Monday, March 3, 2008

Nothing political

Today's murderous rampage in the Mount Elgon region of Kenya appeared unrelated to the ethnic violence that has swept Kenya since the Dec. 27 presidential election, the Reuters international news service reported today. Twelve people were killed and six seriously injured in land clashes near Kenya's border with Uganda, but it appeared to be an internal Kalenjin tribe affair. But the violence could help spur negotiators for Kenya's rival political parties to resolve issues still outstanding from the weeks of intensive negotiations that has settled, at least for now, the disputed election that sparked two months of civil unrest expected to cost Kenya's economy nearly $4 billion. Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who brokered the deal, urged Kenyans yesterday to support the agreement and to hold political leaders to their promises, which included economic and electoral reforms. Mount Elgon has been the scene of violent property disputes for the past year, Reuters said. Annan turned over mediation duties to a former Nigerian foreign minister, Oluyemi Adeniji. Opposition negotiator William Ruto said the major issues had been resolved and what was left included "how to get to a new constitution in two months and the issue of setting up a truth, justice commission." Parliament is scheduled to meet Thursday to approve a constitutional amendment setting up the post of prime minister, which is promised to opposition leader Raila Odinga. Odinga claimed the Dec. 27 election was stolen from him in an election that international observers agreed was suspect. Parliament is due to meet on Thursday to pass a constitutional amendment to allow for a coalition government led by Kibaki. His opposition rival, Raila Odinga, will take a newly created post of prime minister. President Mwai Kibaki, who was re-elected in December, applauded the settlement. "We all need to come together as a united nation so that we can move forward as one," Kibaki said Monday. More than 1,000 people were killed and 300,000 displaced in violence after the election results were announced.

No comments: