Kenya Moves Towards Peace Settlement

Former UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, apparently has been able to get both political parties engaged in a dispute over the recent presidential elections, to come togther in a spirit of problem solving. President Kibaki and the opposition Orange Democratic Movement, have agreed there must be a negotiated settlement. Annan said: “We all agreed that a political settlement is neceessary.” There is some talk, Raila Odinga of the ODM, will be given a role in the government, but these details have yet to be completely resolved. As Annan noted: “These things always begin with intransigence. They will have to shift.” The obvious major issue is how much power will President Kibaki agree to share. He already has backed down from telling the ODM to take their complaints to a court.

There is increasing evidence Kibaki’s blatant vote stealing was used as a pretext by tribal groups to deal with old grievances that date back to colonial and post colonial events. Over a 1000 people are dead and 350,000 displaced. A political settlement is merely the first step in confronting issues that have been placed on the backburner of history for far too long.