Friday, 1 February 2008

Kenyan parties agree 'peace plan'

Can this be true? Is this the end of the beginning, or the beginning of the end, or something?

Is Kenya going to see peace?

Of course, I am jumping the gun here, the details of the agreement have not been announced, well, not on the BBC, anyway,but, "We have agreed an agenda covering both short-term issues and also long-term issues," Mr Annan said.

Reuters: "We believe within 7 to 15 days, we should be able to tackle the first three agenda items," Annan told reporters. "The first is to take immediate action to stop the violence."

Oh well, I will sit here with fingers, toes and anything else that is crossable, crossed!

Who do I contact to get aid to refugees?

I am amazed. In Britain and the United States, there are organisations which raise money in order to do good work in the World, especially in the alleviation of suffering and poverty.

My charity/NGO has the same aims and although we can raise small amounts of money, raising the sort of funds we need to really make a difference is impossible.

So we have approached the big boys, the foundations set up by such people as Pres. Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, etc.

We don't even get replies from these people. OK, I hear people say. They get hundreds of requests every day for money and they can't deal with everyone. Really? That is what they were set up for. If they can't deal (and I mean, reply to correspondence) with requests, where is their administration. These foundations are not run by volunteers, but salaried people - usually specialists in their field.

Other organisations try to remain "anonymous". They don't even tell you where you can apply for grants. They raise millions of pounds every year, but, in come cases, there is no means of applying for aid, there is not even any way of finding out what is happening to this money!

Yes, I am ranting. But I am frustrated. I have people on the ground in Kenya, trying to help 3,000+ refugees with no help. The major aid agencies in Kenya are missing a lot of people, because they are off the main roads - naturally. We know where they are. We have told the agencies, but will they listen? NO!

If you work for one of these agencies, please, please contact me. We are struggling to feed thousands of people with no resources and no help.

Rant over - for the time being.

Beadle is not longer about

I was saddened to hear yesterday (31Jan) that Jeremy Beadle has died.

This brilliant man was much maligned during his life, but I think he was a fantastic entertainer, but more importantly, a brilliant ideas man. He was behind so many of our popular TV programmes.

He always insisted that he was not supposed to be in front of the camera, but preferred the conceptual side of the enterntainment business.

May he rest in peace.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Here We Go Again

Who do you believe? The Police say the shot MP was having an affair with the girlfriend of the policeman who shot him. Others say that the female, who was also shot, is the cousin of the MP. And Raila Odinga says it was a political assassination to reduce his majority.

Does it really matter? A police officer shot two unarmed people, on the street. Whether it be a love triangle or not, he does not have this right.

Someone has died at the hands of a(nother) renegade police officer. It doesn't matter that the victim happens to be an MP.

Except that this is likely to start up the violence that had been cooling down this last 24 hours.

I hope that Kenya doesn't slide back to where is was only 48 hours ago, but I have a nasty feeling ...

Stop Kenya burning, says AU head

From BBC - Thursday, 31 January 2008, 10:18 GMT

African leaders at their summit in Ethiopia have been told they must get involved with the crisis in Kenya.
AU commission chairman Alpha Oumar Konare told them they could not just sit by. "If Kenya burns, there will be nothing for tomorrow," he said.
Mr Konare - the AU's top executive - said it was the AU's duty to support the mediation process which is led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

'Special responsibility'
The current UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Kenyan leaders to find a peaceful way out.
"President [Mwai] Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga... have a special responsibility to solve the crisis peacefully," he told the summit.
Mr Kibaki is among more than 40 leaders present at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, even though the ODM called on the AU not to recognise him.
Mr Odinga, by contrast, has not been invited.

All eyes
The BBC's Will Ross, reporting from the conference, says all eyes will be on Mr Kibaki.
He says Mr Kibaki is likely to brief at least some of the African leaders on events in Kenya, especially the talks between government and opposition.
The Kenyan crisis may then be pushed away, which could be convenient for an organisation which often struggles to tackle the continent's problems with any great urgency, he says.
Despite Mr Konare's plea, the official theme of the AU summit is industrialisation.

'Police' kill Kenya opposition MP

From BBC - Thursday, 31 January 2008, 10:36 GMT

An opposition MP has been killed in Kenya, as violence continues over last month's disputed election.

David Too was shot dead by a traffic policeman in the western town of Eldoret, said a spokesman for his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

He is the second ODM MP to be killed this week. The shooting of Mugabe Were in Nairobi sparked violent clashes in slums seen as opposition strongholds.

ODM spokesman Henry Kosgie said Mr Too was killed at a roadblock as he drove from Nairobi to Eldoret in the Rift Valley.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Kenya parties to begin mediation

From BBC: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 08:04 GMT

Kenya's government and opposition are due to begin full negotiations to try to end the crisis resulting from last month's disputed presidential election.

President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga have each appointed three-man teams to discuss proposals drawn up by former UN chief Kofi Annan.

On Tuesday, he urged both sides to do "whatever possible" to restore calm.

Mr Annan's warning came as at least nine people were killed in outbreaks of violence throughout the country on Tuesday, following the killing of Mugabe Ware, an MP from Mr Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

Meanwhile, Kenya's foreign minister has said Mr Kibaki will attend the African Union summit later this week, [MK: Of course I have to go to the "Old Boys'" club - less chance of assassination!] dismissing suggestions that there were more pressing issues for him to attend to at home. [MK: What would they be then? I am President, duly elected and sworn in - end of story!]

The three-man teams of representatives from Mr Kibaki's Party of National Unity and the ODM will begin their deliberations in the capital, Nairobi, on Wednesday.
They negotiations will be based on a series of proposals drawn up by Mr Annan and his team, which includes former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa and Graca Machel, the wife of ex-South African President Nelson Mandela.

The former UN secretary general has given the two sides four weeks to resolve the "immediate political issues" and much longer, up to a year, to sort out the details.
Launching the formal mediation process on Tuesday, Mr Annan warned that the crisis was having a "profound and negative impact" and urged both sides to take the talks seriously or risk losing international aid.