Stories written by Najum Mushtaq

RIGHTS-ETHIOPIA: New Media Law, New Threat to Press Freedom

A new media law - six years in the making - has been passed by Ethiopia's House of People's Representatives. Its preamble declares that "the proclamation removes all obstacles that were impediments to the operation of the media in Ethiopia." But an analysis by Ethiopian journalists finds it actually clears the way for government to continue to harass and persecute the messenger when the message is not in line with the whims of the rulers.

RIGHTS-KENYA: Doubly Displaced

The Kenyan government says Operation Rudi Nyumbani - Return Home in Kiswahili - is almost complete; most of the camps for internally displaced people are closed and the remaining IDPs will be resettled within a week or two. But the hastily implemented programme is being called into question by Kenya's civil society and human rights activists.

HEALTH-KENYA: Malaria Rises to Highland Areas

The end of June marks the start of the malaria season in East Africa. After the long rains, conditions in lowland swamps and coastal regions are more conducive for mosquito breeding. But in recent years malaria has also appeared in the highland areas where it was previously unheard of.

RIGHTS-ETHIOPIA: Press Freedom Still Under Attack

The May edition of popular Ethiopian entertainment magazine Enku did not appear on newsstands as scheduled this month. Ethiopian police impounded all 10,000 copies before they could be distributed; Alemayehu Mahtemework, the magazine's publisher and deputy editor, was charged with threatening public order and spent five days in detention, along with three of his staff.

POLITICS-KENYA: An Intractable Land Dispute Grinds On

More than a week after the launch of an army operation to flush out the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) in Mount Elgon, a district along the border with Uganda, the fugitive chief of the outlawed militia has reportedly urged an end to the campaign, but remained defiant towards government.

ODM leader Odinga, President Kibaki and former UN head Annan pictured during Kenyan peace talks. Credit: Boniface Mwangi/IRIN

POLITICS-KENYA: What a Prime Minister Might – and Might Not – Do

A fifth week of talks to end Kenya's violent election dispute is scheduled to begin Monday, with the extent of power to be exercised by a new prime minister one of the key items on the agenda.

Former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan, chief mediator in talks to end Kenya&#39s post-election crisis. Credit: Paulo Filgueiras/UN Photo

POLITICS-KENYA: One More "Frightening Step" To Go

Efforts to defuse the post-election crisis in Kenya have entered a decisive phase, with negotiators appointed by President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga close to agreeing on a power-sharing government, chief mediator Kofi Annan said Friday.

POLITICS: Kenya’s Problem Goes Beyond Ethnicity and Elections

There is more to Kenya’s post-election violence than a bungled vote count and so-called tribal rivalries. As protests degenerate into organised ethnic violence in Rift Valley towns and countryside, the root-cause of the unrest lies elsewhere.

POLITICS-KENYA: State Overpowering People

Post-election politics in Kenya has become a war of attrition, and President Mwai Kibaki seems to be winning it, the cost to the image and economy of the country notwithstanding.

POLITICS-KENYA: Annan&#39s Weighty Terms of Engagement

Former U.N. chief Kofi Annan has his work cut out for him as Kenya 's tenth parliament is due to convene Tuesday amid calls from the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) for a 3-day mass protest beginning Wednesday.

POLITICS-KENYA: Kibaki Spoils Reconciliation Bid

When Kenya’s controversially re-elected president, Mwai Kibaki, appeared on national television to address the nation Tuesday evening, hopes were that he would address the humanitarian crisis his country faces in the wake of post- election tribal violence and hold out an olive branch to his rival Raila Odinga.

/UPDATE/POLITICS-KENYA: Mediation to Address Election Crisis Planned

Opposition officials have postponed a gathering that was supposed to take place Thursday in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, this after police clashed with demonstrators as they tried to make their way to Uhuru Park for the rally.

POLITICS-KENYA: Voters Reaffirm Democracy; Now It&#39s the Politicians&#39 Turn

Kenya's presidential, parliamentary and local council polls on Thursday were far from perfect. The main opposition candidate for the presidency and favourite to win the election could not locate his name in the voters' register in a constituency he has represented for the past 15 years.

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