Saturday 20 January 2018
(The Associated Press 12/20/17)
Ninety-two people were killed during Kenya’s months of election turmoil and dozens of others were sexually assaulted, a human rights watchdog said Wednesday. Most victims “were felled by the bullet” and authorities must account for “how the officers under their command used the live ammunition that had been assigned to them,” according to the report of the independent Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. The group reported 86 cases of sexual or gender-based violence, saying it was “extremely worried” by the emergence of sexual violence “as a weapon of subjugation” during political contests. Opposition leader Raila Odinga has accused Kenyan security forces of killing scores of his supporters. Police have denied it. They also called a recent Human Rights Watch...
(Xinhuanet 12/20/17)
Kenya will implement stringent regulations to curb road carnage that reached a peak this month, officials said on Tuesday. James Macharia, Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure, said the government will intensify policing at accident blackspots and crack down on errant motorists this festive season. "We have mapped the blackspots in major highways especially the northern corridor from Mombasa to the Ugandan border with a view to put adequate measures and make them safer," said Macharia. He spoke to reporters in Nairobi in the wake of a rising toll of road accidents in the country that have so far claimed 180 lives since the start of December. Macharia decried the untimely loss of lives along the roads due to gross...
(The Associated Press 12/20/17)
The world must do more to help millions of refugees across sub-Saharan Africa, which hosts more than a quarter of the world’s refugees, the United Nations said Tuesday. U.N. refugee chief Filippo Grandi spoke to reporters while visiting what until recently was the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, in Kenya. “You know, it is very difficult to fund programs in Africa. I am not ashamed to say it,” Grandi said, adding that he fights “all the time” for more aid. Some of the world’s poorest countries, including Uganda and Ethiopia, host hundreds of thousands of refugees from South Sudan and elsewhere. Kenya’s government wants Dadaab, which hosts over 230,000 inhabitants, shut down, but the U.N. is urging patience and says...
(Xinhua 12/20/17)
Kenya's Tana River Basin is expected to see a 43 percent increase in rainfall due to climate change, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) said on Tuesday. In a report issued in Nairobi, the IWMI said the basin, which has been grappling with erratic rainfall patterns coupled with severe droughts, is set to experience downpours in the near future thanks to global warming. "The rainfall in the basin will likely increase over the rest of the 21st century with a change of up to 43 percent in mean annual rainfall," said the report. The report warned of challenges that come with the change in rainfall, including destructive floods that could outweigh benefits without proper planning. "The large increase in the...
(The Associated Press 12/20/17)
Kenya’s economy has suffered after months of political turmoil that saw a presidential election nullified and a repeat vote boycotted by the opposition. The Kenya Private Sector Alliance says businesses had lost about $7 billion by November as a result of the instability that also left dozens killed. The World Bank this month lowered Kenya’s growth forecast for this year to 4.9 percent, the worst in five years. Tourism in East Africa’s economic hub has been hurt. Simon Kabu, chief executive officer of Bonfire Adventures, says financial losses have been huge. Instead of seeing tens of thousands of foreign tourists in recent months, they have had fewer than 100. Financial analyst Aly Satchu Khan says the slowdown has led to...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with his wife and four children after spending four years at a camp in Chad, telling AFP: "Now we've no other family. Now you are our family." The new refugees -- also hailing from Sudan --...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
Kenyan security forces raped, beat and assaulted civilians during violence in recent elections, Human Rights Watch said Thursday. "There was widespread sexual violence against women and girls, and sexual attacks on men," HRW said, in a report titled, "They were men in uniform." The violence, documented during Kenya's election in August by HRW and other rights groups, recorded "police use of excessive force against protesters, killings, beatings and maiming of individuals, looting and destruction of property." The report was based on interviews with 65 women, three girls and three men who were sexually attacked. About half of rapes reported to HRW were gang rapes. "About half of the women interviewed said that they were raped by policemen or men in...
(Xinhuanet 12/14/17)
Death toll from an accident at the Sachangwan blackspot along the busy Nakuru-Eldoret highway on Tuesday has risen to 30, police have confirmed. Regional criminal investigation commander Gideon Kibunja said the midday accident involved 13 vehicles, including a trailer, a commuter bus, minibuses and private vehicles. Kibunja said the accident occurred when a trailer driver who was reportedly being pursued by National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) officials lost control of the truck and hit oncoming vehicles. He said the driver later crashed into a commuter bus, which then caused a pile-up involving two other public service vehicles and several private cars. Survivors were rushed to hospitals in Nakuru town, with rescue teams indicating that the causalities are likely to...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Kenya's opposition has postponed a ceremony to swear in its leader Raila Odinga as a parallel president after a controversial poll it boycotted, the party said Sunday. The National Super Alliance (NASA) had planned to inaugurate Odinga on Tuesday -- Kenya's independence day. The veteran politician had pulled out of the national election won by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The party said the decision to put back the swearing-in ceremony and launch of a new People's Assembly to a later date was made "following extensive internal consultations and engagement". Kenya's attorney general has said holding the alternative inauguration would amount to "treason" -- a crime punishable by death -- although Kenya has not executed anyone for 30 years. NASA said in...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/11/17)
Kenya’s opposition said on Sunday it had postponed plans to swear in its leader Raila Odinga as an alternative president, easing political tensions and opening a window for possible talks with the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Opposition coalition NASA had planned to publicly “inaugurate” Odinga at a rally on Tuesday, Kenyan independence day, in what the attorney general said this week would be an act of treason. [nL8N1O71U8] Kenyatta was re-elected as Kenya’s president with 98 percent of the vote in a repeat election held on Oct. 26 which Odinga boycotted. He had beaten Odinga in the original poll, held in August, which was nullified by the Supreme Court on procedural grounds following opposition allegations of vote-rigging and other...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group in the Middle East," Chergui told a meeting in Algiers, according to the Algeria Press Service news agency. "The return of these elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability and requires specific treatment and...
(AFP 12/07/17)
Months of electoral upheaval, sporadic unrest and economic slowdown have hit young Kenyans hard, a nationwide youth survey found Thursday. The struggle to make ends meet has left them disillusioned, apathetic and angry, according to the annual survey of nearly 3,000 Kenyans aged 15-24 years conducted by Well Told Story, a communications, research and production company in Nairobi. "Economic crisis does not spare anyone," said Anastasia Mirzoyants-McKnight, the company's head of knowledge and learning. Compared with 2016, "young people are unhappier, taking more risks and have less money," the research found. Nearly two-thirds of young Kenyans are struggling to pay for daily basics such as food and transport, up from around a half last year, and saving for the future...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
The African Union has upped its goal to repatriate stranded migrants from Libya, saying in a statement that it aims to bring 20,000 Africans home in the next six weeks. Pressure has grown on the continental body and individual African states to get their citizens out of Libya after CNN broadcast a report showing black Africans being sold as slaves in the north African country. The African Union had earlier said it wanted to repatriate 15,000 migrants by the year's end, but increased its goal after a task force - including AU, European Union and United Nations officials -- met earlier this week.
(AFP 12/07/17)
Irene Akinyi Odinga has lead poisoning. With no money for treatment, the young mother of two stares death in the face. "I feel very bad," the 25-year-old tells AFP on the sidelines of a UN pollution conference, shivering in a thick jacket in the warm Kenyan sun. "I have constant headaches. I cannot walk long distances, I can't even cook for my own children." Odinga is one of dozens of inhabitants of the Owino Uhuru slum near Mombasa, Kenya's second-largest city, who say they were poisoned by a plant recycling lead-acid batteries, the type used in cars. "My father, my brother, my husband all worked at the smelter," Odinga says. "I washed their (work) clothes." She suspects this is how...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Irene Akinyi Odinga has lead poisoning. With no money for treatment, the young mother of two stares death in the face. "I feel very bad," the 25-year-old tells AFP on the sidelines of a UN pollution conference, shivering in a thick jacket in the warm Kenyan sun. "I have constant headaches. I cannot walk long distances, I can't even cook for my own children." Odinga is one of dozens of inhabitants of the Owino Uhuru slum near Mombasa, Kenya's second-largest city, who say they were poisoned by a plant recycling lead-acid batteries, the type used in cars. "My father, my brother, my husband all worked at the smelter," Odinga says. "I washed their (work) clothes." She suspects this is how...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end of 2016. That number does not include those who have fled across borders to seek refuge, with UN figures showing there were more than 5.6 million refugees in Africa by end of last year. Internal displacement has soared in a...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our world should not threaten the sustainability of our great achievements in the AIDS response," he warned. "We cannot afford to lose our gains. If we want to end this epidemic, we must act now and act differently." About 36.7 million...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Hosts Kenya scored two first-half goals to beat 10-man Rwanda to launch their Cecafa Challenge Cup campaign on Sunday. The Kenyans could have won by an even bigger margin at the newly refurbished Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, in Western Kenya, but for the performance of Rwandan goalkeeper Eric Ndashimiye. Masoud Juma scored the opening goal on 25 minutes after Rwanda defender Kayumba Soter conceded a penalty. Duncan Otieno doubled the lead on 38 minutes following a slick exchange with AFC Leopards team-mate Whyvonne Isuza, as Kenya coach Paul Put made a winning start in his first match in charge. Rwanda, who are using the tournament to prepare for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco, were reduced to 10...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where all the residents, numbering several thousand, were "living in inhumane conditions" and were desperate to return home. "We have agreed, along with the EU and the UN, to set up a task force for repatriating at least 3,800 people," Moussa...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.

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