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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kenya In Crisis Day 62: Power Sharing Agreement Reached

All the details have been ironed out and a formal power sharing agreement has been reached.

Kenya's political leaders ended a two month standoff on Thursday that had plunged this country into violence, reaching a long-sought agreement to share power between the government and the opposition.

The country seemed to let out a collective hooray as Mwai Kibaki, the president, and Raila Odinga, the top opposition leader, sat down at a desk in front of the president's office, with a bank of television cameras rolling, and signed an agreement that creates a powerful prime minister position for Odinga and splits cabinet positions between
the government and the opposition.

There are still many thorny issues to resolve, among them how the government will function with essentially two bosses. There is also a deeply divided country to heal. More than 1,000 Kenyans have been killed and hundreds of thousands driven from their homes in an uncharacteristic burst of violence set off by a deeply flawed election in December. Much of the fighting, like the voting, has been along ethnic lines.

Now comes the sixty four thousand dollar question...will this have any practical effect in quelling the violence. That is still left to be determined. As the article mentions, there are still thorny issues to resolve and one of those is the issue of armed men with machetes looking to commit violence on tribal grounds.

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