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KENYA SECURITY UPDATE - Thursday 28th February 2008


Today was a momentous occasion in Kenya’s history as the news flashed around the world that an agreement had been signed between the two Kenyan political leaders, President Kibaki and Hon Odinga, to end the political impasse following the disputed elections two months ago and to restore peace and harmony to the country.

The agreement was the result of a five-hour meeting today attended by President Kikwete of Tanzania who is the current Chairman of the African Union, and Mr Kofi Annan who has performed the role of mediator, with the participation of both President Kibaki and Hon Raila Odinga.

At a press conference called this afternoon in Nairobi following the successful conclusion of the meeting, Kofi Annan announced that a power-sharing agreement had been achieved. The political settlement agreed upon by both party leaders has created the new post of Prime Minister, to be held by Raila Odinga, with a coalition government of the two main parties in which cabinet posts would be shared between them. Parliament will convene next Thursday to pass a constitutional amendment to approve the changes agreed upon.

Speaking after the signing of the agreement, President Kibaki said, "As a nation there are more issues that unite than 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 if we can enhance peace and tolerance. Fellow Kenyans, we stand before you to give a solemn commitment."

Raila Odinga thanked Kofi Annan for his role in achieving the historic agreement. He also recognised Mr Kibaki as President. He stated that although they had been competitors during the elections they were now fellow countrymen.

"In the past two months, Kenyans have known nothing but sadness," he said. "We have now opened a new chapter in our history, from the era of confrontation to the beginning of cooperation. We should ensure that Kenyans begin to celebrate and love each other, that we destroy the monster that is called ethnicity. I will ensure that what we have developed today will succeed."

The power-sharing agreement at last brings the two opposing sides together in a coalition government on terms agreeable to all and has provided the political solution which had been sought to allow the country to recover from the trauma and civil unrest which followed the announcement of the election results.

Kenyans throughout the country were celebrating this evening and hopes are high that this will restore Kenya to its position as one of the most stable and successful countries in Africa. All the indications are that the overwhelming majority of Kenyans are delighted to see an end to the political stalemate and tension.

The feeling of relief was evident among people everywhere and for the first time in weeks optimism was high as many Kenyans expressed their hopes for a better future.

The security situation throughout Kenya was calm and peaceful in all areas with a mood of relief and celebration following the announcement of the power-sharing agreement.

Kenya Tourist Board, Kenya Tourism Federation

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