Friday, March 30, 2012

Ethiopian 95 immigrants jailed - YouTube

95 illegal Ethiopian immigrants jailed - YouTube: ""

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kenya Strikes Oil For The First Time - Forbes

Oil has been discovered in Kenya in Turkana County, located in the country’s arid northwestern region, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki disclosed on Monday.
The oil was discovered during exploratory drilling by Anglo-Irish oil giant, Tullow Oil.

Addressing the Kenyan press on Monday during a ceremony to announce the performance of government agencies for the financial year 2010/2011, President Kibaki called the discovery a “major breakthrough” while admitting that it was “the first time Kenya has made such a discovery.”
In a press release by the oil firm, Tullow disclosed that the discovery was made at the Ngamia-1 exploration well in Kenya.
President Kibaki said that successful drilling of the oil will take at least a few years. “It is the beginning of a long journey to make our country an oil producer, which typically takes in excess of three years. We shall be giving the nation more information as the oil exploration process continues,” he said.
Tullow divulged that the well will be drilled to a depth of at least 2,700 meters to explore for deeper potential and establish its commercial viability. The Ngamia-1 well is the first Tullow-owned prospect to be tested as part of a multi-well drilling campaign in Kenya.
Last year, Tullow struck oil in neighboring Uganda. The oil giant also owns exploration licenses and deep offshore producing assets in 15 African countries including Ghana, Liberia and Ethiopia.
Angus McCoss, Tullow’s exploration director, called the find an excellent start to the company’s major exploration campaign in the East African rift basins of Kenya and Ethiopia.
“To make good oil discovery in our first well is beyond our expectations and bodes well for the material programme ahead of us,” he said.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kenya: Six Months Into Operation Linda Nchi, Time for

A few weeks from now- April 16th to be precise-Operation Linda Nchi will be entering its sixth month since the launch in mid October last year. It is time for some serious soul-searching and honest appraisal. There are several pertinent questions that ought to be asked of our policy makers over Kenya's military operation in Somalia.
What are Kenya's long and short-term strategic objectives in Somalia? What mechanism has been put in place to evaluate the attainment of these objectives?
What is Kenya's exit strategy from the battleground once the objectives have been obtained? Finally, where is the roadmap that will take Somalia back to a nation state?
Without clear and discernible policy objectives, Operation Linda Nchi could easily be Kenya's Vietnam. Such military expeditions end up being much more complicated than originally envisaged; especially on the political side of things and exit strategy. Early this week I had an opportunity to sit down for a long discussion on the Somalia issue with one of the more illustrious sons of this war torn country. The Syracuse University trained Dr Ali Khaliif Galaydh is a man of sterling academic accomplishments besides having risen to high political offices in his native country of Somalia.
Dr Ali is a former Prime Minister of Somalia (2000 to 2001), a fellow of Harvard University and a former Cabinet minister in the government of the late Somali strongman Mohamed Siad Barre. As such, when it comes to Somalia politics, Dr Ali Khaliif Galaydh has been there, done that. In essence, he is a man with a broad knowledge and understanding of issues around Somalia from local and international perspectives. The former Somalia Premier is convinced that Kenya had good and justifiable reasons to launch Operation Linda Nchi.
Nevertheless, what worries Dr Ali is the apparent lack of a political strategy to go hand-in-hand and supplement the military strategy. The term of the Somalia caretaker Transitional Federal Government headed by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed comes to an end in August. This means that in about four months from now, there is a likelihood of a power vacuum in a country that cannot afford such political luxury even for a minute.
The genesis of Somalia crisis traces its roots to the power vacuum that emanated from the overthrow of President Siad Barre in 1991. Since then, regional and international efforts have been made to restore Somalia back to the 'league of nations' but the country has persisted in operating on the fringes of a failed state.
Presently, Kenyan and Amisom forces have created a semblance of peace in significant parts of Somalia. But what is happening is pushing a military operation without a political back up plan. There is little (if any) evidence of consultations with Somalia opinion leaders on the way forward once the Kenyan and Amisom forces withdraw from Somalia.
As Dr Ali argues, much as Somalia needs military assistance to help restore normalcy, military alone will not provide a lasting solution. If anything, an unchecked military expedition could actually exacerbate the problem. Take the case of Ethiopia military expedition in Somalia to prop up the TFG regime of President Abdullahi Yusuf in 2006. Granted, Ethiopian troops moved in to help the Somalia government against threats posed by the radical groups under the umbrella of Islamic Courts Union.
But those knowledgeable in Somali affairs reckon that this foreign intervention is ironically what planted the first seeds that gave birth to Al Shabaab. The involvement of Ethiopian troops in Somalia had the effect of hardening radical groups even further and, at the same time, brought out extremist nationalism among some moderate Somalis. Why so? Because Ethiopia and Somalia have a history of disputes and fights going back over a hundred years! As such, it was hard then-as it is now-for Somalis to look upon Ethiopians as honest brokers.
On the other hand, as Dr Ali points out, Kenya enjoys significant goodwill among the Somalis and is viewed as a broker with a pair of clean hands. Besides Kenya, the Republic of Qatar is another country which has significant clout in Somalia. Qatar has the leverage to bring radical groups to the negotiating table. If this can be achieved, then it would be a win, win situation where even those vanquished militarily are made part of the solution to building a peaceful Somali Republic.
It is this goodwill that the Kenyan government should also use to drive the peace process in Somalia not just using military might, but even more significantly, political goodwill. The Somali crisis becomes even more urgent now that the country has discovered oil. If oil has destabilised countries far more stable than Somalia, one shudders to imagine what this natural 'gift and curse' can do to a country as volatile as Somali.
A Somalia where radical groups are in control of vast oil resources would be a nightmare not just to Kenya but the entire Eastern Africa region. In such a situation, high impact and high profile projects such as the recently launched Lamu Port would end up stillborn. The proximity of Lamu to Somalia means the Port project will go absolutely nowhere unless we have permanent peace in Somalia. As such, Kenya should flex its diplomatic and political muscle to get Somalis involved in finding a homegrown solution to their problems.
A good starting point would be to start engaging groups such as Khatumo (State) of Somali Initiative, which brings together Somali professionals in the Diaspora, who have an interest in finding a Somali solution to the Somali problem. It is only by involving the Somalis themselves that resilient nationals of our neighbour to the north will one day be able to sing their national anthem "Soomaaliyeey toosoo (Somalia wake up) to peace, unity and an end to fighting..." with a sense of real meaning.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

League of Nations Redux: Is the World Going to Act on Iran? - Yahoo! News

COMMENTARY | I am a world history teacher. Right now, my sophomores are finishing the unit over World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the WWI-ending Treaty of Versailles. In January 1918, a joint session of the U.S. Congress heard president Woodrow Wilson's famous Fourteen Points speech in which he introduced a plan for what would become the League of Nations.
Despite Wilson winning the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize for his diplomatic efforts, the U.S. Senate decided to keep the nation out of the League of Nations, which failed to prevent World War II and was eventually replaced by the United Nations. It turns out that diplomacy that's not backed up with military muscle doesn't go very far, especially when it cannot keep Italy out of Ethiopia or Japan out of China.
According to CNN, a brewing diplomatic crisis that could turn the United Nations into a League of Nations II may be upon us. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has asserted that Iran is not honest and forthcoming about its growing nuclear program. As a result, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (United States, Russia, Britain, France and China) and Germany have agreed on a "joint statement" to be delivered Thursday. This group, known as the P5 plus 1, wants to resume negotiations with the Islamic Republic regarding its nuclear program, likely to try and avoid an Israeli-Iranian war.
With the Associated Press reporting that Iran may be attempting to cover up pre-nuclear test evidence, what is the UN waiting for? This may well be the UN Security Council's Italy-in-Ethiopia moment, hearkening back to the diplomatic tensions of 1936. With the P5 plus 1 finally speaking in a unified voice about Iran, will it take the opportunity to pledge to use force to assert its will and prevent the aggressive Islamic Republic from developing a working nuclear weapon?
If the UN Security Council, and indeed the United Nations as a whole, does not seize the opportunity granted by the unified P5 plus 1 voice against Iran's nuclear ambitions, it will likely not have another chance to assert its relevance.
Passing up a golden opportunity to prevent nuclear proliferation will damage the international body's reputation and make it look like a second coming of the League of Nations. More impressive and longer lasting, perhaps, but in the end less than effective.

Kenyan model questioned after former British public schoolboy boyfriend falls to death - Telegraph

Kenyan model questioned after former British public 

One of Kenya's leading fashion models has been questioned after her boyfriend, a former British public schoolboy, fell to his death during an attempted robbery at her apartment.

Miss Kenya Diana Nekoye Sifuna
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Diana Nekoye Sifuna, Miss Kenya  Photo: GETTY
Charlie Grieves-Cook, 37, a photographer and former chef at several of London's Michelin-starred restaurants, died in hospital after falling three floors from Diana Sifuna's balcony.
He had run out of the apartment as armed men forced their way in, and jumped over the balcony but tried to hold on to the railings, police said.
Miss Sifuna, 24, told police that after the men left she grabbed Mr Grieves-Cook's arm to try to save him and then ran inside to fetch a sheet or a towel to help him pull himself back to safety. Miss Sifuna was being questioned as a witness, police said, and was not under suspicion for any criminal involvement in the incident. They plan to question her again.
When she returned, he had fallen to the car-park below.
Mr Grieves-Cook was a former pupil at Hurstpierpoint College in West Sussex, and was the son of a former chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board, Jake Grieves-Cook.
He was a Kenyan citizen who spent most of his education and early 20s in Britain, working as a chef in some of London's leading restaurants.
But he returned to Kenya in 1998 to begin a career in photography.
"I left the kitchen for a greater passion, and made a career out of photography," he wrote on his website.
"I developed a major love for "travel style photography", particularly the African Landscape, and the fascinating people that live here in East Africa."
He was increasingly in demand as an advertising photographer in Nairobi, and had worked in Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan and Ethiopia.
It is understood that guards at the upmarket apartment block in Nairobi's western suburb of Langata let the gunmen in because they thought they were attending a party being held by one of Miss Sifuna's neighbours.
Police recovered three bullet casings from the scene, and are working on identifying the suspects involved in the incident, on Saturday night.
"It appears to us that it was an attempted robbery, and that the unfortunate man simply panicked and tried to run," one officer said.
"That is our assumption, but we have not ruled out the possibility that they were hit men hired to kill the photographer."
Jake Grieves-Cook said: "We are all devastated. Charlie was an extraordinary young man with enormous talent who was loved by all who knew him.
"He was kind-hearted, exceptionally generous to all around him, modest and unassuming with a zest and passion for life so that he lived the equivalent of a lifetime of 80 years in his 36 years."
Miss Sifuna represented Kenya on an continentwide search for new modelling talent, called Face of Africa. She was well known in Nairobi and was one of a group of models in the country beginning to break into increasing advertising work, especially in South Africa. It is understood that she and Mr Grieves-Cook met when he photographed her for a Kenyan magazine.