Kenya–Security News

Another terrorism suspect escapes from Kenyan custody under suspicious circumstances.

KANU leaders right about one thing at least–the Administration Police should be disbanded and merged into the normal police force. The AP has grown to be equivalent in size to the 40,000 member national police, and is obviously a security threat in its own right. This was evident in the deployment of the AP to support the Kibaki re-election effort in December 2007 amid bold-faced denials, and spiraling rumors–helping to lay the groundwork for the post-election violence–as well as participating in it directly. [For Gideon Moi to pledge to tackle corruption is something else again . . . . ]

Carson says US to increase relative focus on food security in Africa policy.

Business leaders plan to use “Prime Minister’s Round Table” discussion to focus on insecurity–one idea: “re-deployment of police from non-core activities such as managing buildings, stadiums and chauffeuring civil servants, freeing them to carry out their core mandate of maintaining law and order.”

Meanwhile, with Sudan’s national elections coming up next month, The East African identifies a potential split between the US and other Western donors on one hand, and Kenya and Uganda on the other, in regard to South Sudanese independence:

The EastAfrican has separately learned that key Western democracies and institutions, fearing that independence for the South in its present state could see the area slide into anarchy, have quietly urged President Salva Kiir’s government to go slow on secession.

“Independence for the South should be put off for a few more years primarily because of lack of capacity in the South to run a stable and secure state,” said a source privy to Western analysis of the evolving situation in Sudan.

He added: “There is no institutional infrastructure to support a state, so there is a high chance that the country will degenerate into a Somalia-like situation. This would open a ‘corridor of terror’ across the region that could be infiltrated by Al Qaeda and its associates to create instability that would run counter to Western interests.”

The West is spooked by the prospect of sudden independence for a fragile state — with a corrupt and fractious national leadership, a nearly non-existent civil service, a poorly established local police and professional military — immediately disintegrating into a civil war.

This could draw the international community into a costly intervention to rebuild a state that few countries want to underwrite in the current economic climate.

With new discoveries of oil in both Uganda and Sudan and the likelihood of further discoveries in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, peace in the region is essential to the exploitation of these resources.

Western strategists believe that even under the best of circumstances, the absence of institutional infrastructure in the South and independent communication links to the outside world mean Juba would remain hostage to Khartoum, making it difficult to get energy and other exports to outside markets.

Such a scenario would deny the infant state the resources to deliver to the population the promised benefits of independence, leading to high levels of discontent that could result in a breakdown of law and order, said one analyst.

Other fears revolve around the fact that the South is far from homogenous and united, with a real risk that it could spiral into uncontrolled violence as the different regions jostle over resources.

Apparently, the West would like to see some slack factored into the timeline for Juba’s independence ambitions, while the shaky alliance between the SPLM and al-Bashir — who has largely been “contained” by the ICC warrants against him — is propped up until such a time that institutional capacity and critical infrastructure have been developed in the South.

Apparently, Kenya and Uganda, which have separately announced plans to build key road and railway links to Juba, are partly implementing this strategy.
. . . .
Responding to enquiries by this newspaper, Joann M Lockard, public affairs officer at the US embassy in Kampala, said, “The United States is concerned about peace and stability in South Sudan. The parties in Sudan are behind in the implementation of the most contentious provisions of the CPA, which is why we have worked so hard in 2009 and will double our efforts in 2010 to implement the agreement before it expires in 2011.”

For their part, while officially professing the position of the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (Igad), which is to encourage the parties in Sudan to make unity as attractive as possible, Kenya and Uganda are pursuing a two-track strategy.

On one track, fearing to set a precedent that could lead to a ripple effect with sections of their own populations agitating for secession, Uganda and Kenya are not officially breaking ranks with proponents of a unified Sudan.
. . . .
According to independent sources however, Uganda and its EAC partners believe that despite the challenges the South faces, Juba is better off breaking away from its unproductive marriage with Khartoum.

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