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Cablegate: Kenya: January 15, 2008 Status Report

O 151549Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4199
INFO AMEMBASSY KAMPALA PRIORITY
CDC ATLANTA GA PRIORITY 4225

UNCLAS NAIROBI 000148

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC CASC KE PGOV PREF
SUBJECT: KENYA: JANUARY 15, 2008 STATUS REPORT

REF: NAIROBI 126 AND PREVIOUS

1. (U) AS OF 01/15 1900 HOURS (NAIROBI TIME):

SECURITY: NATION-WIDE, CALM BUT TENSE. NO INCIDENTS
REPORTED. POLICE REMAIN DEPLOYED AND ACTIVE, ESPECIALLY IN
DOWNTOWN NAIROBI AROUND THE PARLIAMENT BUILDING WHERE THE
NEW PARLIAMENT CONVENED TODAY TO ELECT A SPEAKER AND DEPUTY.
MAJOR TRAFFIC DISRUPTIONS. ODM HAS CALLED FOR PEACEFUL
DEMONSTRATIONS IN NAIROBI AND OTHER ODM STRONGHOLDS, BEGINNING
TOMORROW (JANUARY 16) AND CONTINUING THROUGH FRIDAY, JANUARY
18.

SPORADIC ROADBLOCKS BY ILLEGAL GANGS CONTINUE TO IMPEDE
SECURITY
AND TRAVEL IN RURAL AREAS APPROACHING/LEAVING MAJOR CITIES.
THESE
ROADBLOCKS ARE USED TO ELICIT MONEY FOR SAFE PASSAGE AND/OR
THREATEN KENYANS ON THE BASIS OF ETHNICITY ("ETHNIC
SCREENING"). TO DATE, NO REPORTS OF AMERICANS BEING STOPPED
OR THREATENED. AS FAST AS POLICE CLEAR THESE ROADBLOCKS, THEY
REAPPEAR.

MISSION/RSO CONTINUES TO MONITOR SITUATION CLOSELY,
PARTICULARLY IN KISUMU (NYANZA PROVINCE) WHERE WE HAVE USG
EMPLOYEES AND FAMILIES. RUMOR IS RIFE IN KISUMU AND KERICHO
THAT UGANDAN MILITARY HAVE DEPLOYED INTO KENYA, TO SUPPORT
PRESIDENT KIBAKI AND ASSIST KENYAN POLICE TO KEEP ORDER IN
WESTERN/LUO AND KALENJIN AREAS. EMBASSY KAMPALA HAS
MET WITH GOU AND DEBUNKED THIS RUMOR.

USAID/OFDA HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TEAM RETURNED TO NAIROBI
TODAY, AFTER A 6-DAY ROAD TRIP THRO0UGH WESTERN KENYA. THEY
HAD NO ROAD INCIDENTS.

PEACE CORPS DID NOT/NOT SEND ITS REGIONAL SAFETY AND SECURITY
OFFICER TO KISUMU TODAY. IN CONSULTATION WITH PC/WASHINGTON,
PC/NAIROBI HAS DECIDED TO OFFER THE PCVS MOVED FROM WESTERN
KENAY THE OPTION OF EITHER "INTERRUPTED SERVICE" OR TRANSFER
TO ANOTHER PC COUNTRY PROGRAM IN AFRICA. THOSE WHO CHOSE
"INTERRUPTED SERVICE" WOULD BE ELIGIBLE TO RETURN TO KENYA IN
COMING WEEKS OR MONTHS FOR ASSIGNMENTS ELSEWHERE IN KENYA.

POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS: FORMER SG KOFI ANNAN ARRIVES TONIGHT.
THE AMBASSADOR IS SCHEDULED TO MEET WITH HIM TOMORROW
(JANUARY 16)
MID-DAY. CURRENT PLAN IS FOR ANNAN TO MEET WITH KIBAKI AND
RAILA
SEPARATELY TOMORROW AFTERNOON.

MISSION PERSONNEL: EMBASSY -- AND CDC AND MRU OFFICES -- IN
NAIROBI AND KISUMU -- WERE OPEN FOR BUSINESS TODAY. ALL
OFFICIAL AMERICANS AND FSN/LES EMPLOYEES ARE ACCOUNTED FOR;
AGENCY AND SECTION HEADS HAVE BEEN REMINDED TO NOTIFY AND
MAINTAIN CONTACT WITH TDY VISITORS. AMBASSADOR HELD AN ALL
HANDS TOWN HALL MEETING ON JANUARY 14.

AMCITS: NO REPORTS OF CASUALTIES TO DATE. AMBASSADOR HAS
SCHEDULED A TOWN HALL MEETING WITH NON-OFFICIAL AMERICANS FOR
FRIDAY, JANUARY 18.

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF KENYA (ISK) ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT IT
WILL BE CLOSED TOMORROW BECAUSE OF ANTICIPATED TRANSPORATION
DIFFICULTIES (DUE TO DEMONSTRATIONS) FOR LOCAL STAFF
(INCLUDING
BUS DRIVERS). ISK WILL DECIDE TOMORROW WHETHER OR NOT TO
OPEN ON THURSDAY.

POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS: PARLIAMENT CONVENED THIS AFTERNOON TO
ELECT A SPEAKER AND DEPUTY SPEAKER. AFTER SPENDING AN HOUR
DEBATING PROCEDURES, THE BALLOTING COMMENCED. AS OF THE END
OF THE SECOND ROUND OF VOTING, NO CANDIDATE HAD THE NECESSARY
TWO-THIRDS (148) OF VOTES. (THE SECOND ROUND RESULT WAS: (PNU
CANDIDATE) KAPARO 102 AND (ODM CANDIDATE) MARENDE 104. AS THIS
IS BEING WRITTEN, A THIRD ROUND RUNOFF IS BEING CONDUCTED
BETWEEN THE TWO. ONLY A SIMPLE MAJORITY IS REQUIRED AT THIS
STAGE.
THE SESSION WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE EVENING UNTIL BOTH
SPEAKER
AND DEPUTY ARE ELECTED. PARLIAMENT WILL THEN ADJOURN UNTIL
MARCH.

RANNEBERGER

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