Kenya coalition govt will hold, says Annan

March 10, 2009 12:00 am

, DAR ES SALAAM, Mar 10 – Former UN chief Kofi Annan, who mediated Kenya’s embattled power-sharing agreement a year ago, voiced confidence on Tuesday that the coalition government would survive.

"The coalition in Kenya is going through hick-ups and difficulties at the moment, but I do expect it to hold," he told reporters on the sidelines of an economic conference on Africa held in Dar es Salaam.

Annan was the chief mediator in efforts to end the bloodshed that erupted after the disputed December 2007 presidential election and left some 1,500 people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.

Under the deal, opposition candidate Raila Odinga became Kenya’s prime minister and his party joined President Mwai Kibaki’s in a unity cabinet.

A year on, the coalition’s popularity has hit rock-bottom, few of the key reforms Annan requested have been tackled and several key members have hinted they could pull out of the coalition.

"What they need to do is focus on reform, tackle the issues of corruption and transparency," Annan said.

A recent UN report describing systematic extrajudicial killings in Kenya caused public outrage, which further escalated when two local rights activists who had been at the forefront of the campaign to denounce police killings were shot down in broad daylight in central Nairobi last week.


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