Deal-broker Annan leaves Kenya
Sunday, 2 March 2008
Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has left Kenya
after helping secure a deal between the country's rival political
Mr Annan successfully mediated in talks following the presidential
election in December which the opposition said was flawed by vote
A thousand people have been killed in violence since the poll.
The power-sharing deal gave opposition leader Raila Odinga the
post of executive prime minister.
" We want Kenya to return to
the old Kenya: stable, peaceful, prosperous and welcoming "
- Kofi Annan -
Mr Annan has now gone to neighbouring Uganda before returning to
his base in Switzerland.
He has said he will be back in Kenya to monitor progress in
efforts to reform Kenya's constitution and institutions.
Air of calm
Mr Annan urged all Kenyans to take part in building a healed and
reconciled country, and not leave it to the politicians.
"I would urge all of you to remain engaged," he said in a message
to Kenyans on his departure.
"We want Kenya to return to the old Kenya: stable, peaceful,
prosperous and welcoming."
"Each and every one of you has a role to play," he added.
Mr Annan arrived in Kenya on 22 January when rival ethnic
communities were engaged in horrific acts of blood letting
following the disputed election.
He said he would come with no solution to Kenya's problems but to
insist that one was found.
The BBC's Adam Mynott in Nairobi says his arrival immediately
injected an air of relative calm and that was reinforced when, two
days later, he persuaded President Kibaki and Mr Odinga to meet
and shake hands.
A negotiating process was set up and agreements on ways to end the
violence and tackle the humanitarian crisis quickly followed.
The talks then stalled and started to lose ground.
The former UN secretary general insisted that negotiations were
always going to be a matter of give and take.
Debt of gratitude
But a week ago they hit a crisis point and on Tuesday he suspended
discussions between the panel and negotiators because no progress
was being made.
He said Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga had to take responsibility and
Five hours of discussions led to an agreement on power sharing and
a path towards a stable future.
Our correspondent says Kenyans owe Kofi Annan and his diplomatic
skills a huge debt of gratitude.