Saturday, March 01, 2008
In Kenya, U.S. Added Action to Talk of Democracy
New York Times
By HELENE COOPER
WASHINGTON — Within hours of Thursday’s power-sharing deal between Kenya’s rival leaders, the State Department issued a rare statement from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, praising the pact and citing the United States for providing “intensive support” to bring it about.
Indeed, while Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general, spent weeks in Kenya negotiating the agreement, many foreign policy experts also credit the Bush administration for putting action behind its talk of the need for democracy in Africa.
In Kenya, that meant pressing President Mwai Kibaki, whose supporters, many policy experts say, were most to blame for December’s disastrous elections and the ensuing fallout.
After almost two months of watching Kenya’s rival factions battle in ethnic-fueled violence that left more than 1,000 Kenyans dead, President Bush dispatched Ms. Rice to Nairobi. Ms. Rice let it be known that the United States would not look kindly on Mr. Kibaki’s actions and pointedly called for him to compromise, saying, “The time for a political settlement was yesterday.”
Mr. Kibaki bristled at the outside interference, but yielded.
“I think Kenya was a wake-up call for the United States,” said Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, who has been openly critical of the administration’s response to flawed elections in Africa. In the end, Mr. Roth said, “Rice did play a constructive role in Kenya, and this agreement is a wonderful step forward.”More
Teams seek long-term solutions
By David Ohito and Abiya Ochola
For the first time, the mediation teams returned to a table together, a day after a historic power sharing deal was signed.
The Party of National Unity (PNU) and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) negotiators agreed on key proposals to seek long-term solutions to the political crisis.
How Annan magic worked to seal Kibaki-Raila deal
Story by: SATURDAY NATION Team
Publication Date: 3/1/2008
Details of the dramatic events leading to the signing of a peace deal that ended two months of Kenya’s political turmoil emerged on Friday as the country sprung back to life. The deal, which took two days of intense diplomacy by chief mediator Kofi Annan and Tanzanian
President Jakaya Kikwete, was struck after the two protagonists — President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga — ignored the views of hard-liners in their camps to give Kenyans a coalition agreement that would see the Opposition share power with the government. At an exclusive meeting in Harambee House, both leaders ceded ground to arrive at a power-sharing agreement that created the position of a prime
minister who will exercise some authority on government.
Leaders Welcome ODM-PNU Pact
The East African Standard (Nairobi)
By Moses Njagih
Central Kenya leaders welcomed the deal between President Kibaki and the ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga.
Terming it as an act of statesmanship, the leaders were unanimous in their praise for the deal, saying it would bring peace and tranquillity.More
Kenya can turn corner in six months-Odinga
NAIROBI, March 1 (Reuters) - Kenya can restore confidence among international investors and lure back tourists within six months if the coalition government agreed this week can get down to work, the country’s future prime minister said on Saturday.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga will take the post of prime minister under a power-sharing deal with President Mwai Kibaki intended to bring to an end two months of violence and political turmoil that have cost Kenya its reputation for stability.
Tourism, the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner worth nearly $1 billion last year, has all but collapsed since television footage of violent mobs on the rampage was beamed around the world.More