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UN sent Obasanjo to mediate between Uhuru and Raila

By Rawlings Otieno and Protus Onyango | Published Thu, January 25th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 25th 2018 at 08:11 GMT +3
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. [Photo: Courtesy]

The United Nations has confirmed sending former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to mediate in the current political stalemate in Kenya.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres spokesman Stephane Dujarric, when fielding questions from Inner City Press in Geneva last Friday, confirmed that indeed they sent Obasanjo to Kenya.

“As you know, the political situation in Kenya is one we've been following closely, especially the ongoing preparation by the Opposition, the National Super Alliance, for the swearing-in planned for January. It's in that context that the Secretary-General asked the former president Obasanjo who, as you know, is a member of the Secretary-General's High-Level Mediation Panel, to visit Kenya,” said Dujarric.

He said it was important Kenyans continued to uphold the 2010 Constitution, and that the Opposition carried its political activities within the confines of the law.

“We would like to stress the importance of Kenyans working together to strengthen governance, advance inclusive development and uphold human rights and the rule of law,” said Dujarric.

Parties deny

Despite the spokesman's confirmation, Jubilee and NASA have denied knowledge that Obasanjo was in the country for mediation.

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National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale (Garissa Town) denied there was such a meeting while State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu declined to respond when asked about the meeting.

“We have not met him and we have no time. Kenya is a sovereign country and not a colony of the UN,” said Duale.

He accused the Opposition of hypocrisy.

“They have taken positions in Parliament. Neither Obasanjo nor any UN body can purport to create unnecessary crisis,” said Duale.

He said any attempt to create two centres of power would fail.

However, some sources within the Opposition coalition confided that the special emissary held talks with the four NASA co-principals.

But Raila’s aide Silas Jakakimba denied the meeting took place.

“President Obasanjo is known to travel to Kenya from time to time and it would be highly speculative and inaccurate to peg his visit on mediation talks between Uhuru and Raila if indeed he is around,” said Jakakimba.

NASA leaders have maintained that the planned swearing-in of Raila cannot be stopped unless Uhuru cedes ground for dialogue before January 30. 


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