Stephen is editor of The Kenyan Spectator, a national weekly publishing from Nairobi. His main areas of interest are foreign relations, security and democracy as well as economy and information technology.

My Articles

July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - Humanitarian agencies operating in Sudan's eastern region of Darfur say a lack of security is hindering their activities, but Sudan's Islamist president says a more robust United Nations peacekeeping force will not be allowed in the troubled region for now.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - A United States military taskforce set up three years ago to deter terrorism in the turbulent Horn of Africa region and described as a "quiet success story" has rolled out plans to strengthen and expand its presence.The Djibouti-based Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa has extended its lease agreement with the government of the small northeastern African country for another five years -- renewable for a further five years -- and plans to expand its present base, Camp Lemonier, more than five-fold.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - The fall of Somalia's Islamists drew mixed reactions in Kenya, a country that is home to a large Somali community and which hosted a peace process that led to the formation of an interim administration.The administration, known as the transitional federal government (TFG), has been unable to locate in Mogadishu before now, but the withdrawal of Islamists from the capital under fire from Ethiopian forces means it may now finally be able to do so.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - Democratic gains in Africa may be at risk because of "third term" syndrome -- efforts by some leaders to amend constitutions to extend their tenures in office.Because some leaders are reluctant to relinquish power after their constitutionally mandated two terms in office, African analysts, rights campaigners and others are concerned that Africa may revert to a past dominated by "president-for-life" autocrats.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - President Bush's anti-AIDS initiative has been cited by campaigners in Africa as a key reason for the decline in new HIV/AIDS infections across the continent.Activists attributed the gains both to an abstinence campaign and the increased use of condoms, while the provision of antiretroviral drugs has also helped AIDS patients live productive lives.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - The United States has committed $17 million towards an envisaged peacekeeping force in Somalia, a State Department official said here Friday.The announcement comes as the international community grapples with how to help Somalia maintain stability following the expulsion last month of Islamist forces which had controlled Mogadishu and other parts of the country for the past six months.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - The arrest of alleged war criminal Charles Taylor has drawn mixed reactions in his homeland -- relief that justice may be served, now that Taylor has been turned over to an international tribunal; and concern that loyalists could run amok to avenge his capture.Taylor this week was delivered to the Special Court in Sierra Leone -- the country neighboring his native Liberia -- after Nigerian authorities, under strong diplomatic pressure, foiled Taylor's attempt to flee.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - A decision by a violent African rebel group to enter peace talks has provoked a debate over whether the perpetrators of severe rights abuses should escape punishment in the interests of ending a two decade-long conflict.Six senior members of the Ugandan group Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The LRA is notorious for abducting children and punishing civilians by amputating limbs.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - The United States has become the first country to establish a permanent diplomatic mission with the African Union, at a time when the U.S. is also planning to set up a new military command responsible for the continent.Cindy L. Courville, a former special assistant to the president and a senior director for African affairs at the National Security Council, will head the mission to be based at the A.U. headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - Sudan has backed down over a decision to bar United Nations humanitarian coordinator Jan Egeland from visiting the Darfur region, but aid groups say the government's actions call into further question its commitment to resolve the crisis.Egeland's flight into Sudan was denied authorization to land over the weekend. He was scheduled to make a five-day trip to assess the humanitarian situation, pledge further assistance to relief agencies and draw further international attention to the three-year-old ethnic conflict.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - Eastern Africa could be entering a period of new instability, sparked by a conflict in Somalia that has already drawn in Ethiopia and Eritrea, regional analysts warned.Ethiopia is threatening to send troops across the border into Somalia to defend the country's transitional government from resurgent Islamist forces, The U.N. and others claim some Ethiopian troops have already entered Somalia, although Addis Ababa denies this.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - Amid reports that the U.S. military has killed a key terrorist in Somalia linked to the 1998 bombing of American embassies in East Africa, some Kenyans welcomed the news, while Islamic leaders threatened violent retaliation and human rights activists called the action "unacceptable."Somali authorities have been quoted as saying that Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, wanted for allegedly planning the deadly bombings in the Kenyan and Tanzanian capitals, was killed in an air strike in southern Somalia on Sunday.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - The Arab League is partly to blame for Khartoum's opposition to the establishment of a United Nations peacekeeping force in Sudan's Darfur region, according to political analysts and Sudanese non-governmental groups based in Western countries.Despite the Sudanese government's objections, however, the U.N., United States and African Union are pressing ahead with diplomatic efforts aimed at setting up a U.N. force.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - The international community should speed up efforts to prevent terrorist groups from using the proceeds from illicit diamond trade to finance their activities and launder their funds, campaigners say.A Nairobi-based African affairs analyst, Adan Mohamed, said it was "very likely" that groups like Hizballah still use the trade to raise additional revenue."Nothing much has happened in putting mechanisms in place to prevent diamond trade from being used to clean dirty cash or finance conflicts," he said.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - Two years after a peace agreement brought Sudan's long and costly civil war to an end, social progress in southern Sudan is being affected by corruption, security problems, and tribal tensions over oil revenue sharing, analysts say.While much attention remains focused on the ongoing conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region, South Sudan is marking the second anniversary of the peace deal between Sudan's People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and Khartoum.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - The Islamist government of Sudan is using the war-ravaged Darfur region as a lunching pad to destabilize the broader region, the leader of neighboring Chad has charged.President Idriss Deby said a United Nations force should deploy in Darfur to help check Khartoum's military advances, which threatened to spread conflict beyond Sudan's borders.Deby has accused Sudan of links to rebels who are fighting to overthrow him and who launched a recent attack in the Chadian capital, N'Djamena.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - The violence in the Middle East has sparked some concern that Hizballah may seek to expand its war against Israel by targeting Israeli facilities in Africa.The security intelligence consulting group Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) recently said that if Hizballah did choose to attack Israel elsewhere, it would likely target developing countries with strong ties with Israel.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - New peacekeeping challenges for Somalia are emerging even as a senior United States diplomat in East Africa expressed concern about delays in the deployment of a proposed Africa Union-led force.Analysts are also worried about the implications for the peacekeeping mission posed by Islamist Sudan's imminent chairmanship of the 53-member African body.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - A group of former African presidents is discussing ways of improving the continent's image among Americans.Meeting at Wits University in Johannesburg, the ex-leaders spoke about the need for developing strategies to counter negative media coverage.Major media outlets should be urged to cover Africa in a more "fair and balanced" way, said former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda.
July 7, 2008, 8:17 PM EDT
Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) - The pace of a controversial program aimed at redistributing agricultural land in South Africa has come under heavy criticism, but social reform experts say they do not foresee a Zimbabwe-style land invasion in the country.Initiated after South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994, the "land reform" program is supposed to redistributeg 30 percent of white-owned commercial farmland to black South Africans by 2014, to help redress injustices of white minority rule.