News in Brief


Kenya awaits election results
Kenya is facing a tense wait as Monday’s hard-fought election results are checked and counted. Uhuru Kenyatta is ahead so far , but it remains to be seen whether he will garner the 50%-plus of votes needed for an outright victory.

So far 80% of constituencies have declared, leaving Mr Kenyatta agonisingly close to victory with 49.9% of the vote. His nearest rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga has 43.7%.

Kenya’s head of elections James Oswago has said the results will be finalised later on Friday.

If Kenyatta is declared the winner, one of his first hurdles as President will be a trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he is accused of crimes against humanity arising from the savage violence which gripped Kenya in the aftermath of the contested presidential elections of 2007.

During the crisis over 1000 people died, while over half a million more were forced from their homes. Mr Kenyatta denies the allegations.

Trials at the Hague can often last up to four years, meaning that if Mr Kenyatta does win his presidency is likely to be, at the very least, hugely disrupted.

This year’s elections have so far been peaceful, after the country took numerous precautions to avoid a repeat of 2007’s violence. Fears remain, however, that violence could return if the eventual losing candidate contests the results.

Nigeria: Goodluck Jonathan rejects Boko Haram amnesty
There will be no amnesty for members of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, according to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr Jonathan, speaking on his first official visit to the north-eastern region most affected by the insurgency, says that, until it is known who the “ghost”-like Boro Haram members are and what they want, no such leniency can be granted.

“On the issue of amnesty… you cannot declare amnesty for ghosts, Boko Haram are still operating as ghosts, you don’t see the person,” he told local journalists, adding that the group must make itself visible if it wishes to be granted amnesty.

“You cannot declare amnesty for people that are operating under a veil so we can’t even discuss the issue of amnesty,” he said. “Let them come, let them tell us their problems.”

Boko Haram says it is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north. It is alleged to have caused the deaths of around 1400 people in the region over the last few years.

Tunisia set to unveil new government
Ali Larayedh, the Tunisian Prime Minister-designate, has said that “marathon negotiations” are drawing to a close and a new government will be announced shortly.

Tunisians will be hoping the new government signals a sustained period of stability after the country was thrown into chaos last month following the killing of opposition leader Chokri Belaid outside his own home. Belaid’s death sparked mass protests and regisnations from Tunisia’s coalition government.

Mr Larayedh said: “After marathon negotiations, we have reached an agreement on the government. We are going to give it the final touch tomorrow morning before presenting it to the president. God willing, the next government will be the government of all Tunisians.”

So far four people have been arrested in connection with Mr Belaid’s death.

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