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Cablegate: Kenya - February 20 Sitrep

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #0514 0511256
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201256Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4755

UNCLAS NAIROBI 000514

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

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STATE FOR S/ES-O/CMS, AF/E, AF/EX, CA/OCS/ACS, DS/IP/AF

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TAGS: ASEC AMGT CASC PGOV EAID ECON PHUM PREL KE
SUBJECT: KENYA - FEBRUARY 20 SITREP

REF: NAIROBI 477

SENSITIVE-BUT-UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR RELEASE OUTSIDE USG CHANNELS.

1. (SBU) POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS: On the heels of the Secretary's
successful visit, which is being reported in septels, the Kofi
Annan-led negotiations in Nairobi resumed in earnest on February 19.
Annan says that the parties are close to a deal on political
power-sharing and we are optimistic that he is correct. One good
sign was the formation of negotiation subcommittees on the 19th.
These groups have been tasked with reviewing what the parties agreed
on February 1 would be "phase four" issues, such as constitutional,
land, and electoral reform. This may indicate that the negotiators
feel they are close to an agreement on power-sharing, otherwise such
preparations would be a pointless exercise.

2. (SBU) SECURITY SITUATION: The security situation throughout
Kenya continues to remain calm, with the same caveat that anxiety
surrounds the outcome of ongoing talks led by Kofi Annan. The
carjacking of a U.S. Mission employee in broad daylight late last
week - unrelated to the political crisis - served as a reminder that
Nairobi is critical threat for crime for a reason.
3. (SBU) U.S. MISSION POSTURE: Eight USDH emergency personnel are
deployed to the authorized departure area of Kisumu and environs.
CDC has five USDH in Kisumu, and MRU has two USDH in Kisumu and one
in Kericho. Their deployment was approved on Monday by the
Ambassador. All emergency personnel currently plan to return to
Nairobi on Friday. All Nairobi USG offices are operating normally,
as are local schools. In-country travel policy is in effect and all
personnel and family members are accounted for.

4. (SBU) HUMANITARIAN SITUATION: A recent USAID Disaster
Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART) assessment trip to 16
internally displaced person (IDP) camps in Rift Valley Province
noted that the overall humanitarian response to post-election
violence is shifting from a focus on providing for immediate needs
to preparation for a protracted displacement crisis. U.N. agencies,
humanitarian NGOs, and the KRCS are consolidating smaller sites into
larger camps and establishing longer-term health, sanitation, and
livelihood facilities. During the trip, the USAID/DART spoke with
several IDP farmers who reported the total loss of their 2007 maize
crop and indicated that they do not expect to sow maize seeds by
mid-March in time for the 2008 harvest. The next maize planting
season in Kenya's "breadbasket" region will occur in March 2009,
with the harvest in late 2009. It is not known what percentage of
farmers are now IDPs. In response to concerns that the upcoming
long-rains could cause disease outbreaks in IDP camps, USAID/OFDA is
encouraging all health partners to increase public health
surveillance activities.

5. (SBU) U.S. CITIZENS: Amcit wardens in Rift Valley, Nyanza and
Western provinces all report calm and quiet. None reported any
illegal roadblocks and all said that businesses are open and
operating and that transport is moving normally. Those schools that
are not on break are also open; however, the warden in Eldoret noted
that many students are not returning to several of the universities
there because of ethnic tensions. The warden in Naivasha reported
that some of the large flower farms have set up a tented camp for
their Luo employees. She expressed concern that this tented camp is
not far from a camp of Kikuyu IDPs and that if ongoing negotiations
do not bear fruit there would be a violent clash between these rival
camps. Post updated its Situation Update on February 15. Post is
planning another Town Hall meeting for private American citizens on
February 28.

Rannenberger

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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