Thursday, February 28, 2008

A step forward in Kenya

Kenya rivals sign power-sharing deal

Kenya moved one step closer to peace today as the weeks of talks brokered by Kofi Annan have resulted in a power-sharing agreement in Kenya, with Raila Odinga (the opposition leader) taking the newly created post of prime minister. Mwai Kibaki will remain as president, but with reduced authority. Parliament will also be divided according to party - with Odinga's party in the majority. Even more importantly, both sides agreed to a full review of the constitution - which many people believe encourages the type of tribal politics that got us into this mess.

Perhaps this is a testimony to the power of discussion and diplomacy. Towns, neighborhoods, and countless lives were destroyed over the last 2 months - with a lifetime of pain for survivors. Nothing good can come from tribalism - it is a hold out from colonialism and a seed of genocide. It is good that the leaders of Kenya have agreed that unity is greater than division. We'll see how it plays out over the coming months - and if a new peace can be a fitting tribute to the trials of the recent past.

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