Saturday, January 05, 2008

Kenyan Opposition Says No to GNU

Kenya continues to burn and pictures like this one from Al Jazeera relay the heavy handed tactics that are being used by security forces.

The lastest news is that opposition leader Raila Odinga has rejected an offer by President Mwai Kibaki to form a government of National Unity (GNU).

Odinga has instead called on Kibake to resign from the presidency.

Al Jazeera reports that Kibaki's office says that the president "was ready to form a government of national unity that would not only unite Kenyans but would also help in the healing and reconciliation process."

But Odinga, leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, says Kibaki cannot "come to the negotiating table as the president."

Odinga is also insistent that any talks must be brokered by an international mediator but Kibake rejects any interference in what he defines as a domestic crisis.

I can see why Odinga is weary of Kibake's intentions and, therefore, a brokered mediation process may be just what is needed.

I expect that John Kufuor, the president of Ghana and head of the African Union (AU), may offer some form of mediation process when he visits Kenya next week.

At this point, it will be important for the AU to raise its level of involvement in the crisis. The AU must be seen to be the preeminent venue for crisis mediation in African affairs.

I hope that the US and Britain will keep their grubby hands out of the process toward peace and reconciliation in Kenya.


News24 reports that thousands of refugees are fleeing under armed guards.

As of this writing, it is estimated that 250 000 people have been displaced from their homes in the last week.

The Mail & Guardian reports that South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki "declined to disclose his views on the legitimacy of Kenya's presidential elections, saying it was too early to make any pronouncements."

Mbeki added that "We support initiatives taken by the All African Conference of Churches led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu."


Eugene said...

Hey Ridwan.

I've been following this insanity since about the day it began. It's pretty horrifying. Man o man.

Thanks for keeping the folks updated.

Ridwan said...

Thanks for looking in brother.

This week may bring some more hope for Kenya.

The AU president is likely to push the parties to settle on the idea of a GNU.

Trust you are well.


Eugene said...

I just read the most recent Al Jazeera article, and it doesn't look good for the folks there. Looks like aid is low and demand high. Sounds like a humanitarian crisis is at hand.

Things are pretty well. Shusli and I are well. Shit ain't so good with Felicia, but I'll e-mail you about that.

Many blessings to you, brother!