Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kenya adjusts, slowly

Good to hear that Kenya's president, Mwai Kibaki, who was barely re-elected after a disputed vote count in December and survived weeks of violence that threatened the very foundations of his country, is following through on commitments he made in post-election negotiations to resolve the crisis. Kibaki today appointed a commission to investigate the December 27 balloting and vote counting process that triggered the unrest. In a statement issued Thursday, Kibaki's office said the panel would look at "all aspects of the General Election . . . with particular emphasis on the Presidential Election," according to the Reuters international news service. More than 1,000 people were killed and 300,000 forced to flee their homes during the unrest, which disintegrated into tribal warfare in one of Africa's most stable democracies. The power-sharing agreement between Kibaki's Party of National Unity and the Orange Democratic Movement of chief rival Raila Odinga would create a prime minister's post expected to be filled by Odinga. The ODM is the largest party in Kenya's parliament. The agreement was hammered out in often-tense negotiations mediated by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. The ODM is the largest party in Kenya's parliament. But all disagreements that surfaced during the unrest have apparently not been completely resolved. The Reuters international news service reported yesterday that violence between some ethnic groups -- including machete attacks and burning of homes -- is still happening in some rural areas.

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