News 2008


Annan lists agenda for mediation over crisis

Published on January 31, 2008, 12:00 am

By Ben Agina And Agencies

Former UN chief, Mr Kofi Annan, has tabled a list of four issues to be discussed during the mediation talks between President Kibaki and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga.

The Standard has learnt that top on the agenda is an immediate action to stop violence and restore fundamental rights and liberties.

The second agenda is immediate measures be taken to address the humanitarian crisis, promotion of reconciliation and healing process.

According to the third agenda, the protagonists are expected to discuss how to resolve the political crisis.

Discussions would include power sharing, constitutional review and reform of the Electoral Commission of Kenya.

The fourth agenda is the discussion of long-term issues and solutions.

ODM wants the third agenda on the Annan list given priority followed by talks on ending the violence.

Annan’s proposed agenda was titled: "Suggested Agenda for the National Dialogue on the Resolution of the Political Crisis in Kenya."

However, we have established that during their discussion of the rules of engagement presented to them early this week, ODM wanted the word ‘dialogue’ in the title substituted with ‘mediation’.

ODM has also given a time frame of one week for the mediation on the crisis.

We have independently established that there would be another mediator to sit in for Annan and his panel of mediators, former Tanzania President Mr Benjamin Mkapa and Ms Graca Machel, should either of them be away.

ODM was agreeable to the mediator (name withheld) as proposed by Annan, but they would be happy if Annan stays around until the crisis is settled.

ODM last night handed over their response on the rules of engagement to Annan team’s to set off the mediation talks today. By the time of going to press, PNU were yet to give theirs.

But hope for progress after Annan’s efforts were dampened by developments at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa where Kenya’s political crisis and mass killings are expected to be discussed.

Kenyan Foreign Minister, Mr Moses Wetangula "tried on Monday to act as if nothing had happened and presented a report on the situation in his country," a summit attendant told reporters.

"Thankfully, some countries rose up, such as South Africa, and requested the case of Kenya be examined together with the other crises and conflicts in Africa," the official said.

The Africna Union’s offer to help in mediation were frustrated when its chairman, Ghanaian President John Kufuor, was given an icy reception.

The Government has maintained that Kenya was facing a crisis but not a civil war and needed no foreign intervention.

"We still can handle that situation and have enough internal capacities to solve the problem. There is no need for external support," Wetangula said on Monday, during a ministerial meeting ahead of the summit.

"The Kenyan crisis is a serious one and we cannot simply condone what the Kibaki regime is trying to feed us," said one member of the AU commission. "The Government will not be given a blank cheque at this summit."

Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) dispatched its secretary-general, Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, to Addis earlier this week to pressure the continental body and demand Kibaki be excluded.

ODM has argued that inviting Kibaki would amount to an official recognition of his re-election and undermine the mediation effort freshly launched by Kofi Annan.

Various scenarios are being studied to give Kenya its rightful place in the AU’s agenda without being perceived as favouring one side or the other.

An extraordinary summit to which both sides would be invited could be convened or a special delegation could be dispatched to Kenya.