Saturday, January 5, 2008
Word from Kenya that the chairman of the African Union will visit next week in hopes of resolving a political crisis that has descended into violence that killed 300 and uprooted more than a quarter-million people is the first really good news for that nation since last month's disputed presidential election. Kenya agreed today to allow the visit of John Kufuor, the president of Ghana, after behind-the-scenes negotiations between officials of the two nations, the Reuters international news agency reported. Violence broke out after Kenya's president, Mwai Kibaki, was declared the winner of the Dec. 27, 2007, election that the opposition charges was rigged. Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who helped Kibaki win the 2002 election, appeared headed to victory last month before the final count was released. International observers said the election did not meet democratic standards, Reuters said. It's difficult to see how the situation can be resolved without Kibaki resigning from office, as his recent offer to form a unity government with Odinga indicates. But some resolution is urgent, since the crisis has affected hundreds of thousands of people in neighboring countries that depend on Kenya for shipping and transportation.