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Cablegate: Kenya Status Report: January 18, 2008

O 181410Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4309
INFO AMEMBASSY KAMPALA PRIORITY
CDC ATLANTA GA PRIORITY 4228

UNCLAS NAIROBI 000211

SIPDIS

BT

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC CASC KE PGOV
SUBJECT: KENYA STATUS REPORT: JANUARY 18, 2008

REF: NAIROBI 197 AND PREVIOUS

1. (SBU) AS OF 01/18/08 1700 HOURS (NAIROBI TIME):

SECURITY SITUATION: POCKETS OF CONFRONTATION CONTINUED IN
NAIROBI (KIBERA AND MATHARE) AND KISUMU (AND OUTSKIRTS)
BETWEEN POLICE AND CIVILIANS, CHARACTERIZED IN LARGE PART BY
GROUPS OF YOUNG MALES BURNING TIRES, VEHICLES AND RUBBISH AND
SETTING UP ROADBLOCKS. NO DEATHS REPORTED UP TO NOW.
DEMONSTRATORS IN MOMBASA SEEKING TO MARCH ON THE DOWNTOWN
FROM SEVERAL MOSQUES (AFTER FRIDAY PRAYERS) WERE DISPERSED BY
POLICE WITH TEAR GAS. CDC AND MRU PERSONNEL IN KISUMU
REPORTED HEARING GUNSHOTS IN THE DISTANCE, BUT DOWNTOWN WAS
DESERTED. ROAD TO THE AIRPORT WAS OPEN, BUT ROCKS ON THE
ROAD (IMPROMPTU ROADBLOCKS) MADE IT DIFFICULT TO TRANSIT. AS
FAST AS POLICE CLEAR, THEY REAPPEAR. DEMONSTRATORS MARCHED
PEACEFULLY THROUGH ELDORET FOR THE THIRD DAY; POLICE STOOD
BACK.

ODM LEADERSHIP TODAY ANNOUNCED THE END OF THE STRATEGY OF
"MASS ACTION" DEMONSTRATIONS AND BEGINNING NEXT WEEK, WILL
BEGIN A BOYCOTT (AND ENCOURAGE WORKFORCE STRIKES) AT
ENTERPRISES AND COMPANIES OWNED BY CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE
PNU/GOVERNMENT ELITE. THEY PROMISED TO ANNOUNCE THE LIST OF
ENTERPRISES, BUT RUMORS ARE THAT IT WILL INCLUDE COMPANIES
OWNED BY THE KENYATTA AND MICHUKI FAMILIES, AMONG OTHERS.
THE CALL FOR AN END OF DEMONSTRATIONS, IF IMPLEMENTED, SHOULD
GO A LONG WAY TO ENDING THE CONFRONTATIONS AND DISRUPTIONS.

THERE CONTINUE TO BE REPORTS OF "ETHNIC" BASED VIOLENCE IN
PARTS OF RIFT VALLEY AND WESTERN PROVINCES, CHARACTERIZED BY
LOOTING AND BURNING OF TARGETED HOUSES.

MISSION PERSONNEL: EMBASSY -- AND CDC AND MRU OFFICES AT
KEMRI -- IN NAIROBI WERE OPEN FOR BUSINESS. CDC AND MRU
OFFICES IN KISIAN/KUMBEWA WERE CLOSED TODAY; PUBLIC
TRANSPORTATION WAS NON-EXISTENT AND POLICE ADVISED CDC TO
STAY OFF THE RADS IN/AROUND THE AREA WHERE THEY HAVE
OFFICES. NAIROBI CDC OFFICER FLEW TO KISUMU TODAY FOR A DAY;
WILL RETURN TO NAIROBI TOMORROW. EMBASSY CORE EAC HELD A
TELECONFERENCE WITH CDC AND MRU PERSONNEL IN KISUMU TO
DISCUSS ANY CONCERNS. WE ARE CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC THAT THE
CALL TO END DEMONSTRATIONS WILL CALM THE SITUATION AND PERMIT
RESUMPTION OF NORMAL OPERATIONS.
EAC MET TODAY; REPORTED SEPTEL. KISUMU INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL,
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF KENYA AND ROSSLYN ACADEMY WERE ALL
OPEN TODAY.

AMCITS: THE AMBASSADOR HELD A TOWN HALL MEETING WITH AMCITS
TODAY, ATTENDED BY OVER 100 PEOPLE. HE REVIEWED THE POLITICAL
SITUATION, STATUS OF DIALOGUE BETWEEN KIBAKI AND ODINGA AND
ANSWERED, WITH CONS AND RSO, QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS ABOUT
SECURITY AND ACS.

RANNEBERGER

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