--President Kibaki names his cabinet—including Stepen Kalonzo Musyoka as vice-president, who was a presidential candidate and is the head of a faction of the ODM (Odinga is the head of the larger faction).
The folks at Thinker’s Room are aghast at Kibaki’s timing and at the continued tribal cronyism demonstrated by his cabinet choices.
--From my stats: Odinga’s party says death toll is around 1000. Also, former heads of other African states arrive in country. "It's like seeing a neighbor's house on fire," [Mozambique Former President Joachim] Chissano said. "We are shocked by the events."
--With the blessing of the Bush Administration, Obama uses his growing influence to try to end the violence. From Joe Klein at TIME magazine:
In the days since his Iowa victory, Obama has had near-daily conversations with the U.S. Ambassador in Kenya or with opposition leader Raila Odinga. As of late this afternoon, before his rally in Rochester, N.H., Obama was trying to reach Kenyan President Kibaki.Not trying to promote Obama’s candidacy, but if he could have some influence in this situation, it would silence quite a few of those who point out his lack of foreign policy credentials.
One of the commenters to the post, however, rips Klein thusly:
I guess what bothers me is the idea that the death of hundreds of Kenyas only becomes worth mentioning here because Joe got what appears to be an exclusive about Obama making a few phone calls.
Klein’s not the only one guilty of this, but with presidential primaries traditionally dominating Americans news reporting during the time period in which they occur, it’s understandable. Obama’s ascendancy will change this and I along with millions of others will be happy when the mass violence ends, no matter how this is achieved.
Personal: As of 1:00 PM US-PST, my father and step-mother are still fine. Here was my sister’s response when I asked why didn’t Odinga and Kibaki just straight-forwardly call for an end to the violence: “Thank you!!!” She did, however, get the word from my step-mother that the situation is calming down.
(Thanks to The New Republic—yes)
UPDATE: According to Odinga, he and Obama are related.
Odinga, a Luo, told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that Obama's father was his uncle, and that Obama called him "in the midst of his campaigning ... to express his concern and to say that he is also going to call President Kibaki so that Kibaki agrees to find a negotiated, satisfactory solution to this problem."UPDATE: I keep reading various reports that Odinga has rejected meeting with Kibaki without the presence of African Union leader John Kufuor along with other mediators and, alternatively, that Odinga has rejected the meeting under any circumstances unless Kibaki steps down. I'm guessing that it's the former, but we'll see.