NAIROBI, July 29 – The mediation talks chaired by Nigeria’s ex-Foreign Affairs Minister Oluyemi Adeniji were to resume Tuesday for conclusive discussions on Agenda Item Four.
Agenda Four – the last stage in the mediation process – intends to address the long term issues of land, poverty, and constitutional review, as well as the formation of a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission.
The Dialogue team, which has not convened formally for close to two months, has already published two crucial bills; the Justice and Reconciliation Commission and the Ethnic and Racism Bills that are currently in Parliament.
The team was set up in January to find ways of securing peace, after a disputed presidential election sparked a wave of violence that saw 1,500 people killed and massive destruction to property and infrastructure.
Previously chaired by the former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, the mediation team is credited with drafting the National Peace Accord that was signed by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila, effectively ushering in a coalition government and leading to an end to the countrywide flare-up.
Other members of the African Union Panel of Eminent Personalities (leading the mediation process) were Graca Machel and former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa.
The negotiation team comprises of Cabinet Ministers Martha Karua, Moses Wetangula, Mutula Kilonzo, Sam Ongeri, William Ruto, Musalia Mudavadi, James Orengo and Sally Kosgei.
During an informal meeting last Wednesday, Ruto had intimated on the possibility of concluding Agenda Item Four, possibly during Tuesday’s session.
"We will meet for a formal session under Adeniji’s chairmanship and hope to incorporate Agenda Item Four into the government agenda," Ruto had told reporters.
Last week, the team also recommended a term extension for the Commission Investigating Post Election Violence (CIPEV), headed by Appellate Judge Justice Philip Waki.
The Dialogue and Reconciliation Team, which gave birth to CIPEV, recommended an extra one month in response to an application by the Waki team for two more months to complete its work.
Ruto informed journalists that the one-month extension was sufficient for them to execute their mandate, on top of the initial one month given to them by President Mwai Kibaki during formation.