News 2008

 

US pledges support for deal



Daily Nation

Story by KIPCHUMBA SOME

03. March 2008



The United States of America will provide an additional Sh2 billion to facilitate the implementation of the power-sharing deal to end Kenya political turmoil.

US ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, said the money will be used to provide logistical support for the speedy implementation of the deal, successfully mediated by former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan.

The deal was signed on Thursday by President Mwai Kibaki and ODM leader Raila odinga.

The ambassador said the money will also help resettle victims of post-election violence and ensure that their livelihoods are restored. The aid will also be used to promote dialogue and reconciliation between the victims of the violence and its perpetrators.

The money is in addition to the Sh1.75 billion which Americans have raised towards the country’s reconstruction.

Mr Ranneberger said this when addressing more than 15,000 internally displaced people at Eldoret Showground.

The US, the ambassador said, will also provide funds to rebuild damaged schools and provide learning materials at various camps.

The money, to be distributed through various donor agencies, will also be used to help farmers get back on their feet after a sharp increase in costs of production.

The US has already disbursed Sh1 billion in humanitarian aid since the violence broke out late last year.

Mr Ranneberger praised Kenyans for putting pressure on the two leaders (President Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga) to reach a political agreement.

“This political deal is a tribute to the resilience of the people of Kenya. Were it not for the concern and love that you showed for your country, perhaps this deal might never have been reached,” he said.

He urged President Kibaki and Mr Odinga to jointly tour the country and assure Kenyans that the situation was back to normal.

“The unity of the nation begins with the unity of its leaders. It is important therefore that leaders work as a group to facilitate healing and unity among the people of Kenya,” the ambassador said.

Mr Ranneberger said the country must emerge from the conflict stronger and more united.

“The US too fought a protracted, bitter civil war. The most important thing is that Kenya, like the US after the civil war, should emerge from this conflict as a more united country with stronger democratic institutions.”

Mr Ranneberger said that displaced people must be returned to their homes only if they are assured of adequate security.

 

 

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