Friday, February 01, 2008
KENYA: NO HOPE. IT'S EITHER THE ARMY OR THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL!
Kenya's Kibaki says courts must settle dispute.
Fri 1 Feb 2008, 13:09 GMT
[-] Text [+] ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki blamed opposition leaders on Friday for instigating the violence that has killed more than 850 people in the once-stable East African country.
Speaking at a meeting in Addis Ababa of the east African regional grouping IGAD, Kibaki also said the dispute over his re-election that provoked the violence must be settled through Kenya's courts -- something rejected by the opposition.
In remarks sure to upset Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Kibaki said: "Regrettably, although the election results reflected the will of the majority of Kenyans, the leaders in the opposition instigated a campaign of civil unrest that resulted in over 800 deaths."
Odinga says Kibaki stole the election and refuses to accept statements suggesting the latter is the country's rightful leader.
Kibaki, current chairman of IGAD (The Intergovernmental Authority on Development) said "few close to call elections are not marred by allegations of irregularities," adding that Kenya's judiciary must arbitrate in the current dispute.
The opposition says Kibaki rigged the vote and has appointed judges favourable to him. It says the courts will take years to issue a ruling.
Kibaki said the security situation in Kenya, where ethnic killing spiralled this week, was under control.
He seemed to be sticking to the line that the courts would handle the dispute despite mediation by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is trying to bring the two sides together to end the violence.
Current U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon flew to Nairobi on Friday to back Annan's efforts.
ETHIOPIA, February 1 - President Mwai Kibaki today reassured regional leaders and the international community that the security situation in the country is under control.
Stressing that, Kenya believes in resolving political disputes through dialogue, President Kibaki said his Government has embarked on consultations with all Kenyan leaders with a view to restoring peace through dialogue and reconciliation.
“We have in this regard welcomed the facilitation of the panel of Eminent African personalities led by His Excellency Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa, former President of Tanzania, and Her Excellency Graca Machel. I am pleased to report that the team has already begun its work, and I am optimistic that we will arrive at a lasting political solution,’’ said President Kibaki.
He added: “I also welcome the efforts of all our friends including President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Chairman of East African Community and the out going chairperson of AU President John Kufuor of Ghana in helping us to find a mediated political solution to this challenge.”
President Kibaki who was chairing the Extra Ordinary Summit of IGAD Heads of State and Government at UN Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia briefed the summit on the recently concluded general election in the country.
Saying that Kenya recognizes the fundamental role and responsibility that IGAD plays, President Kibaki called on member countries to ensure maintenance of peace, security and stability in the sub region.
President Kibaki said: “Controversies over elections are a reality in any democracy. And historically, few close to call elections are not marred by allegations of irregularities, even in advanced and well-established democracies. In such situations, the accepted rule is to resort to the established constitutional mechanisms. Indeed, the Judiciary in Kenya has over the years arbitrated electoral disputes and the current one should not be an exception.”
He said his Government has initiated urgent measures to stop the violence, and provide humanitarian assistance to the displaced people.
“Arrangements are also underway to resettle the victims of violence even as we search for a lasting solution to the current political crisis,” said President Kibaki.
On the sub-region, President Kibaki said that progress being made towards achieving peace in the region peace is encouraging.
President Kibaki said: “I note with satisfaction the enormous strides that the President of the Sudan, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and his Vice President, Salva Kiir have made in implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) since 2005.’’
President Kibaki noted that the CPA guarantees lasting peace, security for all, justice and equality in the Sudan and more important the recognition among IGAD member states that the successful implementation of the CPA will catalyze the development and prosperity of our region.
“Furthermore, the international community particularly IGAD Partners Forum who availed substantial resources in support of the peace process, are keen to see that the CPA is successfully implemented,’’ he added.
Regarding the situation in Somalia, President Kibaki said it was encouraging to note that the Transitional Federal Government has laid the foundation for the reconstruction of Somalia. Adding that there is need to initiate broad-based consultations with all stakeholders aimed at achieving lasting peace and reconciliation in Somalia.
President Kibaki said: ‘‘there is no doubt that the Transitional Federal Government and the opposition group in Diaspora as well as in Somalia need to engage in constructive dialogue to end the political deadlock.”
He, however said robust actions must be taken by all the people of Somalia, the international community and the IGAD sub-region to address the fluid security situation in Somalia.
“I commend President Abdulahi Yusuf, the Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein and his predecessor, Ali Mohammed Gedi, as well as the Transitional Federal Parliament for restoring the traditions of governance as well as nurturing the culture of democracy and the rule of law within the last three years,’’ said President Kibaki.
Urging the international community to adopt an integrated approach to the situation in Somalia, President Kibaki stressed the need to honor the pledges made and increasing humanitarian assistance to Somalia.
Thanking Ugandan Government for quickly and fully deploying the 1850 troops that they pledged as well as Burundi which deployed some of her pledged troops, President Kibaki noted it was regrettable that the AMISOM mandate lapses on 20th February 2008 even before the attainment of full deployment.
President Kibaki said: “The extension of the mandate and the complete deployment of troops is therefore a necessity.
He added that Kenya has consulted with Burundi, Benin, Nigeria and Ghana who have pledged to contribute troops with a view to speeding up the deployment of the pledged troops to AMISOM.
On the conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia, President Kibaki said the conflict has direct impact on the situation in Somalia.
“ You will recall that Eritrea temporarily pulled out of IGAD in April 2007 and on your behalf I wish to urge our brother President Isaias Afewerki to reconsider that decision and to lead Eritrea back to IGAD,’’ urged President Kibaki.
President Kibaki assured IGAD Member States and its partners that Kenya will continue to play its rightful role in all peace and security initiatives in the region.