News 2008


ODM barred from addressing the AU meeting

Published on January 31, 2008, 12:00 am

By Kennedy Abwao and Brian Adero

African Union (AU) Commission chairman, Mr Alpha Konare, said the Opposition would not be allowed to address the Summit on the ongoing violence in Kenya.

ODM Secretary-General, Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, said on Monday that party leader, Mr Raila Odinga, would have liked to be given an opportunity to address the gathering of African leaders to solidify the AU mediation.

"We should be allowed to address the Summit if Kibaki is allowed to attend. But we are not going to hassle. If Raila attends, it should be in a dignified manner," Nyong’o told journalists in Addis Ababa.

Foreign Affairs minister, Mr Moses Wetangula, met with Konare on Monday to discuss the post-election violence in the country.

Asked to elaborate on the details of his meeting with Konare, Wetangula said: "The AU Commission President has re-affirmed that Kenya will send only one legitimate delegate. The Opposition will not be represented here. They attempted to attend, but were turned away."

Wetangula on Tuesday addressed a special seating of the AU Foreign Ministers committee at which he admitted "both sides" (PNU and ODM) had been involved in the ongoing political violence.

"It takes two to tango. The violence is by both sides," he said.

Sources at the meeting said his report was not immediately discussed because the update was slotted in before the ongoing discussions on the AU’s financial accounts were complete.