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Archive for September 17th, 2012

Kenya: Tension simmering in Kisumu City

Posted by African Press International on September 17, 2012

MAURICE ALAL, reporting from Kisumu. Kenya Maurice Alal.API reporter Kisumu.Kenya Maurice Alal.API reporter Kisumu.Kenya

Tensions have engulfed the streets of Kisumu City of Kenya following the skirmishes between two rival groups dubbed the “China and “America” on retaliatory attacks that have paralyzed business activities in the region.

The skirmishes are reported to have started on Saturday night when members of the China group attacked a member of American group whom they beat up at a supermarket.

The man is said to have sustained serious injuries that angered his group members who vowed to take law into their own hand if no action were taken immediately by the police.

When they learn that no arrest has been made over the attack the angered youth armed with pangas, swords and rungus destroyed several
business premises worth millions of shillings before engaging the police in a running battle forcing police to lobby tear gas canisters to quell the high tense situation.

The Americans groups also looted several butcheries belonging to one of the China group leader. During the incident a vehicle was burnt within the Central Business District (CBD) of Kisumu City in the revenge attacks.

It also emerged that the two rival groups have not been in good terms with each group wanting to control the business kiosks and political rallies held in the region.

However, the Americans are accusing the police of taking side with China group making them not to take any action despite being informed about the incident prior.

“We informed the police over the attacks. We also gave them an ultimatum that failure to arrest the attackers we would take law into our own hands,” said the angered group, adding that police know the attackers and found them with the crude weapons but failed to made an arrest.

The District Commissioner and top police Willy Cheboi and Musa Kongoli confirmed the incident saying several people have been arrested over the attacks with some arraigned in court toady and charged with assaults.

The incident has left several youths with seriously injuries. The ongoing tension today saw the charged group (America) stormed the Kisumu High Court demanding for the immediate arrest of a suspect said to have sought protection in the court.

However, members of public have also accused the police of laxity and colluding with criminals making the city insecure. They further called for immediate transfer adding that the Officer Commanding of Kondele Police Station and that of Kisumu Central to be investigated over criminal activities.

While responding to the matter the commissioner appealed to the rowdy youth to be calm as police try to find an amicable solution.He further warned the youth to avoid violence especially now that the country is heading to general election.


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I am Al-Shabaab: A man causes laughter as he tells a Nairobi court of his activities

Posted by African Press International on September 17, 2012 Abdimajid Yassin Mohamed alias Ali Hussein (left) and Omar Abdi Adan alias Salman Abdi (right) appearing in a Nairobi court on 17th September 2012 Abdimajid Yassin Mohamed alias Ali Hussein (left) and Omar Abdi Adan alias Salman Abdi (right) appearing in a Nairobi court on 17th September 2012

The court and those in attendance did not expect any of the accused to admit guilt and that they were members of the terrorist organization. Yassin (left) proudly addressed the court admitting guilt shocking those present in the courtroom..

He was found in possession of an arsenal of arms in Nairobi and due to his confession the court has ordered he undergoes a psychiatric examination before a court rules on his fate.

Mr Abdimajid Yassin Mohammed alias Ali Hussein while appearing in a parked courtroom on Monday shocked everyone when he pleaded guilty to many charges linking him to terrorism.

His companion charged with him, Mr Omar Abdi alias Adan Salman Abdi, a Somali, denied being a member of Al-Shabaab. However, he told the court that he was in the country illegally.

The court warned Mr Yassin many times of the penalty he faced if he confessed his membership in a terror organization, but the man smiled and told the court that there was no doubt he was a fully fledged member. He maintained that the police had charged him with the rightly. He maintained that the accusations against him were true.

The Magistrate Lucy Nyambura directed that Mr Yassin must be examined before the case can continue. She set the date for continuance to the 20th of  September.

While admitting his offence, Mr Yassin told the court that the police arrested him on the 14th of September on Eastleigh’s 4th street second avenue. During the arrest, he said, the police found him  with a cache of firearms. Four suicide vests ready for use were also found in his possession, he told the packed courtroom.. he court heard he was found in possession of the improvised explosive vests weighing 30 kilograms, four AK 47 assault rifles bullets and grenades.

When he was accused in court by the police of being in Kenya illegally, Yassin told the court that he was Kenyan, born here in Kenya. His accomplice admitted he was in Kenya illegally.

The court was told the weapons were found in a rented house where the two men stayed in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate. In the house, the police found four AK-47 assault rifles, four suicide bomb vests, two home-made bombs, 480 rounds of ammunition, and 12 ready-for-use hand grenades.




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Norway condemns attacks on diplomatic missions

Posted by African Press International on September 17, 2012

“Norway condemns the attacks over the last few days on Western diplomatic missions. Violence of this kind cannot be justified under any circumstances,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

Ensuring security for diplomatic and consular missions is essential if diplomacy is to function effectively.

“Under international law, the receiving state has responsibility for the security of diplomatic and consular missions and their staff,” said Mr Støre, who stressed that the situation of Norwegian personnel was being reviewed on an ongoing basis.

The recent unrest clearly indicates that there is a need for more, not less, communication and understanding between the Arab world and the West. Active diplomacy is more important than ever.

“Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. However, I am critical of provocative acts or statements that are deliberately intended to cause insult to other people’s faith. The right to protest is a key element of democracy, towards which more and more Arab countries are striving. But protests must be carried out peacefully and all use of violence must be fought against and condemned,” said Mr Støre.





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Kenya: Education system paralysed due to teachers strike

Posted by African Press International on September 17, 2012 Maurice Alal.API reporter Kisumu.Kenya Maurice Alal.API reporter Kisumu.Kenya

BY MAURICE ALAL, reporting from Kisumu, Kenya

The Kenya National Parents Association- Nyanza Chapter of Parents Association (KNCPA) have challenged the government to speed up negotiation with teachers to end the ongoing strike that has paralysed learning activities for the last two weeks. Some of the most affected institutions include Primary, Secondary and University especially the public owned ones.

The teachers are said to have opted for strike after it emerged that the government was reluctant to meet their salary increment of 300% that will saw the least earning teachers to get Shs. 39,000. This include the rent, travelling, hardship and medical allowances.

The strike comes only two months to the Kenya National Examinations
leaving the children in a state of confusion with the government insisting that the strike was illegal.

However, the parents from Nyanza region led by Regional Chairman Mr.
Jackson Omollo said that the ongoing strike will lead to drastic decline in performance if no quick action is taken by the government.

On the other hand the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kenya Union of Post Primary Education (KUPPET) and the University counterpart officials who insist that they would not go back to class before their demands are cleared.

They urged the government to fulfil the agreement that was signed in 1997 and 2002 which have not been honoured despite of the negotiation between teachers and government.

Omollo also said that children spend a lot of time in school without teachers to care for them hence exposing them to insecurity.

The chairman told the two principal, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki to intervene for a possible solution to put an end to the ongoing strike.

However, the parents have accused the government stop intimidating and
threatening of teachers saying that the move will only fuel violence and called for dialogue.

“Without proper dialogue between teachers and the government, education system will go down in the country” Omollo said, adding that it is the parents who feel the pain of the strike especially the poor.

The chairman has also asked the parents to be patient and take care of their children especially the girl child who can easily be lured into sexual activities.

But the Nyanza parents revealed that they will go for demonstration if the notice given to the government by the Nyanza Parents Chapter Association over matter is not solved immediately.

“We as parents will go to court to compel the government to pay teachers their salary increment according to the signed agreement,” Omollo said. He further urged the government to postpone the National examination dates if the strike continues.

However, the strike comes barely two weeks after the countrywide doctors strike that paralyses health services in the public hospital over the same salary increment that they alleged has not been fulfilled.


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Kenya Police: Robbing accident victims is immoral

Posted by African Press International on September 17, 2012

By MAURICE ALAL, reporting from Kisumu. Kenya Maurice Alal.API reporter Kisumu.Kenya Maurice Alal.API reporter Kisumu.Kenya

When an accident occurs, you would expect that people rushing to the scene have one intention to save life. But it seems in Kisumu County of Nyanza Region people rushing to accident scenes have another intention.

The police in the region are now warning that cases of accident
victims being defraud are on the rise, and want the residents to
desist from the trend.

Top police boss, Musa Kongoli is concerned that cases of accidents victims falling into prey of the people who would have otherwise helped them are on the rise in Kisumu and its vicinity.

This, he says, must now stop. In one of the incidents, the police chief cites an incident in which a notorious pick pocket believed escaped death by a whisker and ended being locked up in a cold room together with dead bodies at Jaramogi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu City.

The man had failed in his attempt to steal a mobile phone from the dead. He had pretended he wanted to identify a relative whom he claimed was among those killed in the grisly road accident.

However, he was spotted by a mortuary attendant soon after he ransacked the pocket of one of the accident victims and fished out a mobile phone.

The mortuary attendant raised an alarm prompting an intervention from mourners who had come to collect their dead by beating him senseless before security guards manning the facility intervened.

Similar act of stealing was witnessed last months at the accident scene where 26 people lost their lives on spot at Mamboleo junction, Kisumu- Kakamega highway when a lorry packed with sugar from Mumias town (Western region) on transit to Kisumu rammed into two Nissan matatus.

A well-known female conductor who was in the Kakamega vehicle was robbed of all the day’s collection after one of the bold suspect courageously ransacked the pockets and fished out a huge wad of notes and disappeared into the dark night.

A section of Kisumu city and its environ the residents over the last three months have been seen rushing into the disaster scenes when a petroleum tankers veered off-road, fire out-break and recently the grisly accident off Kisumu-Kakamega road to loot fuels, goods and valuables of the accident victims.

These are what the police chief now wants to put a stop to. His message is one; if you rush to an accident scene, do so with the intent to save life and not to rob or steal from the victims.


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