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KENYA 12 Dec 2013 Former British colony marks 50 years of independence

Kenya declared independence from Great Britain on 12 Dec 1963 and the country marks the date each year as Jamhuri Day. President

December 12, 2013 - NULL

KENYA 12 Dec 2013 Former British colony marks 50 years of independence

Kenya declared independence from Great Britain on 12 Dec 1963 and the country marks the date each year as Jamhuri Day. President Mwai Kibaki is due to retire in 2013 after 10 years in office, and his successor will take the salute at the 50th anniversary military parade in Nairobi's Nyayo National stadium. Though it will be celebrated nationwide with dancing and singing, the anniversary might be a tense. Much depends on whether the election for Kibaki's successor in March is peaceful. The trial at the International Criminal

KENYA 12 Dec 2013 Former British colony marks 50 years of independence

Kenya declared independence from Great Britain on 12 Dec 1963 and the country marks the date each year as Jamhuri Day. President Mwai Kibaki is due to retire in 2013 after 10 years in office, and his successor will take the salute at the 50th anniversary military parade in Nairobi's Nyayo National stadium. Though it will be celebrated nationwide with dancing and singing, the anniversary might be a tense. Much depends on whether the election for Kibaki's successor in March is peaceful. The trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) of one of the presidential candidates, Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenyan founding president Jomo Kenyatta, who was tried and imprisoned by the British in 1953, represents an additional source of tension and uncertainty.

Almost every General Election in Kenya's history has been preceded by violence. Ethnic violence and riots led to the deaths of 1133 Kenyans and uprooted some 500,000 others from their homes following the disputed 2007 vote. The presidential candidate on the Jubilee ticket, Uhuru Kenyatta, the deputy prime minister, and his chosen running mate, parliamentarian William Ruto, have been charged in the ICC as co-perpetrators in crimes against humanity. Should they win, some analysts see him trying to engineer immunity from prosecution for themselves or even trying to govern Kenya from the Hague while their trial is under way in 2013. Either scenario would trigger violence between Kenyatta supporters and the supporters of his main competition, Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Odinga formed a coalition government with Kibaki to end two months of unrest after the 2007 election.

Four Kenyans, including Kenyatta, are being tried at the International Criminal Court on crimes against humanity charges for inciting the election violence in 2007. They all deny the allegations.

Jomo Kenyatta led the celebrations in 1963 as the Union Jack came down for the last time.Like his son, Kenyatta, was charged with inciting violence. In Apr 1953 he was arrested on charges of having directed the Mau Mau rebellion and imprisoned. He denied the charge then and afterward, and later organized the long-ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU with other African nationalist leaders. (WRITTEN JAN 2013)

KEYWORDS: Kenya independence, 50th anniversary, 50th Jamhuri Day, 50th birthday, Kenya, December 2013, Mwai Kibaki, Uhuru Kenyatta, Jomo Kenyatta, Raila Odinga, British, colonists, colonial power, Kenya, Africa

RELATED READING:

Full tray as Kenya celebrates 50 years of its independence (Nation 31 Dec 2012)
http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Full-tray-as-Kenya-celebrates-50-years-of-its-independence-/-/1064/1655160/-/bekgya/-/index.html

Uhuru and Ruto may be impeached - ICG report (Star 19 Jan 2013)
http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-103485/uhuru-and-ruto-may-be-impeached-icg-report

The collapse of Kenyans Dynasties (Star 26 Jan 2013)
http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-104485/collapse-kenyans-dynasties

Kenyan Presidential Candidate Odinga Holds Lead: Ipsos Synovate (Bloomberg 25 Jan 2013)
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-01-25/kenyan-presidential-candidate-odinga-holds-lead-ipsos-synovate

Date written/update: 2013-12-12