Tag: Kofi Annan

Annan succeeds in Kenya!

As a measure of the political rollercoaster in Kenya, I will include what I wrote last night, and would have posted this morning. Instead, it’s just wonderful news, as reported by the BBC:

Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga have reached a deal to end Kenya’s post-poll crisis, ex UN head Kofi Annan says.

“We have come to an agreement of a form of coalition government,” Mr Annan said after a four-hour meeting with them.

He said he could not give any further details as the men were going to consult with their political parties.

Annan says he hopes the agreement will be signed by the end of the day!

As I’ve previously written, Annan’s efforts may have been the final possible preventative against genocide. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is the only ever two-time winner of the Nobel Peace Prize; if this agreement holds, and if the rules allow, Annan deserves consideration to be the second.

Here’s what I would have posted:

Can Annan Save Kenya?

Agence France-Presse had these hopeful words:

Amid the chaos, a mediating team led by Kofi Annan, which has been in Kenya for a week, said it would launch formal dialogue between President Mwai Kibaki and his opposition rival Raila Odinga at 4:00 p.m. (1300 GMT) in Nairobi.

If Annan’s mission fails, however, it might be time for the international community to step in. With force. Because this was the real story, in that story:

The slaying of a Kenyan opposition lawmaker sparked riots Tuesday across the east African nation already reeling from weeks of deadly clashes set off by disputed elections.

Police fired tear gas and hundreds took to the streets of opposition strongholds in western Kenya and Nairobi’s slums to protest the murder of opposition MP Mugabe Were from Nairobi’s Embakasai constituency.

Heavily-armed police patrolled two recent western Rift Valley flashpoints of violence, the lakeside towns of Nakuru and Naivasha, where scores have died in gruesome attacks in recent days, pushing the overall death toll since the December 27 election to more than 900.

Plumes of smoke rose from Naivasha’s slums and machete-wielding youths burned houses and roamed the streets, an AFP correspondent said.

The machetes should chill the blood of anyone who remembers the genocide in Rwanda. Both sides have charged the other with committing or approaching genocide, Genocide Watch has called a Stage 6 alert, and the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide is sending staff. It does not get more serious.