Annan: what we have agreed on so
15. Feb. 2008
Part of the speech by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan
during his media briefing at the Serena Hotel
We have just returned from 48 hours of intense and fruitful
negotiations at a secret location outside of Nairobi, which all of
you now know was the Kilaguni Lodge in the Tsavo West Game
I want to thank you for letting us work there in peace, even after
you discovered where we were.
The parties worked well together during their two days at Kilaguni
— often in mixed groups and by themselves — showing their strong
commitment to peace and reconciliation in Kenya.
They reached agreement on a range of issues, and narrowed
considerably the options for a governance structure.
Some of the points of agreement are:
- The creation of an Independent
- This Committee would be mandated
to investigate all aspects of the 2007 Presidential Election and
make findings and recommendations to improve the electoral
- The Committee will be a
non-judicial body made up of Kenyan and non-Kenyan recognised
electoral experts of the highest professional standing and
- The Committee will submit its
report within three-six months and it should be published within
14 days of submission. It should start its work not later than
15 March, 2008.
- The findings of the Independent
Review Committee must be factored into the comprehensive
electoral reforms that are envisaged.
Through the discussion, it became
apparent that there is no viable way, either by re-count, re-tally
or any other measure, to determine the outcome of the 2007
election in a way that would be expeditious and that would not
further divide Kenyan society.
However, the facts have to come out and Kenyans have to know what
happened. We agreed that the system must be reformed so that such
a crisis never happens again.
The Independent Review Committee will allow for this to take place
in an environment of tranquillity and transparency, thus
contributing to further healing and reconciliation of the country.
We did consider the options of a re-count or re-tally and
- A delay of the several months
needed for a recount could significantly increase existing
tensions and delay resolution of the current crisis, and we
recognise that the result of a re-count might not further Kenyan
- A re-tally could not determine
the correct result in stations or constituencies where problems
or irregularities were identified.
On the need for a political
settlement to resolve the current crisis, we agreed on the
- Recognising that there is a
serious crisis in the country we concluded that a political
settlement is a necessary and effective way to promote national
reconciliation and unity.
- We also agree that such a
political settlement must be one that reconciles and heals the
nation and reflects the best interests of all Kenyans. A
political settlement is necessary to manage and implement
expeditiously a broad reform agenda and other mechanisms that
will address the root causes of the crisis and deepen and
broaden Kenyan democratic foundations.
Such reforms and mechanisms will
comprise, but are not limited to, the following:
- Comprehensive Constitutional
- Comprehensive electoral reform -
including the electoral laws, the electoral commission and
dispute resolution mechanisms;
- A truth, justice and
- Identification and prosecution
of perpetrators of violence;
- Respect for human rights;
- Parliamentary reform;
- Police reform;
- Legal and Judicial reforms;
- Commitment to a shared national
agenda in Parliament for these reforms;
- Other legislative, structural,
political and economic reforms as needed.
On the issue of governance
arrangements, the parties discussed the matter intensively and
have developed a number of options, on which they have agreed to
consult their principals and leadership and come back to continue
negotiations on Monday, with the hope that a final conclusion will
be reached shortly after that.
This is the only outstanding issue on Agenda Item 3 — How to
Resolve the Political Crisis.
In summary, we have defined the reform agenda for a new government
and are now discussing the “how” and the mechanisms required for
While we are making considerable progress on Agenda Item 3, we
have also agreed that settlement of the issues in Agenda Item 4 —
Long-Term Issues and Solutions — are fundamental to a viable
long-term solution of the crisis.
The implementation of the following reforms should commence
urgently in concert with reforms of Agenda Item 3.
- Consolidating national cohesion
- Land reform;
- Tackling poverty and inequity,
as well as combating regional development imbalances,
particularly promoting equal access to opportunity;
- Tackling unemployment,
particularly among the youth;
- Reform of the Public Service;
- Strengthening of anti-corruption
laws and public accountability mechanisms;
- Reform of Public Finance and
Revenue Management Systems and Institutions;
- Addressing issues of
accountability and transparency.
The parties agreed that this
settlement is not about the sharing of political positions but
about addressing the fundamental root causes of recurrent conflict.
Therefore, the parties have reaffirmed their commitment to address
the issues within Agenda Item 4 quickly and comprehensively.
Milestones and benchmarks for the implementation of the reform
agenda will be defined in our continuing discussions.
I know that many of you have been eager to write the headline, “We
have a deal” on all the political issues. But I again advise
patience. The issues are complex; reaching compromise is difficult.
But let me assure you that there is real momentum. We are at the
water’s edge and the last difficult and frightening step will be
taken. I am confident that, in the interests of Kenya and its
people, the parties will show the wisdom, flexibility and
foresight to conclude an agreement.