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Many killed and injuried in Kenian demostration

At least seven people were killed and more than ten injured in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday when a deadly confrontation ensued between police, demonstrators, and the general public at a protest to petition the arrest of Jamaican-born radical Muslim cleric, Abdullah el-Faisal

El-Faisal was recently released from a British prison where he spent the last four years of his life for his role in various terrorist plots, including the July 2005 London Bombings.

After being refused entry to his native Jamaica in addition to several East African nations, el-Faisal entered Kenya on December 24, 2009 after having gone via Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, Swaziland, Malawi and Tanzania. Kenyan authorities arrested him after he was red-flagged in an immigration database. Read More…

Kenyan floods hit 30,000 people

The United Nations has said that about 30,000 people have been affected by recent flooding in Kenya, caused by torrential rains. The organisation cautioned that a cholera epidemic may ensue as a result.

Heavy rains started in Kenya ten days ago, and are still falling. Kenyan police reported that 34 people died due to the rising waters.

“Heavy rainfall between 27 December 2009 and 5 January 2009 has caused massive flooding in northern, central and western Kenya leaving 30,000 people affected by floods,” commented a spokeswoman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Elisabeth Byrs. Read More…

Kenya accepts APRM review

Kenya has agreed to be reviewed by a team of African Union (AU) experts in November to assess the country’s political reform record. The review is to be conducted by the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

The review, which was sanctioned by the African Union Heads of States, will determine the Kenyan unity government’s performance since it was created last year, following a disputed election and resulting violence.

APRM Prime Minister Wycliffe Oparanya launched the preparatory activities for the assessment on Thursday. “The exercise will have particular emphasis on the institutions and stakeholders charged with carrying out the envisaged reforms,” Oparanya said. Read More…

Kofi Annan warns Kenya over future poll violence

In parting remarks made after a three-day visit to Kenya late on Wednesday, former UN chief Kofi Annan warned that the country risks returning to ethnic clashes if reforms are not implemented.

Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan

“My conversations with Kenyans during the last three days have underscored that there is a crisis of confidence in Kenya’s political leadership,” Annan said. “Only Kenya’s politicians can solve that crisis. I urge them to listen to the voices of Kenyans.”

Annan said that he had noted some progress on the reform agenda but warned that time was running out.

Politically-fueled ethnic tensions flared up in early 2008 following a disputed presidential election, plunging Kenya into weeks of deadly turmoil.

Flown in to mediate the crisis, Annan led the two sides to a power-sharing agreement that made incumbent candidate Mwai Kibaki president and his rival, Raila Odinga, prime minister. The deal brought an end to the clashes, but has resulted in a bloated coalition government unchallenged by a real political opposition. Read More…

Kenya begins huge Kibera clearance

Kenya begins clearing Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa with approximately one million residents.

Kibera Nairobi, Kenya

The slum originated in 1918 as a Nubian soldiers’ settlement in a forest outside Nairobi, with plots allotted to soldiers as a reward for service in the First World War and earlier wars.

The British colonial government of the time allowed the settlement to grow informally, primarily because of the Nubians’ status as former servants of the British crown that put the colonial regime in their debt. Furthermore the Nubians, being “Detribalized Natives” had no claim on Land in “Native Reserves”. (Parson, Timothy (1997))

On 16 September 2009 the Kenyan government, which claims ownership of the land that Kibera stands on, began a long-term movement scheme which will rehouse the people who live in slums in Nairobi. Read More…

On this day August 7, 1998

Car bombs simultaneously exploded at the United States embassies in the East African capital cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya, killing over 200 people and injuring over 4,500 others.

The attacks, linked to local members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad brought Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri to American attention for the first time, and resulted in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation placing bin Laden on its Ten Most Wanted list.

Along with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, the Embassy Bombing is one of the major anti-American terrorist attacks that preceded the September 11, 2001 attacks.

East Africa gets high-speed internet

Yesterday the 15,000 km (9,300 mi) subsea fiber-optic cable began operations, providing the East African countries of Djibouti, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique, with high speed internet connections to Europe and Asia.

Seacom Cable Map

Seacom Cable Map

The cable was officially switched on in simultaneous events held across the region, including in Mombasa and Dar es Salaam.

The launch was described by the Chief Executive of SEA Cable Systems as being “a historic day for Africa… [that]… marks the dawn of a new era for communications between the continent and the rest of the world”.

Upon being switched on, the owners of the cable stated that it would reduce internet costs by up to 95% to wholesale customers, whilst providing a far greater speed of internet connection. Read More…

Kenya confirms first swine flu case

A British medical student has became the first confirmed case of swine flu in Kenya, east Africa. The student, who was in a group of 33, was in Kenya to attend a series of medical camps in Nyanza province.

The whole group is currently quarantined in their hotel in Kisumu while undergoing treatment. A second suspected case involving a Kenyan woman who had just arrived from India was put in isolation at Kenyatta National Hospital in the capital Nairobi pending laboratory results.

Over the weekend there was panic in the capital as mobile text messages circulated warning people to stay away from Sarit centre, a popular commercial establishment where another suspected case had been diagnosed. The patient’s test results however came back negative for the H1N1 virus. Read More…