News 2008


Kenyan deal excludes power-sharing arrangement: Annan

Governance structure last item to be discussed

CBC News

February 15, 2008

Kenya's government and opposition parties have reached a 10-point deal including an independent review of the country's disputed election, but still need to agree on a power-sharing arrangment, mediator Kofi Annan said Friday.

"Let me assure you that there is real momentum," the former UN secretary general told reporters. "We are at the water's edge and the last difficult and frightening step, as difficult as it is, will be taken."

The deal, signed Thursday, is the first sign of progress toward ending the violence that has gripped the country since the highly contested Dec. 27 re-election of President Mwai Kibaki. More than 1,000 people have been killed and an estimated 600,000 displaced by the fighting.

The agreement, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press, says, "We have only one outstanding issue the governance structure, which is being actively discussed. Several options have emerged."

The report says Kibaki and Odinga have agreed to reform the constitution within a year, which could lead to the creation of a prime ministerial post or another power-sharing arrangement.

Independent review of contested election

Negotiators will now consult both the president and opposition leader Raila Odinga, the report said.

The deal also called for the first independent review of the election results, which lies at the centre of the dispute.

The review committee will "investigate all aspects of the 2007 presidential election." The expert panel will start work March 15 and is expected to submit a report within three to six months.

Other reported aspects of the deal include identifying and prosecuting perpetrators of the post-election violence; establishing a truth, justice and reconciliation commission; instituting parliamentary and police reform and legal and justice reforms. Both sides agreed to commit to a "shared national agenda" in parliament to enact the reforms.

The report also said politicians must examine how long-standing land grievances, accusations of ethnic favoritism and frustration over poverty and corruption contributed to the violence.

The CBC's David McGuffin, in Nairobi, said while violence has calmed down in many parts of the country, a firm deal is needed before the half a million people displaced by the clashes will be able to return home.

Annan is scheduled to meet with Kibaki and Odinga on Monday.