Alexa

Kenya's rival politicians reach an agreement, mediator says

Kenya's rival politicians reach an agreement, mediator says

Kenya's rival politicians reached an agreement Thursday on a coalition government after weeks of bitter negotiations on how to end the country's deadly postelection crisis, mediator Kofi Annan said.
Annan offered no immediate details on the deal between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga, who both claim to have won the country's Dec. 27 presidential election. Local and international observers have said the results were manipulated, making it unclear who actually won.
"We have come to an understanding on the coalition government," Annan, a former U.N. chief, told reporters. He added: "All I can say is that we do have an agreement." He called a news conference at 4 p.m. (1300 GMT).
The election dispute set off street violence that killed more than 1,000 people and eviscerated the East African country's economy. Postelection violence has largely subsided in recent weeks, but the country remains on edge. Much of the bloodshed had an ethnic tinge, pitting supporters of Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe against Odinga's Luo.
The conflict has tarnished the reputation of this once-stable and prosperous country, bringing sharp rebuke from exasperated Western powers such as the United States.
Kenyans were closely following the negotiations _ Michael Achola, a 31-year-old Nairobi bartender, received word of Annan's comment as a cell phone text message from a local news service.
"We cannot say that it is good, because we don't know what they have agreed," Achola said. "Our complaints are that the constitution gives executive power all to the president. If there is no amendment of the constitution then we will still have problems ahead."
Robert Mwaniki, 26, salesman for a cable TV company in Nairobi, said a deal between the politicians is only the start.
"Once they sign this agreement, everything will be OK for them, but not for us," he said. "Before we get that confidence back of living together as different tribes, it may take time. We have no respect for each other anymore. All you care about is you."
There had been signs Wednesday that the two political rivals might be nearing agreement. Odinga's supporters called off planned protests under pressure from Annan, and Kibaki offered his first public commitment to creating the prime minister's post that his rivals have been demanding.
___
Associated Press Writer Tom Odula contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-01-19 01:20 GMT+08:00