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Annan: Kenya principals must shape up

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Friday left the country with calls to President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to work together to ensure the reform agenda is achieved.

He warned them that history would judge them harshly if they failed to address the long term issues recommended by the national mediation team.

“I appeal to the leaders to work together and with the people to achieve this goal of reforms, history will judge them harshly if this opportunity is allowed to slip,” he said.

The mediator further encouraged the two principals to consult more closely and often to promote cooperation across the coalition government.

He emphasised the need for the two leaders to resolve issues without having to seek for international help, reminding them that it was important for the country to source for local solutions to its problems.

“I am encouraging them to settle their difference and stay united to lead this government.”

He acknowledged that there were differences between and within parties which he begged the two leaders to resolve amicably.

He also expressed concerns over the threatened Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) calling for a quick solution that will address the weaknesses it was facing so that it could carry its important mandate.

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Intimidation of victims of the post election violence was also a highlight during Mr Annan’s press briefing. He asked the government to provide protection and also ensure that the Witness Protection Bill is prompt to offer protection to prospective witnesses and victims.

He also cried out for the internally displaced persons and expressed dissatisfaction in the way the government was working towards resettling all those displaced after the violence.

Mr Annan called on the civil society as well as the rest of the country to put more pressure on the government to act on reforms.

“But I must admit, I sense a slackening of energy on the part of the population and the civil society. I hope they can find the energy to sustain their engagement to the end,” he said.

He attributed the laxity in part to intimidations in the country.


The mediator noted the failed efforts to form a local tribunal but hoped that the International Criminal Court would open a case against the Kenyan perpetrators.

He said most likely the Pre Trial Chamber would give its ruling by the end of next week and expressed that ICC Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo was likely to get a go ahead.

“I understand that there may be judgment by end of March, the Prosecutor goes ahead on not, I think by next week we will know how that process is going. Since that is the process that has been initiated, most of us are paying more attention to that,” he said.

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However he urged the government to be keen on attempts to establish a local tribunal.

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