(KENYA) #COPOUT Report: Rubble, bare earth and tree stumps mark the route of a super highway under construction in capital, Nairobi, upsetting environmentalists – especially in the wake of the Glasgow summit #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.28: Rows of mainly indigenous trees that once lined the route of the new four-lane 27km (16-mile) Nairobi Expressway have been felled as construction nears completion.

#AceDailyNews says according to BBC Africa News Report: Kenya tree felling sparks anger that even Ornamental palm trees – some of them planted soon after independence from British colonial rule in the 1960s – have not been spared either.

By Emmanuel Onyango
BBC News, Nairobi

An uprooted ornamental palm tree in Nairobi, Kenya
Decades-old ornamental palm trees are among those uprooted

Last year a century-old fig tree targeted for removal was saved by the president after a public outcry – but campaigners’ voices about the hundreds of others have been drowned out.

This old fig tree was spared the axe after a campaign to save it

Elizabeth Wathuti, from the Green Generation Initiative, who earlier this month was among those rallying world leaders in Glasgow to reduce the impact of climate change, is devastated by the destruction in the heart of one of the city’s main thoroughfares.

“We previously geographically mapped out 200 trees marked for felling along Kenyatta Avenue alone. It’s a sorry state of affairs,” she told the BBC.

The devastation has already seen flocks of marabou storks and other birds that perched and nested on the trees migrate to tall buildings in the city centre.

Suspension order ignored

The Chinese-financed highway, some of which is elevated, will link the main airport in the east to western suburbs. It is intended to make it easier to cross the city and free other roads from Nairobi’s notorious traffic jams.

Before the $550m (£410m) project started last year, an official environmental impact report said that more than 4,000 young and mature trees would be cut down.

It also flagged its “major negative impact” on air and water quality during construction.

Many marabou storks nest on trees in the city

In response government officials said the Chinese contractor building it would plant trees elsewhere – five for every one felled.

But this will not be in Nairobi – and environmentalists fear such promises may not be kept.

Nature Kenya’s Paul Gacheru points out that little account is taken of how old the trees being felled are – and the time it took to grow them. 

“They are doing beautification. They are putting some grass, some flowers. But the value of those flowers versus the tress that have been cut cannot be equal,” said Mr Gacheru.

Ms Wathuti agrees: “The developers say: ‘It’s OK. We’ll just plant new trees somewhere else.’ But this is not OK and we know in our hearts that this is not OK. Every tree in the city counts and every tree in the city must live.”

BBC/Peter Njoroge

Tree stumps can be seen all along the route

This distrust has been fuelled after it came out that a section of the highway was to encroach into the city centre’s Uhuru Park.

This iconic green space was saved in the 1990s by environmentalists, led by the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, thwarting the then-ruling party’s plan to build its huge HQ and shopping complex there.

The highway’s design has subsequently been tweaked – but a coalition of environmental organisations, including Green Generation Initiative and Nature Kenya, went to court in June 2020 to stop the project, arguing that it had gone ahead without public consultation.

Yet construction and the chopping down of tress has continued, despite the law requiring a suspension of works pending the environment court’s decision.

According to Mark Odaga, from Natural Justice – which is also part of the coalition, the problem comes down to details.

The report approving the project gave little away about how the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) would deal with the environmental impact before, during and after construction.

“A public consultation would require them to give us that information,” Mr Odaga told the BBC.

Activist shot dead

Nairobi straddles forests to the west and savannah grasslands to the east, with three rivers running through it. 

It is popularly known as the “Green City in the Sun”, but its green spaces are being eaten up everywhere by commercial and infrastructural developments – it is not just the Nairobi Expressway to blame.

BBC/Peter Njoroge

It is the government’s lack of consultation about big projects that upsets people

To the north and east, huge bypasses are being built that are spewing out red dust and rocks in already congested neighbourhoods. 

To the south, a high-speed railway has been built through a national park, which activists say poses a threat to wildlife. 

Trees lining roads in the suburbs have also been cut down to create space for giant billboards. 

Without warning, Nairobi’s Uhuru Park and Central Park were recently closed for three months – officially to be spruced up.

This has sparked consternation as photos have since emerged of building work going on there. Last year, Uhuru Gardens was similarly shut without warning – the authorities then explained it was to create a memorial area for independence heroes.

But again it is the lack of consultation that angers many residents.

And the odds are stacked against conservationists.

In July, prominent environmental activist Joannah Stutchbury was shot dead near her home in Nairobi.

The 67-year-old had been getting death threats for campaigning against the destruction of Kiambu Forest by developers eyeing the prime site on the outskirts of the city.

Critics say the government is barrelling ahead with the Nairobi Expressway because President Uhuru Kenyatta wants it finished before he leaves office – it is seen as his legacy project.

BBC/Peter Njoroge

It is unlikely that Nairobi’s famous matatus will be able to afford the toll to use the elevated highway

The CRBC has said it will open six months ahead of schedule in time for the elections next August.

But doubts too have been cast over whether the highway will really ease congestion in the city as motorists will have to pay a toll to use it. Some see it as a road for the rich in a city where most people use matatu minibuses to travel.

Ms Wathuti says those in government should rather keep the health of the city in mind when considering their legacy. She says green spaces are the lungs of a city – areas that are also important for the mental health of its residents.

“I’m grieving because by cutting down trees to create more space for roads, we are undermining the children’s and young people’s sense of agency and meaning.”

More on Nairobi’s super highway:

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Nov.28: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#cop26, #glasgow, #kenya, #trees

(LONDON) Press Release Statement Report: The healthcare partnership between Kenya and the UK government has been strengthened through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Aug.03: The MoU, signed at the Royal College of Physicians by the Health and Social Care Secretary and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Labour Cooperation, Simon Chelugi, and attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta today [Thursday 29 July], builds on UK healthcare support provided to Kenya during the pandemic through the genomic sequencing of positive #COVID19 tests and 817,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses donated this week.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says that Kenya Presidential visit strengthens healthcare partnership with U.K. during #COVID19 and the #pandemic with signing an MOU and donation of over 800,000 vaccine doses ……

  • Health and Social Care Secretary signs Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya
  • Qualified healthcare staff to join NHS in coming years to increase workforce numbers
  • Builds on pandemic support to Kenya, including test genome sequencing and vaccine sharing, and 30-year research partnership

The MoU commits to a process for qualified but unemployed Kenyan nurses to be actively recruited to work in the NHS in the coming years, helping to deliver the government’s manifesto commitment for 50,000 more nurses by 2024 and support the training of Kenya’s healthcare professionals.

The UK has been working with Kenya for over 30 years to improve healthcare outcomes in both countries, with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and Wellcome Trust partnering together to establish a health research programme. This partnership has strengthened over the years and has proven to be pivotal throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with KEMRI and Oxford University working together in trialling the AstraZeneca vaccine, with support from the UK government.

The President’s visit to the UK delivers on the Strategic Partnership between the two countries, agreed by President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Boris Johnson in January 2020.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said:

We have a historic and mutually respectful relationship with Kenya. This has been strengthened by working closely with Kenya during the pandemic and sharing UK vaccine doses to support Kenya’s fight against COVID-19.

Our healthcare agreement will make the most of UK and Kenyan health expertise which will be beneficial to both countries, with the exchange of knowledge and training which will provide first class healthcare.

The UK is sharing expertise with Kenya to work together in identifying, tracking and responding to new COVID-19 variants, saving lives at home and around the world. KEMRI is working with Public Health England as part of the UK’s New Variant Assessment Platform (NVAP). The support includes reagents and equipment to increase in-country genome sequencing, technical advice, support with understanding biological data and training.

As the Prime Minister announced yesterday, the UK will offer 817,000 vaccine doses to Kenya to support efforts to combat the pandemic, with the first doses going this week. This is part of a delivery of 9 million Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to COVAX.

Jane Marriott, the British High Commissioner to Kenya, said:

Our health partnership with Kenya is over 30 years old and growing stronger by the month. This new agreement on health workers allows us to share skills and expertise even further, and is a fantastic opportunity for Kenyans to work in the UK.

From COVID-19 vaccines and genomic sequencing, to exchanges on cancer research and treatment to help Kenya treatment more cancer patients at home, the UK has a long and proud history of support for Kenya’s health sector. The signing of the Kenya-UK Health Alliance is the latest chapter in our flourishing partnership.

Backed by over £500m in UK government funding, COVAX, a global scheme to get COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries, has delivered 138 million doses to over 136 countries and territories. COVAX aims to deliver a staggering 1.8 billion COVID-19 vaccines around the world by early 2022.

Following the MoU, an Implementing Committee will develop an Action Plan to identify eligible nurses who may want to apply to work in Health and Care roles in the UK.

With around only 900 Kenyan staff currently in the NHS, the country has an ambition to be the ‘Philippines of Africa’ – with Filipino staff one of the highest represented overseas countries in the health service – due to the positive economic impact that well-managed migration can have on low to middle income countries.

The MoU also commits the two governments to explore working together to build capacity in Kenya’s health workforce through managed exchange and training, depending on funding availability following the Spending Review.

Additionally, the prevention and management of cancer in Kenya will be improved through a partnership between Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral Hospital and the University of Manchester/Christie NHS Foundation Trust. In part, this will see the promotion of Kenya as an East African regional hub for cancer treatment.


  • Kenya took part in vaccine trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine through KEMRI Kilifi, on Kenya’s coast, to test the vaccine in different environments.
  • In the NHS in England there are 894 Kenyans working across all roles. This makes Kenyans the 30th largest nationality group in the NHS.

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Aug.03: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#dept-of-health-social-care, #kenya, #london, #mou

(KENYA) JUST IN: Authorities fired tear gas canisters at DW’s East Africa correspondent Mariel Müller with one canister grazing her and a second injuring her leg while she was conducting an interview #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport- May.01: Müller was covering a peaceful protest against police brutality and coronavirus lockdown measures in central Nairobi at the time of the attack:

#Free Press Report: DW journalist Mariel Müller on police attack in Kenya: ‘A Deutsche Welle correspondent was attacked by police while covering a demonstration in Nairobi on Saturday’

Canisters shot by police release clouds of tear gas at a protest in Nairobi, Kenya
Kenyan police repeatedly fired tear gas at protesters and reporters

Video of moment DW journalist was attacked in Nairobi taken down …

DW Journalist Mariel Muller

‘You just shot me’

Around 40 protesters gathered to voice their opposition to COVID restrictions and the economic impact on poorer communities. The demonstrators were careful to adhere to social distancing rules “to not anger the police,” Müller told DW.

“The police were there and observed the first part [of the protest] and then eventually started firing tear gas,” she said.

The first time Müller was struck, she said she was grazed by a canister when police began launching tear gas in the direction of protesters and reporters.

Police moved in with batons and detained several demonstrators. One man was shoved in a truck after police tried to take away the sign he was holding.

After a while, “it appeared as if the situation had calmed down,” said Müller. She and the camera team moved to the sidelines of the demonstration and began interviewing an older woman taking part in the protest.

“We noticed that something was happening. But then it was too late — a shot was fired. I noticed that my leg started hurting and that I’d been hit there,” she said.

The canister was shot from a tear gas launcher.

“It’s not like they just throw [the canister] and then it’s on the ground and rolls somewhere, but it’s really a gun,” she said. “They load the gun with these small silver canisters.”

Müller added that police appeared to be purposefully aiming at her and the camera crew.

She approached authorities afterward, telling the officer who had been firing the canisters: “You just shot me, you just hit me in my leg.”

The officer denied it and walked away, “but he knew exactly what had happened,” Müller said.

DW condemns targeted attack

DW Director General Peter Limbourg strongly condemned the attack and called for an investigation.

“We condemn this act of police violence. Any attack against the media must be investigated and lead to consequences,” he said.

DW Editor-in-Chief Manuela Kasper-Claridge called the attack “absolutely unacceptable,” adding that “freedom of the press has to be protected.”

Amnesty International’s Kenya branch also called for authorities to launch an investigation, and slammed “the brutal attack on journalists and protesters” in Nairobi.

The Foreign Press Association of Africa criticized the actions of the police officer who “deliberately” fired on Müller.

“No journalist should be harmed while doing their jobs,” responded the Foreign Correspondent’s Association of East Africa, adding that they were “extremely disturbed” by the reports.

Journalists increasingly targeted

A UNESCO report published in September found that journalists “have been increasingly attacked, arrested and even killed” while covering protests.

The report also revealed a “wider upward trend” in the use of force by security forces and police at demonstrations.

According to media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, 54 media workers were killed in 2020.

The attack on a DW correspondent comes ahead of World Press Freedom Day on May 3.

DW’s Andreas Noll contributed reporting to this article.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: May.01: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#covid19, #dw-journalist, #kenya, #protest

(KENYA) JUST IN: International Christian Concern (ICC) Report: That at least five passengers died and dozens severely injured on Wednesday morning, March 24, after a bus they were traveling in ran over a roadside improvised bomb on Lafey-Mandera road near the Kenya-Somali border in Mandera County #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Mar.26: Speaking to the ICC from Mandera, a local church leader confirmed that the injured passengers were at the Mandera General Hospital with six people in critical condition. He added, “The security situation in Mandera hasn’t improved, although we have not witnessed many attacks since the beginning of the year. We always live in fear especially when we get information that the Somali-based al-Shabaab members have been spotted. We continue to urge our brothers and sisters to remain vigilant and avoid traveling through high-risk roads.”

Kenya: Militants have murder five people, injure dozens as bus drives over roadside IED: ‘The public service vehicle was traveling to Mandera town when the incident occurred near Arabia town. The North Eastern Police Commander suggested that the attackers had crossed the border a day ago targeting police camps in Lafey and non-local education officers who are facilitating national exams in the region’

“Mandera Bus Attack Leaves Five Dead and Scores Injured,” International Christian Concern, March 24, 2021:

While on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday afternoon, Mandera Senator, Mr. Mohamed M. Mahamud, condemned the early morning attack calling it “A serious terror attack” and asked the government “to upscale security and make sure this matter is dealt with accordingly. We also urge our people to cooperate with security agencies and not to relent in reporting any suspicion.”

Today’s bus attack comes two months after another passenger bus in Wajir, northeastern Kenya, where a group of armed Al-Shabaab militants robbed travelers and the bus conductor after failing to find Christians in the bus. Over the last few years, Al-Shabaab has been targeting Christians and security personnel in the Northeastern region of Kenya that lies near the border with Somalia….

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Mar.26: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#al-shabaab, #icc, #ied, #kenya


#AceWorldNews – NEW YORK:Jan.03: A Libyan man accused of masterminding the 1998 al-Qaida bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania has died just days before he was due to stand trial in New York for the crimes The Guardian reported.

'Abu Anas al-Liby ' Most Wanted Dies '

‘Abu Anas al-Liby ‘ Most Wanted Dies ‘

Abu Anas al-Liby, 50, died on Friday from complications following liver surgery, his wife said.

He had a $5m (£3.3m) bounty on his head and was high on the FBI’s most-wanted list when he was captured by US forces in Tripoli in October 2013.

He and a Saudi businessman Khalid al-Fawwaz were due to stand trial on 12 January over the attacks, in which 244 people were killed and more than 5,000 wounded.

AP reporting said that fifteen years after allegedly helping al-Qaida plot the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Abu Anas al-Libi parked his car on a quiet street in Libya’s capital.

Within moments, soldiers from the U.S. Army’s elite Delta Force forced him at gunpoint into a van and sped away.

They’d fly him to a naval ship in the Mediterranean Sea before finally bringing him to New York to stand trial on charges of helping kill 224 people, including a dozen Americans, and wound more than 4,500.


#al-qaeda, #bombings, #kenya, #libyan, #tanzania

‘ Two Iranians Arrested Plead Guilty to Stolen Israeli Passports ‘

#AceWorldNews- KENYA – September 24 – The two Iranians arrested in Kenya last week, pleaded guilty on the charge of possession of forged documents Jewish press reported today. 

The two were travelling on stolen Israeli passports, and had changed the photos to their own.

They pair claimed they were seeking asylum and asked to not be returned to Iran, where they said they might be killed.


#forged, #iranian, #kenya, #passports

‘ Egyptian Adel Abdul Bary Pleading Guilty to Charges Connected to 1998 Bombings of Embassies ‘

#AceNewsServices – September 19 – An Egyptian man, Adel Abdul Bary, said on Friday he would plead guilty in New York to charges connected with the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Reuters reported.

' Adel Abdul Bary on Trial '

‘ Adel Abdul Bary on Trial ‘

Bary, 54, said in court he would plead guilty to making a threat to use an explosive device and conspiracy to murder Americans.

The plea comes two months before he was set to face trial in a federal court alongside two co-defendants, Libyan Anas al-Liby and Saudi Khalid al-Fawwaz.

The bombings killed 224 people. Bary and Fawwaz helped disseminate statements of responsibility for the group, according to an earlier criminal indictment.


#adel-abdul-bary, #americans, #anas-al-liby, #egyptian, #kenya, #khalid-al-fawwaz, #libyan, #new-york, #saudi, #tanzania, #us

‘ Somalia’s al-Shabaab Claim Responsibility for Attack on Bus Killing Seven ‘

#AceWorldNews – MOGADISHU – July 19 – Somalia‘s al Shabaab insurgents claimed responsibility on Saturday for an attack on a bus on Kenya‘s northern coast that killed seven.

Gunmen blocked the bus with their car late on Friday and sprayed it with bullets.

They also attacked two lorries carrying mangos near Witu, a town in Lamu County which borders Somalia.

“The attack was in response to Kenya’s claim that it deployed more troops in the coast and thus tightened security,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, spokesman for al Shabaab’s military operations told Reuters.



#al-shabaab, #friday, #kenya, #lamu, #nairobi, #reuters, #somalia, #witu

` NSA Records Almost All Domestic and International Phone Calls in Afghanistan ‘

#AceSecurityNews – NSA – May 23 – The NSA records almost all domestic and international phone calls in Afghanistan, similar to what it does in the Bahamas, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange said.

Reports in the Washington Post and the Intercept had previously reported that domestic and international phone calls from two or more target states had been recorded and stored in mass as of 2013.

Both publications censored the name of one victim country at the request of the US government, which the Intercept referred to as ‘Country X’.

Assange says he cannot disclose how WikiLeaks confirmed the identity of the victim state for the sake of source protection, though the claim can be “independently verified” via means of “forensic scrutiny of imperfectly applied censorship on related documents released to date and correlations with other NSA programs.”

This is not the first time it has been revealed mass surveillance was being conducted on Afghanistan by the NSA. According to a book released by Der Spiegel entitled ‘Der NSA Komplex’, a program called ACIDWASH collects 30-40 million telephony metadata records per day from Afghanistan. ACIDWASH has been identified as being part of the MYSTIC program.

WikiLeaks cannot be complicit in the censorship of victim state X. The country in question is #Afghanistan. https://t.co/vWwU4DJw0I#afpak
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 23, 2014
The Intercept, which Glenn Greenwald, who first broke the Edward Snowden revelations helped to found, had earlier named the Bahamas as having their mobile calls recorded and stored by a powerful National Security Agency (NSA) program called SOMALGET.

SOMALGET is part of a broader NSA program called MYSTIC, which the the NSA is using to gather metadata – including the numbers dialled and the time and duration of the calls – from phone calls in the Bahamas, Mexico, Kenya and the Philippines. SOMALGET by its nature is far more controversial, however, as it stores actual phone conversations for up to 30 days.

WikiLeaks initially opted not to reveal the name of ‘Country X’ as they were led to believe it could “lead to deaths” by Greenwald. WikiLeaks later accused The Intercept and its parent company First Look Media of censorship, saying they would go ahead and publish the name of the NSA-targeted country.

“We do not believe it is the place of media to ‘aid and abet’ a state in escaping detection and prosecution for a serious crime against a population,” Assange said in the statement.

Read More at: RT – 23/05/2104 – http://tinyurl.com/paehpu9


#bahamas, #kenya, #mexico, #nsa, #philippines, #wikileaks

` Hundreds of Somalis Are Expelled from Kenya Following Crack-Down on Al-Qaeda-linked Shabab ‘

#AceWorldNews – SOMALIA – May 23 – Hundreds of Somalis have been expelled from Kenya, with 98 in the latest batch sent back in a major crackdown on suspected Islamists, AFP said, citing a report of the Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The crackdown has seen people held in police cells or a football stadium, the group said Friday.

This follows a spate of attacks in Kenya by suspected supporters of Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shabab rebels.

A batch sent to Somalia by air-plane on Tuesday was reportedly the fourth round sent home, taking the total expelled to 359.


#al-qaeda, #al-shabab, #kenya, #somalia

` Kenyan Police Detaining Somali’s Law Abiding Citizen’s under Terrorist Crackdown could lead to Xenophobia ‘

AceWorldNews – NAIROBI – Kenya – Somalia’s prime minister expressed concern Monday over the detention of what he says are law-abiding Somalis in Kenya, where police are conducting a security crackdown aimed at stopping terrorist attacks.

Kenyan police have arrested thousands of people, most of them ethnic Somalis, following a wave of violent attacks blamed on the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

Last week a car bomb exploded outside a Nairobi police station, killing two policemen and two occupants of the vehicle, both ethnic Somalis.

The security operation has been strongly criticized by rights groups who say authorities are profiling Somalis, detaining them without trial, extorting refugees, holding the suspects in inhumane conditions and circumventing the law to deport some back to Somalia.

Rights activists have warned the targeting of Somalis could lead to xenophobia and increase radicalisation of Muslim youths, who may feel their religion is under attack.

Ace Related News:
1. Fox News – April 28 – http://tinyurl.com/p64mmkv


#aceworldnews, #kenya, #muslim, #nairobi, #somalia

` Attack on Church in `Mombasa ‘ kills 4 and Wounded others as Gunmen shot at Worshippers ‘

#AceWorldNews – KENYA – 24 March – Four people were killed and others wounded in an attack on a church in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa, Reuters reported.

The attack occurred when two gunmen began shooting at worshippers.

“Both carried big guns and began shooting all over the place. I fell to the ground and could hear screams,” said witness Lilian Omondi.

Another witness described one of the gunmen shouting in a different language before starting to shoot.


#kenya, #kenyan, #mombasa, #reuters, #rt-news

#AceWorldNews says Somali pirates have hijacked a merchant…

#AceWorldNews says Somali pirates have hijacked a merchant vessel in the Red Sea in the first successful capture of a ship in the region since 2012, Reuters reports. The MV Marzooqah sent out a distress signal on Saturday evening, said Andrew Mwangura, secretary general of the Seafarers Union of Kenya. The number of pirate attacks in the area reduced drastically in 2013 due to the increased navy presence in the region.

#kenya, #navy, #red-sea, #reuters, #seafarers-union-of-kenya, #somali

Universal Ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

#AceWorldNews says the history of the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) spans over more than a century. The “road to Rome” was a long and often contentious one. While efforts to create a global criminal court can be traced back to the early 19th century, the story began in earnest in 1872 with Gustav Moynier – one of the founders of the International Committee of the Red Cross – who proposed a permanent court in response to the crimes of the Franco-Prussian War. The next serious call for an internationalized system of justice came from the drafters of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, who envisaged an ad hoc international court to try the Kaiser and German war criminals of World War I. Following World War II, the Allies set up the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals to try Axis war criminals.

The UN General Assembly Resolution n. 260 on 9 December 1948, provided for the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and was the first step towards the establishment of an international permanent criminal tribunal with jurisdiction on crimes yet to be defined ininternational treaties. In the resolution there was a hope for an effort from the Legal UN commission in that direction. The General Assembly, after the considerations expressed from the commission, established a committee to draft a statute and study the related legal issues.

States parties of the Rome Statute of the Inte...

States parties of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Updated to July 2011 (116 members). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

States parties of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Updated to July 2011 (116 members). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1951 a first draft was presented; a second followed during the same year but there were a number of delays, officially due to the difficulties in the definition of the crime of aggression, that were only solved with diplomatic assemblies in the years following the statute’s coming into force. The geopolitical tensions of the Cold War also contributed to the delays.

In June 1989, motivated in part by an effort to combat drug trafficking, Trinidad and Tobago resurrected a pre-existing proposal for the establishment of an ICC and the UN GA asked that the ILC resume its work on drafting a statute. The conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia as well as in Rwanda in the early 1990,s and the mass commission of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide led the UN Security Councilto establish two separate temporary ad- hoc tribunals to hold individuals accountable for these atrocities, further highlighting the need for a permanent international criminal court.

In 1994, the ILC presented its final draft statute for an ICC to the UN GA and recommended that a conference of plenipotentiaries be convened to negotiate a treaty and enact the Statute. To consider major substantive issues in the draft statute, the General Assembly established the Ad Hoc Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, which met twice in 1995.

After considering the Committee’s report, the UN GA created the Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of the ICC to prepare a consolidated draft text. From 1996 to 1998, six sessions of the UN Preparatory Committee were held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, in which NGOs provided input into the discussions and attended meetings under the umbrella of the NGO Coalition for an ICC (CICC). In January 1998, the Bureau and coordinators of the Preparatory Committee convened for an Inter-Sessional meeting in Zutphen, the Netherlands to technically consolidate and restructure the draft articles into a draft.

Statute of Rome AfricaEstablished by the Rome Statute of 1998, the ICC can try cases involving individuals charged with war crimes committed since July 2002. The Security Council, the ICC Prosecutor or a State Party to the court can initiate any proceedings, and the ICC only acts when countries themselves are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute.

Despite collective efforts, much remains to be done towards universal ratification of the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC),United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said recently encouraging Member States to ratify or accede to it.

“I am convinced that the solution of broadening the reach of the Court is not disengagement, but universality,” Mr. Ban told the 12th session of the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC in a <”http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7295“>message delivered by Miguel de Serpa Soares, UN Legal Counsel and Under-Secretary-General.

Of the 139 States that signed the ICC’s founding treaty, 31 have yet to ratify it and 43 States have neither signed nor acceded to it.

“Only once the Rome Statute has been universally accepted can the Court be as effective as we would wish it to be, with a truly global reach,” he said in the message.

Beyond the lack of universality, the ICC also faces other challenges, including a struggle for necessary resources and staffing shortages.

The Court also has difficulties bringing the accused to judgement and delivering justice to the victims without undue delay,the UN chief noted in his message.

“It faces the fundamental challenge of upholding the core principles of justice, equality and the rule of law: that the law applies equally to all,” Mr. Ban’s said, adding that the law must also be delivered independently, impartially and in conformity with international human rights law and standards.

Just as importantly, the law must be seen as being so delivered, Mr. Ban highlighted.

He also noted the importance of building effective national justice institutions and dispute mechanisms.

“Our commitment to international criminal justice is not only a commitment to strengthened international cooperation and dialogue, but also to strengthened domestic human rights and rule of law systems,” he added.

“At this difficult moment, we must remain steadfast and ensure that we are on the right side of history,” the Secretary-General said, stressing that as uncomfortable as it might be, “we must address our challenges head on” by encouraging dialogue and remaining true to the principles of the statute.   “This Assembly is the best forum for this dialogue.”

New York, Nov 20 2013  5:00PM

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