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Cablegate: Security Update: Normal Calm in Kenya

VZCZCXYZ4052
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #0653 0660829
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 060829Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4962
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 9942
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 5840
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 5148
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2668
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2701
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2631
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS NAIROBI 000653

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM KE
SUBJECT: SECURITY UPDATE: NORMAL CALM IN KENYA

REF: A. 07 NAIROBI 1603
B. 06 NAIROBI 5393

1. (SBU) Summary. The security situation in Kenya is
normal calm, and there have been no reports of
election-related violence since well before the February 28th
power-sharing agreement reached between President Kibaki and
Raila Odinga. On March 4, media reported violence in Kenya's
Mt. Elgon area, but this is the sad continuation of localized
fighting that has killed over 150 people since 2006. It
bears no relation to the more recent post-electoral civil
unrest. End summary.

2. (SBU) The security situation in Kenya has returned to a
state of normal calm since the signing of a power sharing
agreement between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader
Raila Odinga on February 28. There have been no reports of
election-related violence and road traffic is moving freely
in all areas. Nairobi remains a critical threat post for
crime, however.

3. (SBU) On March 4, media reported violence in Kenya's Mt.
Elgon area, where a local militia killed 12 civilians on
March 3. Since 1996 alone, over 150 people have died in
fighting between the Sabaot Land Defense Force (SLDF) militia
and local police. The violence of March 3 was another sad
chapter in this conflict (see ref A), whose origins lie in
ethnic animosities over access and ownership of land in the
Mt. Elgon region. Government forces are actively pursuing
militia members, including a ground-to-air operation and
deployment of a special unit to back up regular and
Administration Police.

4. (SBU) Comment: The March 3 violence in the Mt. Elgon
region should be seen in the context of land disputes that
far pre-date the civil unrest that followed the disputed
December 27 election. Violence related to the latter has
evaporated entirely, and with the two rival political camps
collaborating to produce and pass next week the legislation
needed to codify their power sharing agreement, we are not at
this time anticipating any new unrest or instability stemming
from the post-electoral political crisis. End comment.

RANNEBERGER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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