August 21, 2012

Meles Zenawi died

Meles Zenawi, the prime minister of Ethiopia passed away: One of Africa’s ancient giants falls. Africa is refreshed in various ways. As it goes with old city parks where people don’t like to come anymore: some are replaced, others are renovated. And if the refreshed park is there, it’s up to the people of the new parks to bring character: by allowing to go piss, enjoying the delicious air of seasonal flowers, blooming irises.
October 16, 2008

Kenya / Promptly Establish Special Tribunal

Human Rights Watch: Government, Donors Should Support Commission’s Findings on Election Violence [inspic=143,left,,thumb](New York, October 15, 2008) – The Kenyan government and international partners should strongly support the call by the Waki commission investigating post-election violence to create a special tribunal to end Kenya’s cycle of impunity, Human Rights Watch said today. “The Waki commission has done an admirable job describing the causes of the violence and assembling evidence,” said Georgette Gagnon, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Now the politicians need to set up the special tribunal it recommends. Justice is crucial for Kenya’s stability.” The report of the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence, headed by Justice Philip Waki, was published on October 15, 2008. The commission concluded that politicians on all sides had organized and funded attacks on supporters of their opponents. The inquiry also found that security forces responded inappropriately, using excessive force against civilians, intervening
January 15, 2008

Kenya / 17.15 pm / Pictures: Just back from opening of Parliament

Just back from the opening of Parliament. Quit hectic. Noit enough room for the press, so I had to improvise a bit to get some pictures. A warm thank you to the dilpmats from Greece and Cyprus who were very friendly indeed. One of the agenda points was the election of the speaker. The pictures are a quick impression. One of them shows president Mwai Kibaki bringing out his vote. Meeting is still going on. Nairobi downtown seems to be quiet at the moment (17.15 local time). Pictures are clickable. [mygal=parliament] All pictures were taken this afternoon. Audio available shortly. Enjoy the day!
January 15, 2008

Kenya / Politicians seem to come from an other planet

Good morning! I woke up this morning realising how lucky I am. I went to bed with the story of a Kenyan who arrived in Nairobi confused. He spent his last money on the bus to flee for his life, because a group of soldiers and citizens came to his home at night. Screaming to him: Who did you vote for!! Who did you vote for!! I will keep it short. He and his family bled into a river bed and spent the night. From there he and his family saw how groups went through the area putting fire on houses in the region. This man’s life was saved, and the attackers did not set his house a blaze. But they took his cows. I had a paeceful sleep although the story of the man popped up from time to time. Then this morning they I woke up with the
January 14, 2008

Kenya / Tourism Board: 'We are digging our graves…'

Just back from a press trip with the Kenyan Tourist Board. According to the Kenyan Tourist Board, things have never been so bad, not even after 09/11 when a lot of Tourists stayed away from Kenya. The Tourism sector is ringing the Alarm Bell: 20.000 direct jobs will have gone the end of this month if Kibaki and Odinga don’t come to their senses. According to the Tourist Board within 3 months 120.000 jobs are at stake, 12,8% of Kenya’s GDP comes from tourism. What they want to say: tourists please come back, you are perfectly safe on the Kenyan Coast. Shortly available: audio.
January 10, 2008

Kenya / Invitation to comment on Kenyan Elections: open letter to Kivuitu

I just got this letter from one of my friends. Agree or not: it shows how part of Kenyans feel about what is happening to the country. Please feel welcome to comment on this open letter to Samuel Kivuitu, the Chairman of the Kenyan Electoral Commission. Comments will be shown with a delay to avoid spam-robots… Have a nice day! AN OPEN LETTER TO SAMUEL KIVUITU, CHAIR OF THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF KENYA Mr. Kivuitu, We’ve never met. It’s unlikely we ever will. But, like every other Kenyan, I will remember you for the rest of my life. The nausea I feel at the mention of your name may recede. The bitterness and grief will not. You had a mandate, Mr. Kivuitu. To deliver a free, fair and transparent election to the people of Kenya. You and your commission had 5 years to prepare. You had a tremendous pool of
October 20, 2007

Togo / Lomé Togo-complot against the West (2)

The masses decide the direction of history. Yes it is a cliché. Thanks for observing that. At least you know your cliché’s. And also: thew image is never as bad as reality, especially if you talk about so called African countries with political tension. Examples? My first visit to Nigeria years ago, I did not get the AK47 roadblocks every 200 meters that people prepared me for. I neglected the advice of friends (who had never been to Africa), asking me if a story is worth my life. I went and I met a crazy country, but not the roadblocks. And I have had the experience before and often. Anyway: travelling to Togo is was prepared for soldiers and harassment during election time. The immigration officer in neighbouring country Ghana had already warned me when he asked my profession. Don’t tell the neighbours that you are a journalist, every year
October 15, 2007

Togo / Lomé now: so far elections went well

Arrived in Togo-capital Lomé after a 24-hour trip from Capetown, South Africa. I still owe you some stories from Namibia and South Africa and Ghana among them one about some Himba milionares in the Namibian desert, and the Ghana art of living. For now: still enjoying the heat and the end of the rainy season in the Togo-capital Lomé where elections were held yesterday. First impression two days ago: it feels like Sunday morning here all day. And the heat, always the hea. And the happines that seems to come with poverty. Togolese suffer, but they know where they are coming from: they once had a thriving market that was mainly built on the economic crisis of the countries around: in Burkina Faso, in Ivory Coast and in Ghana. Now that those countries are doing well (I came through Accra, capital of the neigbouring Ghana: what an activity, boiling atmosphere!)

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