 2008

New comment on your post #240 “Kenya: Does Raila Odinga “hate the Kikuyu community?””
Author : Ndegwa (IP: ,
Quoting Laura “One ethnic group has terrorized our beloved country. We break our backs and crack our learned brains for their sole benefit. We contributed taxes and yet we do not see what it does outside of Central province. The Kikuyus have used corruption and violence (ask the former colonialists) to take and control power”

Let me start by saying; I’m a kikuyu; my parents originated in the central province (my grandmothers home). I was born and brought up in the Rift Valley; My dad was a primary school teacher (now retired)who was posted in the Rift Valley, Laikipia to be exact. My mother has been a house mum all her life. Ours was a typical village family – 7 kids to raise and take through school. through sheer struggle, He managed to educate each of us up to the secondary school.

Mercifully, the education then was not as expensive as it is today. My mother did all kinds of odd jobs to supplement dad’s meager salary. We ploughed other people’s shambas to raise money for food, school fees etc. By God’s grace, my parents managed to buy a piece of land call it a plot really coz it’s only 0.87ha. We attended schools in the Rift Valley. And went to colleges in various parts of this country. After college, my siblings and i who were older helped educate my younger siblings. My first job was with the government of kenya where i was earning less than shs 4000 and paying college fee for my brother which was shs 12000. Those are many years ago. My dad is now 72, my mother is 65. Presently, my mother is a small scale horticultural farmer (more aptly peasant??), who farm french beans and snow peas and sells to horticultural firms. My dad only employment is 3 cows, which on a good day/season will produce 15 litres of milk. I supplement his income by sending him a small amount of money every month. I pay taxes to the government of kenya in excess of kshs 700 000 every year.

Laura, if you live in Kenya you know several people with a story similar to mine–accross all communities. Watching the families that are being evicted from Rift Valley, do they look like rich people at all? Do they look like people for whom the ‘rest’ of the country have broken their backs and and cracked their learned brains for?

Laura, here is my humble point: when you put a branket condemnation about a community that has terorised the country, for whom you have toiled and paid taxes, are you being honest? Who, I wonder, benefits from this kind of deceit? We are talking about change and a new vision for this nation – that is what we are all crying for. That change will not come by this kind stereotyping and tribal based propaganda. I reast my case… but not before quoting from Theodore Roosevelt’s famous speech of The Man in the Arena..

Quoting Theodore”Of one man in especial, beyond any one else, the citizens of a republic should beware, and that is of the man who appeals to them to support him on the ground that he is hostile to other citizens of the republic, that he will secure for those who elect him, in one shape or another, profit at the expense of other citizens of the republic. It makes no difference whether he appeals to class hatred or class interest, to religious or antireligious prejudice. The man who makes such an appeal should always be presumed to make it for the sake of furthering his own interest.

The very last thing an intelligent and self-respecting member of a democratic community should do is to reward any public man because that public man says that he will get the private citizen something to which this private citizen is not entitled, or will gratify some emotion or animosity which this private citizen ought not to possess.” End of Quote

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Kenya – Efforts for peace by Koffi Annan

Posted by African Press International on January 30, 2008

From: Joseph KITUI
Sent: 29 January 2008 14:56

Cant stop him!!

Kitui Joseph

He has left my Office to your Office

Walking for peace in Kenya! This man is walking

the World for peace in Kenya. Please pass him

on so that he can reach his destination. Say a

prayer then pass him on to bless others. 

His assignment is to spread a word of love,peace

and torelance throughout the country. Have a blessed

day and touch somebody’s life today! He’s walking

around the country – via e-mail!! Pass it on so he

can get there.

Farmers Choice Limited

Office Tel: 020 811722 / 811180 – 90

Office Fax: 020 812123



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Fighting rocks Eastern DRC

Posted by African Press International on January 30, 2008

Kinshasa (DR Congo) Violent fights on Monday morning opposed the troops of deposed General Laurent Nkunda to the armed group of the Congolese Resisting Patriots (PARECO), reliable sources told APA.

PARECO accused the National Congress for Peoples Defence (CNDP, the political and military movement of Nkunda) of attacking first their positions.

Reacting to that accusation, CNDP said they retaliated to an attack of PARECO who wanted to plunder the properties of the population. The fighting has caused a wave of displaced people.

This fighting comes after the representatives of armed groups operating in Northern and Southern Kivu (in Eastern DRC) had last Wednesday in Goma signed an Act of commitment pledging to “entirely and immediately cease hostilities across all Northern and Southern Kivu provinces”.

The Act of commitment indicates that starting from the signing of the document, the parties concerned commit themselves to formally issue written orders to their troops for the cessation of hostilities with copies to the MONUC, SADC, and CEEAC (the Economic Commission of Central African States).

The signatories also accepted to refrain from embarking in any action that could be harmful for peace and security in the two provinces.

Besides, the Act of commitment stipulates that a joint “Peace and Security” technical commission would be set up by the government under the facilitation of the international community to examine and finalize the compliance with and application of the Act.

On its side, the Congolese government had already ordered the armed forces of the DRC (FARDC), the government.

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Peace and security council members elected – AU

Posted by African Press International on January 30, 2008

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) The African Union Commission elected on Tuesday evening nine new members of its Peace and Security Council (PSC), APA learnt here.

The members are Burundi, Chad, Rwanda, Uganda, Tunisia, Swaziland, Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali.

The election of these countries was welcomed by international civil society organizations that are closely following the summit in Addis Ababa.

Oxfam, Femmes Africa Solidarity (FAS) and International Refugee Rights (IRRI) congratulated the newly elected members and called upon the council to allow people directly affected by conflicts top address them.

“The council in its five years of existence has performed an important and difficult role in dealing with Africas numerous conflicts. The new council must prioritize the protection of civilians and in particular, women and girls in Sudan, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo among others. We hope the new members will bring fresh energy to the councils work,” said Bineta Diop of FAS in a statement after the election was announced.

Diop went on to say that is unacceptable that in its five years of existence, the PSC has denied access to those directly affected by the conflicts and to civil society organizations. This access is vital, because it is civil society groups who work directly with those affected by conflict,” he said.

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