Kofi Annan Urges Kenyans to
By TOM MALITI
02. March 2008
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kofi Annan said Sunday that Kenyans must
ensure the country moves beyond a bloody postelection crisis now
that its political leaders have agreed to share power.
Annan, the former U.N. secretary-general, mediated weeks of
often-bitter talks between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition
leader Raila Odinga. Kibaki's disputed re-election in a Dec. 27
vote unleashed weeks of violence after both sides claimed to have
won. More than 1,000 people died.
"I would urge all of you to remain engaged," Annan said in a
message to Kenya's 36 million people as he left the country
The power-sharing deal reached Thursday gives Odinga an executive
prime minister post — more power than Kibaki initially wanted to
yield to his rival. The two sides had come under huge pressure
from the international community to share power and help heal a
International and domestic observers say the vote tally from the
election was deeply flawed. Much of the bloodshed that followed
pitted ethnic groups, such as Odinga's Luo tribe, against Kibaki's
Kikuyu people, long resented for their domination of the economy
Politicians have been accused of fomenting violence. Now the
uneasy coalition will have to work together to disarm militia
Annan said in a statement Saturday that former Nigerian foreign
affairs minister Olu Adeniji will be the chief mediator in his
"It is clear that there is a fresh commitment to this process, and
I am convinced that these talks will now go smoothly and rapidly,"
Annan said. "I will never be far away. And can return on short
notice if I am needed. And, as I told you, I will be looking in on
the talks from time to time."