Salim Lone

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Salim Lone is a Kenyan journalist, political advisor, and former Director of the News and Media Division, Department of Public Information, of the United Nations. In 2007, Lone became communications director of the Kenyan opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) led by 2008 coalition Prime Minister Raila Odinga.[1] He is a columnist for the Daily Nation in his native Kenya, and also writes regularly for The Guardian in the UK.

Early career and exile[edit]

A Kenyan of Indian descent, whose great-grandfather was the first family member to migrate to East Africa from Jhelum, in what is now the Pakistani province of Punjab,[2] Lone attended Duke of Gloucester (Now Jamhuri High) School in Nairobi and then Kenyon College in the United States during the 1960s.[3] Returning to Kenya he began his career in publishing and journalism in the 1970s, but quickly came under pressure for articles critical of first Jomo Kenyatta's, and (after 1978), Daniel arap Moi's governments. Lone was founding editor of Viva, a women's magazine in Kenya. When his editorials ran afoul of the Moi government, he was jailed, stripped of his Kenyan citizenship, and exiled to the United States in 1982. He moved to New York City[4] where he began working for the UN and editing the Africa Emergency Report. Promised a safe return home in 1986,[5] Lone came to Nairobi but was again arrested by the Kenyan government stripped of his citizenship and charged with "acts or words which show disloyalty or disaffection to Kenya." [6] Public and United Nations' pressure caused the Kenyan government to drop these charges.

United Nations[edit]

Salim Lone rose to become Director of the News and Media Division (1998–2003) during his 21-year career at United Nations headquarters. His last assignment was as spokesman for the UN mission in Iraq immediately after the US-led 2003 war and occupation. He was wounded the 19 August 2003 blast at the UN Baghdad headquarters which killed UN special representative Sergio Vieira de Mello.[7] After his retirement from the United Nations, Lone returned to Kenya, working as a columnist for the Daily Nation in Nairobi,[8] and contributing to The Guardian and The Independent of London.[9]

Kenyan political spokesperson[edit]

In late 2007, Lone became communications director for the ODM,[10] but in February 2008 it was reported that he briefly fled the country, fearing government repression.[11] As of April 2008, he remains the spokesperson of the ODM.[12] He subsequently resigned in September 2008 to spend time with his family.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Annan hails Kenya talks progress, BBC, 21 February 2008.
  2. ^ `We're all Kenyans here', By Shashi Tharoor, The Hindu, November 07, 2004.
  3. ^ See: Portrait of Salim Lone, Kenya's Political Gadfly. January 12, 2007
  4. ^ Why Has Salim Lone Fled From Kenya? Famous Veteran Kenyan Journalist, ODM Communications Chief And Former United Nations Media Director Tells Friends That He Feared For His Life. Kumekucha1 Confidential, February 18, 2008.
  5. ^ See: Portrait of Salim Lone, Kenya's Political Gadfly. January 12, 2007
  6. ^ AROUND THE WORLD; U.N. Official Stripped Of Kenyan Citizenship, The New York Times, September 10, 1986
  7. ^ Blast hits UN building in Baghdad, BBC, 19 August 2003.
    AFTER THE WAR: THE SCENE; Amid Blood and Rubble, A Sense of Helplessness, NYT, August 20, 2003 - By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
  8. ^ The Nation: Salim Lone
  9. ^ selvesandothers.org: Salim Lone.
  10. ^ raila2007.wordpress.com: Raila Odinga's Campaign blog. Lone's appointment mentioned November 23, 2007.
    Opposition Seeks New Vote As Violence Ebbs in Kenya, NYT, 5 January 2008.
  11. ^ Why Has Salim Lone Fled From Kenya? Famous Veteran Kenyan Journalist, ODM Communications Chief And Former United Nations Media Director Tells Friends That He Feared For His Life. Kumekucha1 Confidential, February 18, 2008.
  12. ^ New Cabinet Announced In Kenya, New York Times, April 14, 2008.
  13. ^ PM spokesman Salim Lone retires, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Sep 10, 2008

External links[edit]