Friday, February 08, 2008
PROGRESS AT KENYA'S PEACE TALKS!
Kenya's ruling party and opposition could be just days away from a final political settlement to end post-election bloodshed, officials say.
Ex-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan told reporters in Nairobi an agreement could be reached next week but that earlier reports of a deal had been premature.
The BBC's Karen Allen in Nairobi says it is a significant development which could pave the way to power-sharing. Some 1,000 people have died in clashes since the 27 December elections.
Mr Annan said: "We are all agreed that a political settlement is needed, that a political settlement is necessary and we are working out the details of such a settlement."
We cannot afford our people using bows and arrows, people being pulled out of buses to be asked 'which language do you speak?' and then being chopped .His comments followed Friday's second face-to-face talks between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga - only the second time they have met since the disputed elections.
President Kibaki's side said there had been an "agreement in principle", while the opposition spoke of a "positive development". The apparent breakthrough came as a policeman accused of shooting dead two protesters pleaded not guilty to murder at a court in Nairobi.
Footage of Constable Edward Kirui confronting protesters in the western city of Kisumu in January had been broadcast on Kenyan television. Mr Odinga has previously rejected any suggestion of power sharing, while President Kibaki has insisted he is Kenya's duly elected leader.
Speaking at a prayer service in Nairobi earlier on Friday, Mr Kibaki said he was "encouraged by the commendable progress" at the peace talks. Government negotiator Mutula Kilonzo was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying: "We cannot afford our people using bows and arrows, people being pulled out of buses to be asked 'which language do you speak?' and then being chopped."
Hundreds of thousands have been displaced in the violence .Mr Kibaki was declared the winner of the election, which observers said was deeply flawed and the opposition Orange Democratic Movement claimed was rigged.
More than 300,000 people were displaced in the ensuing violence as both sides traded accusations of ethnic cleansing. Mr Annan arrived in Kenya last month accompanied by ex-Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa and Graca Machel, wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela. UN under-secretary for humanitarian affairs John Holmes is due on Saturday to visit Kenya's Rift Valley, which has witnessed some of the worst violence in recent weeks.
Though Kumekucha summarized it well, but the body languages of ODM and President-elect Raila was encouraging. Even Mutula looked like wants to mend fence with him...
Something went wrong at the last minute.
I am not speculating but if you guys knew Kibaki as well as I do...
I too wud love for them to agree but...
But I know the man...
Let's go through the events of this evening again;
Anan, Raila etc head to Harambee house and Ruto talks to BBC and tells them there is a breakthrough. Even gives details of a joint govt arrangement. We are told that both Kibaki and Raila will address the press outside Harambee House. Even the diplomatic corps turn up to see the news of the year for themselves. Then suddenly, everything cancelled. Anan, Raila and team leave without saying anything, (Anan tells press he will talk to them at Serena).
PNU negotiating team goes in for a meeting with Kibaki and emerge about an hour later.
Later a nervous looking Anan addresses the press at Serena to say nothing except that they should wait for next week. Fill in the blanks folks.
We need to pray harder for Kenya, we are in a very dangerous place.