Cablegate: Kenya - February 6 Sitrep


DE RUEHNR #0384/01 0371321
O 061321Z FEB 08






E.O. 12958: N/A



1. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS: As noted in ref C, the Kofi
Annan-lead negotiations entered their most critical and difficult
phase today as the parties began talks on power-sharing. The parties
begin these discussions far apart and continued interference by
hardliners from each camp threaten to keep them that way. We sent
letters alerting some of these hardliners that their visa
eligibility was subject to review in accordance with recent
statements by A/S Frazer and the Ambassador (ref B).

Kibaki's level of personal involvement in these negotiations and
surrounding events seems to be improving (whereas Odinga's has
always been high). Kibaki met this morning, February 6, with the PNU
negotiation team, including its newest member, Foreign Minister
Wetangula. Kibaki then met with his entire cabinet, in preparation
for the two day IGAD ministerial meeting on February 7-8. We will
report whether a summit agenda and schedule are agreed to at this
meeting. While unrelated to IGAD, there will be an actual summit in
Nairobi this Friday, February 9, when the East African Community
Presidents assemble to meet to discuss Kenya's crisis with Kibaki.
Not surprisingly, Odinga and ODM leadership were extremely critical
of these meetings as being distracting and provocative ("an effort
to legitimize Kibaki's stolen presidency," is an accusation we heard
from them more than once). Odinga, however, did call off a mass
protest he earlier threatened, at Kofi Annan's request. Annan also
called on Kibaki not to hold parallel peace seeking missions with
other entities while the talks are ongoing.

In other news, a five person investigation team sent by the UN High
Commissioner on Human Rights arrives in Nairobi tonight and will
meet with us this week to exchange information and coordinate
efforts. The UNHCHR mission will investigate post-election violence
and human rights matters only, and not delve into election rigging
allegations (ref D). One item on their agenda will be allegations
of political assassination surrounding the back-to-back murders of
newly elected ODM MPs Melitus Were and David Too. On February 5,
Odinga publicly called for the GOK to act on our repeated offers of
FBI assistance in investigating their deaths. The GOK has yet to
respond to our offer.

We also expect a nationwide election date for all of Kenya's mayoral
seats to be announced before the end of the week. Mayoral
candidates are selected from among the local council winners in the
December 27 national elections. The local council winners also form
the mayoral race electorate, but only vote locally. In Nairobi, for
instance, there are 51 votes at stake and ODM hopes to win by
running just one candidate from among its 35 to prevail against
whoever runs from among PNU's 26 seats. Finally, the GOK has
announced the creation of 10 special courts to hear the cases of 38
contested MP seats, including those of cabinet ministers George
Saitoti (Internal Security) and Moses Wetangula (Foreign Affairs)
and ODM's Raila Odinga and Charity Ngilu.

2. (SBU) SECURITY SITUATION: No major reports of violence were
received over the past few days for all parts of Kenya. While fewer
reports of eviction threats and attacks by rival tribes have been
received, these activities continue throughout Kenya, and in
particular the Rift Valley and Nyanza Provinces. RSO continues to
investigate a myriad of security-related rumors and has been further
assessing the security forces' use of force, morale, transfers,
capabilities, tribal clash casualties, and security implications
relative to same (see ref A). To date, no reports of casualties or
attacks on Mission facilities, U.S. personnel, or private American
Citizens have been received.

Post is also monitoring the developments of the Kofi Annan-led
negotiations between the Party of National Unity (PNU) and Orange
Democratic Movement (ODM). This four phase process has already
amicably concluded Phase I (Addressing Violence) and Phase II
(Addressing Humanitarian Issues). Post is closely monitoring Phase
III, Addressing Power Sharing, with particular vigilance for any
inflammatory rhetoric by either side that could incite additional
violence. Should Phase III be agreed upon by Wednesday, 13 February
2008, Phase IV, Addressing Underlying Societal Issues, will begin.
Another barometer being monitored is the invitation by President
Kibaki to members of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development
(IGAD) to run parallel negotiations and the reaction of this
proposal by ODM.

Reports of illegal roadblocks by gangs of youth and smaller
confrontations with police upon assembly were also received. The
police continue to appear to be in a better position to handle the
current security situations and RSO continues to monitor their
capability in each instance reported.

3. (SBU) U.S. MISSION POSTURE: There are no/no USDH personnel in
the authorized departure areas of Western, Nyanza and Rift Valley
provinces, which include the cities of Kisumu and Kericho. Core EAC
met to review security situation there and determine need for
presence of MRU and CDC emergency personnel. Kisumu has been calm
and LES staff have been commuting to work regularly since Monday.
RSO reports that police in Kisumu have not been reinforced, and
their FSNI in Kisumu reported that tension there remains "palpable".
CDC and MRU discussed minimum emergency personnel staffing and
timing requirements. Decision was taken to not authorize any USDH
travel to Kisumu and Kericho until another assessment meeting is
held on Monday 11 February. Similar criteria will apply to a
proposal by OFDA for USDH to travel to Rift Valley to assess IDP
situation. U.S. Peace Corps reports that their 58 (fifty-eight)
volunteers remaining in country have all been successfully brought
to Nairobi for a Close-of-Service workshop. The 58 PCVs will depart
Kenya this Friday 8 February, and the program will be temporarily
suspended. PC Staff will remain in Nairobi to oversee
administrative activity required to suspend deployment of PCVs. In
Nairobi, USG offices at the Gigiri Chancery compound and CDC/KEMRI
compound are operating normally. Int'l School of Kenya (ISK) and
Rosslyn Academy (RA) are open and buses are running without
disruption. Power, water, and communications are fully operational.
In-country travel policy is in effect and all personnel and family
members are accounted for.

4. (SBU) HUMANITARIAN SITUATION: As of February 5, the Kenya Red
Cross Society increased the estimate of internally displaced persons
(IDPs) in Kenya to more than 325,775 people. The revised figure
includes approximately 24,000 newly-displaced persons since January
31, and reflects continued population movements resulting from
violence in both previously and newly-affected areas of western
Kenya in late January. However, the figure does not represent the
significant but unconfirmed number of displaced persons currently
sheltering with extended families and friends in host communities.
While the Government of Kenya and international relief agencies in
Nairobi are discussing the need to identify, track, and support the
large displaced population staying with host families, several
challenges exist, and no concrete mechanism is yet in place.

5. (SBU) U.S. CITIZENS: Consular wardens in the Rift Valley,
Nyanza and Western provinces are reporting calm and that life is
getting back to normal. The Kisumu warden reports that travel in,
out and around the city is opening up and flowing and that a
majority of the schools are open. The Nakuru warden also reports
quiet and normal conditions but wondered how the upcoming burial of
the murdered MP from Kericho would affect the precarious calm. The
Embassy hosted a Town Hall meeting for private Amcits on Feb 5. The
three-hour meeting was very well attended (about 325 persons). The
Ambassador spoke for about forty-five minutes and took forty-five
minutes of questions. The ADCM, RSO and ACG talked briefly and then
opened it up for questions. Most of the questions related to
security and hypothetical scenarios about evacuation. All private
Amcits were encouraged to stay in contact with the Embassy and to
stay informed about ongoing events. The Embassy participants
observed a noticeable reduction in the anxiety level of the private
Amcits, most of whom attended the Embassy's Town Hall meeting two
weeks ago. Post believes that the frequent Town Hall meetings are
reducing stress levels among private Amcits because accurate
information is being disseminated, Amcits can ask the questions that
are relevant to them, and it allows a common venue for the widely
dispersed Amcit community to come together and network about current
events. Post is also consolidating its Travel Alerts into a revised
Travel Warning. Consular Affairs is currently clearing the language
and the revised Travel Warning should be issued shortly.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC