News 2008


Security Council urges Kenyan leaders to implement power-sharing deal without delay



UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The U.N. Security Council welcomed the new power-sharing agreement in Kenya and urged President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga to implement it «in full and without delay.

Odinga and Kibaki struck a deal Thursday that will give the opposition leader a new job as prime minister. Kibaki said he is reconvening parliament March 6 to begin work on the needed constitutional changes.

Odinga accused Kibaki of stealing a Dec. 27 vote, and their dispute sparked fighting that killed more than 1,000 people and tarnished the reputation of this once-stable east African nation.

Security Council members welcomed «the `Agreement on the Principles of Partnership of the Coalition Government' ... to resolve the crisis in Kenya following the disputed elections.» It strongly commended the parties and the panel led by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan that mediated the dispute.

«The members of the council express their full support to Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga in forming a new government and call for the agreement to be implemented in full and without delay,» the council said in a statement issued late Friday by the current president, Panama's U.N. Ambassador Ricardo Arias.

The council urged Kenya's leaders «to foster reconciliation, guarantee human rights and address the longer-term issues which the crisis has brought to the forefront.

Council members also backed efforts to address the widespread violence, including ethnically motivated attacks, and reiterated that those responsible must be brought to justice.

Odinga said Friday in Nairobi that he expects the new power-sharing agreement to succeed in ending the bloody dispute over the presidential election.