15 thoughts on “Somalia war wrecks Kenyan economy

  1. Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)

    Somalia: UN – Stop the Bloodbath, Protect Journalists and Free Expression

    5 March 2012

    Geneva — The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) joined the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF, Reporters Without Borders) at a side event held at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in highlighting the attacks on journalists’ rights and freedom of expression in Somalia and exposing the inability of the Somali authorities in preventing, investigating and punishing the perpetrators of crimes against journalists.

    At this parallel event organised on 2 March 2012 in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Somali Republic to the United Nations in Geneva, speakers lifted the veil on the situation of freedom of expression in Somalia, which has progressively worsened after five journalists were murdered in Mogadishu since August 2011.

    “In today’s Somalia, journalists are targets of a widespread, often politically driven, campaign of murder and maltreatment. Many have fled their homes, or even the country, to protect themselves and families. There is now an urgent need to stop this bloodbath” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General, who painted a grim picture on the state of freedom of expression and journalists’ rights.

    ‘The latest killings confirm the dismaying reality facing journalists in Somalia today where intolerance and callous targeting sees prominent journalists gunned down at their homes,’ said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. ‘Once again we will be looking to international institutions to take up their responsibility and protect journalists from this brutal injustice.’

    Speaker after speaker berated the inability of the Somali government’s officials to defend journalists. Recent murders have put in doubt the recent claims of building peace and restoring stability made after the Somali conference in London. Journalists and trade union representatives laid bare the role by some government officials who were abusing their office and instead leading a campaign to suppress journalists and their right to free expression and association.

    “The record of unsolved murders of journalists over the past few years and sustained attacks on the National Union of Somali Journalists by Somali authorities show their lack of urgency over the media safety crisis and the authorities’ poor record on defending freedom of expression and journalists’ rights,” added Boumelha.

    “The culture of impunity must be reined in urgently and accountability ensured. There is a need to inquire the deaths of the various journalists killed in Somalia. Regrettably, the Transitional Government has proven to be incapable of investigating and prosecuting these killings even as doubts about its culpability have continued to grow amongst local journalists and media circles,” said Esther Busser, Assistant Director of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) advocacy office at the UN in Geneva.

    “Somalia’s government has very seriously violated trade union rights, as enshrined in the ILO’s Conventions 87 (on Freedom of Association) and 98 (on Collective Bargaining). The ITUC is extremely disturbed about the consistent politicised actions against NUSOJ members and its leadership to thwart them from carrying out their legitimate activities” added Busser.

    “The murder of journalists in Somalia is not just a random act of violence in a conflict zone, it is a political act: by killing the messenger, you kill the message,” said Hélène Sackstein, UN Advocacy Representative of RSF.

    Participants concluded the meeting by rebutting the proclamation made by the Somali authorities to be investigating the killings and called on the UN Human Rights Council to set up an independent commission of inquiry into the murder of journalists in Somalia.

    A high-level list of participants composed of UN and State officials, and leading human rights and free expression advocacy organizations attended the event.

  2. Kenyan nurses strike

    Nurses organised by the Union of Kenyan Civil Servants began a strike at the end of last week over wages and conditions. After two days, the union announced it had come to an agreement and called an official end to the dispute.

    Nurses repudiated the deal, however, and refused to return to work. One nurse explained, “We were not consulted and there is nothing that has been put on the table. We are not convinced by the deal reached … we feel duped.”

    The government went to the industrial court and obtained a court order deeming the strike illegal. It threatened that any nurse not returning to work by 2 p.m. on Tuesday would be considered to have left his or her job. The nurses did not heed the threats.

    Weeklong strike by Kenya Broadcast Corporation staff ends

    Workers in the Communication Workers Union at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) began a strike last week protesting poor pay, bad conditions and non-payment of arrears.

    The government response, spearheaded by the Information Minister Samuel Poghisio, was to threaten striking workers with the sack. Adverts were placed in newspapers to recruit a scab workforce.

    The strike had an impact on KBC’s ability to produce programmes, particularly news.

    The CWU was desperate to avoid the strike, with Secretary-General Benson Okwaro stating, “They should have waited for negotiations we had initiated to address the matter.”

    Vincent Lempaa, a spokesman for the striking workers, told reporters they did not want to be represented by Okwaro and were looking to another union to represent them. However, following further discussion, the workers returned to work on Wednesday. Pognisio agreed to address their grievances and promised Sh940 million ($11.4 million) to cover wage arrears.

    http://wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/wkrs-m09.shtml

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  4. Kenya: Nairobi municipal workers stop work over wages delay

    Nairobi City Council workers stopped work Tuesday and picketed City Hall. They were protesting the delayed payment of their February salary.

    One worker explained, “I have worked for 30 days and I need to be paid… We have been told that maybe by 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. we shall be paid, but without proof of that money we are not going away from here.”

    ——

    Kenyan sugar cane workers strike

    Drivers employed to transport the sugar cane crop from the fields to the processing plants of Mumias Sugar in Western Province went on strike at the beginning of the month. The company buys the cane grown by farmers in the region.

    The drivers have not been paid for three months. They abandoned the lorries laden with sugar cane in protest. The drivers work for PanAfric Transporters. When they were hired the company was called Rish Hauliers and they have now been told it has changed its name yet again to Sunrise. The switch of names appears to be an attempt to hide the parlous state of the company’s finances, which has used money set aside for salaries to buy fuel.

    —–

    Kenyan health workers return to work

    A strike by nurses that began March 1 has been called off after talks between the Union of Civil Servants and the prime minister. The nurses were protesting the government’s failure to fund an agreed pay rise negotiated with the union last year. They were also protesting the poor conditions in many of the public health facilities throughout the country.

    The government branded the strike illegal and last week sent out around 25,000 letters dismissing many of the nurses.

    As part of the settlement ending the strike, the government has withdrawn the dismissal letters. Although the union has agreed a return to work, no settlement was spelt out. The union’s secretary general told the press, “We have held talks and we have agreed health workers will resume duties, and all their grievances will be looked into by a special task force.”

    http://wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/wkrs-m16.shtml

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  9. Kenya: British Military Equipment Firm Establishes Factory in Mombasa

    By Dominic Wabala, 15 November 2012

    A British defense equipment manufacturing company has established a state-of-the-art factory in Mombasa. The Sh3.5 billion Osprea Logistics plant will manufacture armoured personnel carriers for the region.

    Ospera directors Roy Ndisi and Christian Bock said they hope that 50 per cent of the Mamba MK5 currently being used by Amisom troops in Somalia will be procured by Kenya.

    “The plant will reduce the cost of procurement and maintenance of the APCs in the region. It will provide internship for students in research and development. We intend to employ retired military personnel experienced in mechanics, engineering and vehicle fleet management,” Ndisi said.

    The construction of the plant, which received approval from the Kenya Investments Authority, is now complete. “Osprea plans its first-year production of Mamba MK5′s to be over 100 vehicles. This translates to work for over 200 people,” Bock said yesterday in Nairobi.

    Kenya will be the second country to manufacture the APCs, the other being South Africa whose products are used by the UN and AU. Over 200 such vehicles are currently in use by Amisom troops in Somalia.

    Ndisi and Bock said they chose Kenya because of its logistical location, manpower and manufacturing culture. The Iveco and Mercedes engine powered vehicles can withstand improvised explosive devices and small arms firepower.

    They can ove at a maximum speed of 105km per hour and carry 11 passengers. This has made it a favourite for military operations in remote zones. They were used during the war in Iraq.

    http://allafrica.com/stories/201211160255.html

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