Kenya: “Militia, Police, World Bank Contribute to Post-Election Turmoil”

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Tiananmen-style “lone figure confronting the Machine” photo from the NYT from Nairobi (Jan. 4).

I would like to state for the record that I have been disgusted by the emerging PNU propaganda that attempts to portray the ODM leadership as Interhamwe-type masterminds of genocide when the facts point to two developments: The deployment of state troops who went on a shooting rampage in Nairobi, Eldoret, Kakamega, Bungoma, Kisumu, and Mombasa killing innocent civilians and two; The cynical abdication of duty by the same state-employed uniformed security forces when looting and plunder was taking place in Kisumu, Kibera, and Mombasa to just cite three examples …Onyango Oloo

More leaders and organizations yesterday joined calls on Police Commissioner Maj-Gen Hussein Ali to resign over the Kisumu weekend bloodbath. –Standard/NCEC

Kenya: Citizens for Peace with Truth and Justice (All Africa): A human rights umbrella group, including the KNCHR, issued this statement on January 7.

Some concrete statements are made about the contributions of militia and police violence to the post-election scenario. Hopefully some detailed reporting will eventually get published.

See also

Our hope lies in Kenyans standing up against the travesty that has been made of the electoral process. Our hope lies in Kenyans who have, at great personal risk, and without regard to ethnicity, on principle provided security, shelter and safe passage to those Kenyans targeted by the militia activity 1n the Rift Valley and elsewhere, we note the domestic humanitarian efforts coordinated by the National Council of Churches of Kenya with statistical support from the Catholic Relief Services – efforts to which many individual Kenyans and Kenyan businesses have now associated themselves. We note too the domestic peace initiatives being worked on by Amani Focus, the ‘Ibrahim group’ (including Ambassador Kiplagat and General Sumbweiyo) and Peacenet. And we now invite other concerned citizens to join the ‘peace through truth and justice’ efforts being carried out by domestic governance, human rights and legal organizations.

Urging that …

  1. All efforts and initiatives to consistently stress that peace cannot and will not be achieved without electoral truth and justice;
  2. All Kenyans to stand up to be counted not just for peace but also for electoral truth and justice;
  3. The state to respect and uphold the rights to the freedoms of expression, assembly and association so as to ensure Kenyans protest only legally, legitimately and non-violently;
  4. All politicians and political parties to immediately desist from the re-activation, support and use of militia organizations such as those active in the Rift Valley, Mungiki and Chinkororo.
  5. The Ministry of Internal Security, the Police Force and the General Service Unit to exercise their duties within the boundaries of the Constitution and the law and desist from any extraordinary use of force and, in particular, extrajudicial executions;
  6. The Electoral Commission of Kenya to immediately resign for having participated in and condoned a presidential electoral process so flawed as to result in our nation’s current crisis;
  7. African states and the rest of the international community to pressurize for mediation between the Party of National Unity and the Orange Democratic Movement on addressing the electoral travesty that has occurred …

The ODM (Odinga) releases its own report on alleged vote-rigging (PDF).

From the MR Zine:

A leaked memo authored by the Guyanese-born Kenya Country director of the World Bank Colin Bruce basically setting the ground for an acceptance of the Kibaki coup d’état is a very sobering reminder that, when it comes to crunch time, institutions such as the World Bank will gravitate towards the status quo.

Really? What is this supposed Bruce memo, anyway?

The Financial Times (FT) reported yesterday that it obtained a leaked copy of an internal World Bank memo indicating that the Bank accepts the Electoral Commission of Kenya’s (ECK) ruling that incumbent President Mwai Kibaki was the victor in the country’s presidential elections held last month. The disputed elections have led to widespread unrest in the country and at least 500 reported deaths.

The memo, written by the Bank’s Kenya Country Director Colin Bruce, cites confidential, oral briefings made by UN Development Program (UNDP) officials, who reportedly indicated that Kibaki was in all likelihood the legitimate winner. According to the FT, the UN has “denied that the UN had adopted that position,” and adds that it has not “provided any assessment suggesting a Kibaki victory.”

International election monitors have raised serious concerns about the legitimacy of the election results.

“There were enough irregularities to call into question the veracity and credibility of the results and it was close enough that nobody can be certain as to who actually won,” Graham Elson, the deputy chief of the European Union observer mission, was quoted by the FT.

The FT suggests that Bruce’s memo would be “likely to trigger accusations that the institution, which lends heavily to Kenya, has lost its political objectivity.

Leak it to me.

The World Bank reacted with firm irresolution to the raid on the offices of the East Africa Standard in 2006:

Colin Bruce, the World Bank’s country director in Kenya, denied that the bank was making freedom of the media a new element of conditionality, but by then the Kenyan stock market had already tumbled.

Even if formal conditionality has not been imposed, the World Bank’s president, Paul Wolfowitz, is quietly breaking precedent by ordering the bank to publicly protest when press freedoms are under attack.

Wolfowitz understands that open news media are the most important means to expose the endemic corruption that is undermining economic growth in the developing world. And he is determined to do more than just talk about it. He recently held up $800 million in loans, including the quarter of a billion dollars for Kenya, because of allegations of corruption. “Corruption is the biggest threat to democracy since Communism,” Wolfowitz has said.

Yes, but consider the source:

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