News 2008


Will the violence and death end soon in Kenya

February 12th, 2008

Former U.N. chief Kofi Annan says he is hopeful Kenya’s feuding political parties can reach a deal this week aimed at defusing the election crisis before they move to a secret location.

Talks lead by the former UN chief is now in the third week, with the parties moving closer to a settlement of the dispute sparked by President Mwai Kibaki’s re-election. A breakthrough was expected by late Thursday.

Mr. Annan said once an agreement is reached, parliament will have to enact constitutional reforms to allow the deal to be implemented.

Opposition legislator William Ruto said, “We put forward our proposal to the other side, which among other things, include forming a broad-based government that lasts for two years …. We are going to agree on how are we going to work together in governance.”

The opposition accuses the president of rigging the December 27 vote to ensure his re-election.

The dispute triggered riots and ethnic violence that has left more than one thousand people dead. The U.N. estimates the violence has displaced 600,000 people.

Government statics show that of the 1,000 people killed in the violence, almost half were killed in Rift Valley and Western provinces.

Mr. Annan said today both sides in the election dispute have agreed not to pursue a recount of the December vote.

The goal is to meet far from the media spotlight in hopes of reaching an agreement. The negotiating teams plan to make no public statements for the next 48 to 72 hours.