Bad News for Zenawi: Kenya rivals agree to share power – BBC

February 28th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga have signed an agreement to end the country’s post-election crisis.

At a ceremony in Nairobi, the two men put their signatures to a power-sharing deal brokered by ex-UN head Kofi Annan. (more…)

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga have signed an agreement to end the country’s post-election crisis.

At a ceremony in Nairobi, the two men put their signatures to a power-sharing deal brokered by ex-UN head Kofi Annan.

A coalition government comprising members of the current ruling party and opposition will now be formed.

Some 1,500 people died in political violence after Mr Odinga said he was robbed of victory in December’s polls.

International observers agreed that December’s election count was flawed.

The post-election violence saw thousands of people targeted because they belonged to ethnic groups seen as either pro-government or pro-opposition. About 600,000 people fled their homes.

Although the level of violence had fallen in recent weeks, there were concerns that a failure to reach a deal would lead to a fresh round of blood-letting.

Negotiations between the government and opposition lasted more than a month, stalling several times.

The BBC’s Adam Mynott, in Nairobi, says both sides have given ground from their original positions to reach this agreement.

Portfolios shared

The new coalition will be headed by President Kibaki, with Mr Odinga – whose Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is the largest in parliament – probably taking the newly created post of prime minister.

Each party will nominate a deputy prime minister, with other ministerial portfolios being shared out to reflect the political parties’ strengths in the National Assembly.

Correspondents say both parties are now likely to begin wrangling over who gets what position in the new government, with the post of finance minister likely to prove the most contentious.

After the deal was reached, Mr Annan said: “Compromise was necessary for the survival of this country.”

He urged all Kenyans to support the agreement, saying: “The job of national reconciliation and national reconstruction is not for the leaders alone. It must be carried out in every neighbourhood, village, hamlet of the nation.”

‘New chapter’

Speaking after the signing, Mr Kibaki said: “This process has reminded us that as a nation there are more issues that unite than that divide us…

“We’ve been reminded we must do all in our power to safeguard the peace that is the foundation of our national unity… Kenya has room for all of us.”

Mr Odinga said: “With the signing of this agreement, we have opened a new chapter in our country’s history – from the era or phase of confrontation to the beginning of co-operation.

“We, on our side, are completely committed to ensuring that this agreement will succeed.”

Both men thanked those who had stood by Kenya in what Mr Odinga called its “hour of need”, including Mr Annan, the African Union, the European Union, the United States and the UN.

They also urged Kenyans to move forward together without ethnic divisions.

‘Very basic issue’

A spokesman for the US state department, Tom Casey, said the agreement was “an important and very positive step forward”.

He added: “It allows the Kenyan people to move forward with a very basic issue of governance.”

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown welcomed the new power-sharing agreement.

“Kenya’s leaders have reached a power-sharing agreement that represents a triumph for peace and diplomacy, and a renunciation of the violence that has scarred a country of such enormous potential,” he said.

In western Kenya, the scene of the some of the worst violence, there was some scepticism about the agreement.

Paul Waweru, 56, who fled his home and is now living in a camp in Eldoret, said: “The deal between Raila and Kibaki will help to cool down the situation but I doubt if it will enable us to get back to our homes.”

But in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, there were celebrations.

“The general mood among people is that of happiness,” said Nelson Ochieng.

“We are tired of the political crisis. I was a barber but my shop was burnt. Now I’m jobless, and the end of this crisis means that I can rebuild my business.”

  1. WEGESHAW
    | #1

    This event will definitely be a nightmare to Zenawis iron fist brutal regime. Remember the head ache of the HR 2003 is there for Meles, it doesn’t matter whether it passes or not.

  2. Allen I.
    | #2

    This is a good lesson to zenawi and he will get caught soon. The Ethiopian people and HR 2003 together will hunt him down.
    Death to zenawi

  3. | #3

    As long as he is protected by his gang-ho tribal members Zenawi can careless if the whole Ethiopia, region, and in that case the world. If you look closely as to his movement around the country he has herds of body guards where their impression seems, “he is my man cus he knows how to lie and lie and we are well fed”.

  4. Guenet
    | #4

    I prefer to wait and see the outcome of the coalition. I think that some interests are difficult to reconciale.

  5. Melese
    | #5

    …This is the way,the Kenyans did good job.We must learn from them.Ofcourse,it is a bad news for Melese Zenawi. I think he cannot learn from the past becuse hwe arogant & cruel. This time we must compromise, that is why we call national recocilation.Melese says(we know how to make war…) it is in amharic,so what do you expect from a person like this?

  6. | #6

    The Dedebit Mafia and Al amoudi have the whole Ethiopia as their private domain. They are lotting the country as if there is no tomrrow.The gold deposit in the national bank is not even safe.When a mentally challenged minority of less than 6% is in control of the majority of the popoulation of 90 million, there is no chance in hell of sharing power, it doesn’t even make sense.The desdain and disregard of Agaazi Tribal Council to the Ethiopian people was in display last week during the Dedebit celebration parade. The main attraction in the parade was the sad spectacle of a donkey wearing an Ethiopian flag and pulling a cart. These uncultured peasants must be eliminated by any means necessary.

  7. Belaye Zeleke
    | #7

    Bad New for Zenawi ONLY if we stand together for a common purpose!

    In reality this is not a total victory for the opposition group in Kenya, after all hundreds died unjustly on the streets of Nairobi and thousands lost their livelihood. Yet, in comparison with the Ethiopian fraudulent election, this is great news by any African countries standard.

    We should keep in mind that the
    The victory of the opposition group in Kenya was never handed freely the opposition party called for civil disobedience and continued protest making the ruling party and the international community unease. As a result, Kibaki was forced by the international community especially by the UN mediation convoy to share power or else………!

    Kinijit must take a note from what just took place in Kenya. Woyane will never consider either sharing power or conducting a free and fair election when the opposition parties are divided within leadership rank and never attempted to mobilize citizens to fully challenge the TPLF aristocrats with continued civilian protest.

  8. Arefe
    | #8

    “victory without secrifies won’t happen’
    we are sorry for those who die for freedom.
    but it paidoff a bit.I doubt that it works in
    Ethiopia, beacuse is not people donot want to happen, But who cares USA,UK,UN,AU,or Eu let make sure no interest for Ethiopia we were not
    Colonized nothing to offer always we beg.
    Therfore,let see what will happen for us not Keneya,somalia,or Sudan each of them they have thier watchdog.Keneyanns agreed in sharing power
    Somalians with Ethiopians involvement get Worest.Who is going to Come For Ethiopians?

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