David Maraga hits back at ‘threats’ over Kenya election re-run

Threats against Kenya’s judiciary are increasing after a Supreme Court ruling to invalidate President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win in last month’s election, the chief justice says.
The “savage” demonstrations were “intended to intimidate the judiciary”, David Maraga said in a statement.
It comes as riot police fired tear gas at supporters of Mr Kenyatta amid protests outside the Supreme Court.
The court ordered a re-run after citing irregularities in the original poll.
This has been set for 17 October, however, on Monday the French IT firm which supplied the electronic voting system said it would struggle to be ready in time.
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The opposition coalition, Nasa, has laid out a series of demands, which include re-tendering the printing of ballot papers and the sacking of election officials, that it says should be met before it takes part in the repeat elections.
On Tuesday, Mr Kenyatta said the election “must be done within 60 days” in accordance with the constitution, adding that it should be conducted by Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The Supreme Court’s full judgment and further details on why the poll was annulled are due to be made public on Wednesday.
Mr Kenyatta’s supporters protest outside the country’s Supreme Court, 19 September 2017Image copyrightREUTERS
Image caption
Mr Kenyatta’s supporters accuse the Supreme Court of “stealing our victory”
In response to Tuesday’s demonstrations, Mr Maraga said that he and other members of the legal body which selects judges were “prepared to pay the ultimate price to protect the constitution and the rule of law”.
His strongly-worded statement, which was made on behalf of the Judicial Service Network, condemned the “unlawful” acts of some of the demonstrators, which he said were “savage in nature”.
His statement also accused police chief Joseph Boinnet of not providing adequate security to judiciary staff, suggesting that he “repeatedly ignored calls to act, exposing judicial officers, property and litigants in danger”.
National police spokesman George Kinoti said he would await further details of the chief justice’s criticism before responding, Reuters news agency reports.
Grey line
Political posturing
By Wanyama wa Chebusiri, BBC Africa, Nairobi
Supporters of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee party protest against the country’s Supreme Court, which ruled in favour of opposition leader Raila Odinga and overturned the presidential election held on 8 August 2017, in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, 19 September 2017Image copyrightEPA
This is an unprecedented stand from Kenya’s judiciary, which has been under attack from the political elite in recent weeks.
It is being seen as a response to critics of the landmark Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the re-election of Uhuru Kenyatta, and the president’s threat to “fix the judiciary” if he wins the repeat polls next month.
The statement will only bolster David Maraga’s reputation for bravery and integrity in the eyes of many Kenyans, albeit maybe not supporters of the president.
The Supreme Court gave a 60-day deadline for the election re-run but a mixture of political posturing and logistical challenges have put this deadline at risk.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has launched a full-throttled campaign for the sacking of electoral commission officials whom it blames for bungling the election.
While a petition has been filed against two Supreme Court judges, accusing them of professional misconduct for allegedly being in touch with lawyers representing Mr Odinga during the election case.
Legal experts say that the hardline stance by both candidates, in addition to a myriad of logistical challenges, leaves the country hurling towards a constitutional crisis if the repeat polls are not held by the 1 November deadline.
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Grey line
Kenya’s election commission initially declared Mr Kenyatta, 55, the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes but the result was immediately challenged in court by his nearest rival, opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Mr Maraga later said that the 8 August election had not been conducted in accordance with the constitution, declaring it “null and void”.
Mr Odinga, 72, said the ruling marked “a historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension for the people of the continent of Africa”.
However Mr Kenyatta’s supporters have accused the Supreme Court of issuing an illegal judgment, arguing that the court should have ordered a recount of the votes.
The ruling did not attribute any blame to Mr Kenyatta’s party or campaign.
Western diplomats have expressed their concern at the rising tensions in Kenya, urging politicians not to incite violence.
Related Topics

RDC : l’UE sanctionne neuf responsables congolais, dont Lambert Mende, Évariste Boshab et Ramazani Shadari

L’Union européenne a décidé lundi 29 mai d’infliger des sanctions individuelles à neuf responsables de l’appareil sécuritaire de République démocratique du Congo, dont trois ministres ou anciens ministres du régime Kabila, pour de “graves violations des droits de l’Homme”.

Neuf hauts responsables congolais sont désormais interdits de voyage dans l’Union européenne, et leurs avoirs y ont été gelés. Ces sanctions ont été prises lundi 29 mai par le Conseil Européen « en réponse aux entraves au processus électoral et aux violations des droits de l’homme qui y étaient liées ». C’est l’appareil sécuritaire congolais qui est visé à travers cette décision.

Parmi les responsables sanctionnés figurent le porte-parole du gouvernement, Lambert Mende, actuellement en Chine, Kalev Mutondo, directeur de l’Agence nationale du renseignement (ANR), Ramazani Shadari, vice-Premier ministre et ministre de l’intérieur et de la sécurité, Jean-Claude Kazembe Musonda, ancien gouverneur du Haut-Katanga, Alex Kande Mupompa, Gouverneur du Kasaï central, Évariste Boshab, ancien vice-Premier ministre et ministre de l’intérieur et de la sécurité, Gédéon Kyungu Mutanga ancien chef de milices et deux commandants de brigades, Muhindo Akili Mundos, commandant de la 31e brigade des FARDC (Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo), et Éric Ruhorimbere, général de brigade.

Ces noms viennent grossir la liste de sept personnes déjà soumises aux même sanctions depuis décembre 2016 parmi lesquelles on trouvait Célestin Kanyama, commissaire de la police nationale congolaise ou encore le commandant de la garde républicaine, Ilunga Kampete. Suite à cette première liste, le gouvernement congolais avait qualifié « d’illégales» les sanctions. Aujourd’hui, s’il n’a pas encore réagi officiellement, un responsable proche des autorités accuse l’UE de chercher à « déstabiliser la RDC, comme la Libye ou l’Irak », rapporte l’AFP.

Les sanctions interviennent au moment où l’UE reste « gravement préoccupée par la détérioration de la situation en RDC » et que la « crise dans le Kasaï a atteint une ampleur exceptionnelle sur le plan à la fois sécuritaire, humanitaire et des droits de l’Homme », selon le communiqué publié à Bruxelles.

Depuis septembre 2016, la région du Kasaï (centre du pays) est secouée par la rébellion de Kamwina Nsapu, chef traditionnel tué en août lors d’une opération militaire après s’être révolté contre les autorités de Kinshasa. Selon l’ONU, ces violences ont fait plus de 400 morts et causé le déplacement de 1,27 million de personnes.

Source: Jeune Afrique

ADVERTISEMENT US troops to help Somalia fight al-Shabab

Somalis look at the wreckage of a US helicopter, in a Mogadishu street, 04 October 1993, after it was shot down.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe 1993 downing of two helicopters shocked the US

The US says it is sending dozens of troops to Somalia to train forces fighting Islamist group al-Shabab.

This is the first time regular US troops have been deployed in Somalia since 1994, although some counter-terrorism advisers are already there.

President Donald Trump last month approved a directive allowing tougher action against al-Shabab.

In 1993, 18 US special forces personnel were killed in the incident dramatised in the Hollywood film Black Hawk Down.

Who are Somalia’s al-Shabab?

The deaths, and the shooting down of two US helicopters in Mogadishu, shocked the US and the rest of its military personnel were withdrawn from Somalia shortly afterwards.

Hundreds of Somalis were also killed in the 15-hour battle sparked when US forces tried to capture close allies of warlord Mohammed Farah Aideed.

Since then, the US has restricted most of its activities in Somalia to drone and missile attacks against Islamist militants.

BBC World Service Africa editor Mary Harper says the US has also trained a highly effective elite Somali force.

Control map of Somalia

The main focus now is the Somali army, which is fractured, undisciplined and poorly equipped, she says.

Several other countries, including the UK and Turkey, are also training Somali troops.

Al-Shabab, part of al-Qaeda, has a strong presence in many rural parts of Somalia and often stages attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, and elsewhere.

The African Union has a force of about 22,000 soldiers helping the Somali government fight al-Shabab.

Source: BBC Africa

Bongo et Ping crient victoire

Des partisans d'Ali Bongo (à gauche) et des partisans de Jean Ping (à droite).Image copyrightAFP
Image captionDes partisans d’Ali Bongo (à gauche) et des partisans de Jean Ping (à droite).

Les camps d’Ali Bongo et de Jean Ping se disent tous les deux vainqueurs du scrutin présidentiel organisé samedi au Gabon, selon Rémy Nsabimana, l’envoyé spécial de BBC Afrique.

Chacun des deux candidats favoris de cette élection dit attendre d’être proclamé vainqueur par les institutions compétentes.

Leurs compatriotes attendent impatiemment la fin de la compilation des votes par la commission électorale et la publication des résultats par le ministère de l’Intérieur.

Ce dernier a appelé à la patience les électeurs et les militants des 10 candidats à l’élection présidentielle.

La publication des résultats doit avoir lieu au plus tard mardi soir.

Libreville, Gabon
Image caption Par crainte de troubles, de nombreux habitants de Libreville étaient restés chez eux, ce dimanche.

Les observateurs craignent des contestations de la part de ceux qui auront perdu l’élection présidentielle.

Ce lundi, certaines missions d’observation électorale, celle de l’Union européenne par exemple, vont se prononcer sur les conditions d’organisation du scrutin.

Il s’agit d’un scrutin à un tour.

Au lendemain du vote, dimanche, les rues et les plages de la capitale étaient presque désertes.

Redoutant des troubles postélectoraux, de nombreux habitants de Libreville étaient restés chez eux.

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