Thursday, February 7, 2008


The United Nation has warned Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Raila that they will be held responisible for the country's crisis. The Kenya Times has reported.

The United Nations has said it would hold President Kibaki and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga responsible for Kenya’s future.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon who visited the country last week told the United Nations Security Council that the two leaders would be personally accountable for the country’s future. “I told Kenya’s leaders, President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, that they bear a particular political responsibility for the future of Kenya.

I stressed to all the Kenyan leaders the need to stop the unacceptable violence and killings and to resolve their differences through dialogue and the democratic process,” Mr Ban told the Council, according to a statement from his office. Ban’s statement came hours after the United States embassy in Nairobi issued notifications to high ranking government officials as well as members of the opposition on the prospects of being slapped with visa bans.

The notifications were issued through direct telephone calls to the identified politicians who are currently being monitored by the embassy for their role in inciting, financing or participating in the post-election violence. Sources said ten individuals from both government and ODM had been issued with the notification.

Last evening the Canadian embassy said it was considering following suit. “We are investigating all politicians and all those implicated in human rights violations, violence and an obstacle to dialogue would have their visas cancelled,” said High Commissioner Ross Hynes.

Briefing the Council on his visit to Kenya , the UN chief said political leaders should think beyond their individual interests or party lines, and to look to the future of Kenya as one country. “As I warned at the African Union summit last week, ethnic clashes threaten to escalate out of control,” said the UN chief, adding that he was “deeply engaged” in the evolving situation in the country.

Ban said the UN supported the mediation process championed by his predecessor Kofi Annan and announced that a trust fund had been established through the UN Development Programme to support it in addition to assigning several UN staff. “I reiterate my support to the mediation efforts of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities led by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

When I met him in Nairobi, we discussed in depth his roadmap for the talks. The parties are now talking and discussing practical measures to stop the spiral of violence, to address the humanitarian crisis, and to restore fundamental human rights and liberties,” he told the Security Council.

Ban said the UN and its partners have been able to meet the initial basic needs of an estimated 310,000 internally displaced people spread over 192 sites across Western and Central Kenya. Besides, the UN chief announced plans to dispatch John Holmes, UN Under Secretary-General for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to oversee the humanitarian crisis in the country.

“Needless to say, much more needs to be done. I urge donors to provide additional funding to address this grave emergency,” said Ban. The move to put individuals implicated in the violence comes two days after US ambassador Michael Ranneberger and his Canadian counterpart Ross Hynes hinted at the imposition of visa ban on top leaders considered to be undermining Kenyan democracy.

The United Nations has also warned of the prospect of relocating its United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) headquarters from Gigiri, Nairobi, to a location yet to be disclosed.

The complete list of politicians contacted yesterday by the embassy remained a highly guarded affair, with embassy officials neither disclosing the total number of notifications issued nor the names of those involved. In telephone conversations with Kenya Times, US embassy officials were categorical that no visa bans had been issued yet.

Targeted politicians had only been notified that their linkages with the spiralling violence are being explored with the intent of revoking their travel visas. “No visa bans have been issued at this time. What has been done is that some people have been advised that the embassy will be scrutinising their activities in relation to funding, inciting or participating in the violence,” said embassy official T. J. Dowling.

“I cannot say who they are, but their travel visas will be revoked if they will be found connected to the violence,” said Dowling. The fresh developments emerged as Police Headquarters released close-up pictures of 40 suspected perpetrators of the post-election violence. The police also revealed that 10 cases against known accused persons are pending in courts.

Sources from other quarters affirmed that those issued with the notifications by the US embassy yesterday included key figures both in the PNU government and ODM.

On the government side are five sitting cabinet ministers and a former cabinet minister. Among the ministers, four hail from Central Province and have had long standing political association with President Kibaki. The fifth minister is from Western Province and whose mother party was supportive of Kibaki’s re-election bid.

Our sources further disclosed that one of the ministers was recently denied a travel visa to the United Kingdom and United States in spite of being scheduled to attend high profile meetings in the two countries.

No comments: