Friday, 16 November, 2018

Kenya receives fresh hope in political truce among leaders

Article Image Former Prez Mahama happy over Kenyatta Odinga reconciliation
Ellis Copeland | 13 March, 2018, 15:09

"The Secretary-General welcomes the statement issued jointly by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Raila Odinga on 9 March 2018 declaring their commitment to work together to strengthen the unity of the country for all Kenyans", António Guterres said in a statement published on the United Nations website.

Kenya has had its confidence restored when President Uhuru Kenyatta reached a political truce with opposition leader Raila Odinga during the elections of a year ago.

The leaders, led by immediate former Kitui Senator David Musila, described the agreement reached by Kenyatta and Odinga on Friday last week as a move in the right direction.

The rare meeting of scions of Kenya's founding fathers elicited mixed reactions but there was a common feeling of optimism.

The Kenyan leader who was sworn in for his second and final term in office on November 28 in 2017 expressed confidence that a healthy collaboration with the opposition will usher in a new era of unity and prosperity. "Fellow Kenyans, we are sailing in this one ship", Mr Odinga said.

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The People's Assembly was announced in the wake of presidential election in August, and a repeat vote in October, both won by Kenyatta and both dismissed by the opposition as fraudulent.

Bodyguards were withdrawan in early February after the "swearing-in" of Odinga as "people's president". Not all of us may have fought in the times of war, but all of us MUST fight for peace. "My brother (President Kenya) and myself have, therefore, come together today to say this dissent stops here", Mr Odinga said.

"We refuse to be the leaders under whose watch Kenyans lead into a failed nation". This is a call to self-reflection.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga had after last year's disputed elections formed People's Assemblies in each of Kenya's 47 counties to force Kenyatta to step down and to enable the holding of new elections.

Their joint statement said "Kenyans should overcome negative ethnicity by acting in the understanding that elections on their own are not solution to our challenges".

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