Kenya

The crisis in Kenya, sparked by the disputed results of the December 2007 Presidential elections, claimed more than 1,000 lives and  left hundreds of thousands displaced. At the request of Mr Kofi Annan, HD supported him and the Panel of Eminent African Personalities in the mediation of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation.

Background

The Kenyan Presidential Election on 27 December 2007 and announcement of President Mwai Kibaki’s re-election resulted in contestation of the results and accusations of rigging by the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and its leader, Hon. Raila Odinga. This sparked a political crisis and violence in many parts of the country.

The unprecedented levels of violence and destabilisation in Kenya led regional and international leaders to move swiftly in attempts to broker a resolution to the crisis. In the weeks following the announcement of President Kibaki’s victory, violence continued to escalate and the scale of the governance crisis became more apparent. As other attempts at mediation had not suceeded, President John Kufuor of Ghana, in his capacity as President of the African Union, mandated a Panel of Eminent African Personalities, chaired by Mr Kofi Annan, and including Ms Graca Machal and Former President Benjamin Mkapa. The Panel came together with negotiation teams from the Government/Party of National Unity (PNU) and the ODM under the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation process.

Activities

The Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation process brought together the ODM and the PNU, including its governing coalition of parties, to address four key agenda items in an effort to resolve the crisis. These were immediate action to stop violence and restore fundamental rights and liberties; immediate measures to address the humanitarian crisis, promote reconciliation, healing and restoration; how to overcome the current political crisis; and long-term issues and solutions.

The dialogue began addressing measures to end the violence and restore fundamental rights and civil liberties, and then moved to focus on immediate measures to address the humanitarian crisis and promote reconciliation, healing and restoration, before addressing the election crisis.

The process resulted in the signing on 28 February 2008 of a power-sharing agreement between President Mwai Kibaki and ODM leader Hon. Raila Odinga. The arrangement included the creation of a Prime Ministerial position and the entrenchment of the Agreement within the Constitution.

Following the signing of this first Agreement, the talks moved on to address long term issues and solutions. This resulted in further agreements between the parties on the establishment of:

  • An Independent Review Committee on the conduct and outcome of the elections, to review the election crisis and offer recommendations on electoral reform;
  • A Commission of Inquiry on Post Election Violence;
  • A Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission.

The parties also committed to a comprehensive Constitutional review process, and addressed the issue of ‘How to Resolve the Political Crisis’, resulting in two agreements, and a draft Act of Parliament, establishing the coalition government.

At the closure of the process on the 30 June 2008, the parties reaffirmed their commitments to these in a Statement of Principles and an Implementation Matrix, laying out the road map for implementing the above agreements.

Agreements and statements

Further resources

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