Kenyan police on Wednesday arrested scores of members of a criminal sect whose clashes with authorities this week caused 19 deaths, officials said, as the government vowed to deal ruthlessly with the gang. Hundreds of riot police descended on Nairobi's Eastlands slums and central Kenyan districts.
Four more people died during a second day of nationwide rioting in Kenya on Tuesday, bringing the overall toll to 19, in a crisis that presented the new coalition Cabinet with its first major challenge. Police said they had killed three members of the Mungiki gang and accused its members of having hacked a Nairobi watchman to death.
Newly appointed Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Monday urged the new government, comprising former rivals, to work together to enhance reconciliation in the deeply divided nation. ''The process of reconciliation has begun and the Cabinet must speak in one voice,'' Odinga told reporters.
Kenyan leaders were on Wednesday under pressure to resume talks on forming a coalition government in a bid to end a devastating political crisis, a day after hundreds demonstrated to demand a new Cabinet. The much-delayed unveiling of a national-unity government is a key step in implementing a power-sharing deal aimed at quelling deadly violence.
The announcement of Kenya's new coalition Cabinet has been delayed indefinitely over disagreements on its composition, both sides said on Saturday. "The widely expected announcement tomorrow [Sunday] of a new Cabinet that all Kenyans were so keenly awaiting has been delayed," Orange Democratic Movement spokesperson Salim Lone said.
Kenyan papers and political watchdogs on Friday criticised the size of a coalition Cabinet announced a day earlier, saying 40 ministers were a colossal waste of money in a country with widespread misery. Newspapers said the cost was unreasonable for Kenya, a nation where about 60% of the population lives on less than a day.
Kenya's feuding political factions on Thursday announced the deadlock over a coalition government had been broken and that the new line-up would be announced on Sunday. The breakthrough came after a meeting between President Mwai Kibaki and prime minister-designate Raila Odinga amid weeks of bitter wrangling.
Top international aid agencies warned on Wednesday that war-scarred Somalia has become too dangerous for its workers to help more than one million civilians living rough, as fresh fighting erupted. Four Somali soldiers and two civilians were killed when Islamist fighters raided the town of Jowhar, near Mogadishu, officials said.
Seventeen people were killed in Kenya's Rift Valley region over the past 36 hours, where cattle theft has fanned tribal animosity, bringing the toll to 25 in three days, police said on Thursday. Cattle raiders killed 12 villagers and police retaliated, killing five of the attackers in the Baringo district.
Kicked out of sleepy Nile fishing hamlets lost forever to Sudan's oil boom, villagers in the south curse a refinery for causing forced relocations, for spreading disease and ravaging the environment. They say thousands were forcefully evicted to make way for a low-sulphur crude-oil venture.