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Kevin Kraft, OP: on power sharing agreement
A Great Day for Kenya

Kenya LeadersKISMU, KENYA-- FEBRUARY 28, 2008---Today was a red-letter day for Kenya, when (at last!!) Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga signed a several page political agreement of real hard-nosed power-sharing which is unprecedented in the nearly 50 year democratic history of the country.  It’s been a long 5 week negotiation, upon which the country had high hopes and growing anxiety (as there was no guarantee that things would end happily),  and it’s been a full two months of violence, uncertainty and national shame as we saw Kenya torn apart by inter-ethnic clashes that stopped just short of an all-out war.  This is the day we had been waiting for since the day after the elections, when our government finally achieves credibility and legitimacy before all Kenyans (and before the international community).  The agreement means that the two bitterly divided rival parties will henceforth work together, and not against each other, to face the extremely urgent social problems in the country.  It means that they are both now “the government” (President and executive prime minister; shared cabinet portfolios, etc.) and have agreed that the new power-sharing arrangement will be enshrined in the current Kenyan Constitution, with a further systematic review and remodeling of the Constitution to begin almost immediately.  

Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Parliament has been convened by the President, to open next Thursday, and will have a major role in implementing legally the points agreed upon by the two leaders. One of the upshots of this deal is that the international aid to help in rebuilding the affected areas of the country should be forthcoming.  Tourism, investment, transport, education, agriculture and so many other things that go to make up this country’s life, may also now come back, since the road to peace has been chosen in preference to that of violence and war which Kenya sadly has been experiencing.   Obviously, things will not change overnight, nor does every political “deal” always translate into real, effective change at the grassroots level.   But I do not exaggerate when I say that today Kenya feels that it has turned the page, and now needs to begin rebuilding the multi-ethnic cohesion and peaceful, constructive lifestyle which until recently has characterized it as a country …   I would compare today’s event to the day when Sendero Luminoso’s head man, Abimael Guzman, was captured in Peru,  only here it’s not the capture of the highest guerilla leader and terrorist, but the agreement to work together hammered out in more than a month of negotiating under Kofi Annan’s able leadership which offers real hope to the country.   

Keven Kraft
Kevin Kraft, OP
A great hurrah! for Kofi Annan, whose name will go down in the annals of this country as one of it’s greatest heroes, for sticking with the country in its darkest days, and guiding us through a process which can only restore faith in peaceful dialogue and democratic process.    The country is giving thanks to God today – Moslems, Evangelicals, Anglicans, Catholics and AIC’s – for what has happened.  There was euphoria this afternoon in Kisumu, and generally –across the country– relief, joy and an awakening hope as things take a decided turn for the better.  

That’s all for today:  I just wanted to share our joy with you all. 

Kevin Kraft, OP


Read the related stories about the situation in Kenya

"Obviously, things will not change overnight..."

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