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United Nations pledges support on Raila-Uhuru surprise deal

By Hillary Orinde | Published Tue, March 13th 2018 at 11:17, Updated March 13th 2018 at 14:17 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at a past function. [File, Standard]

The United Nations has welcomed President Uhuru’s and Opposition chief Raila Odinga’s March 9 reconciliation after months of political uncertainty.

On Tuesday UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres reiterated the agency’s commitment to support the bid to unite Kenyans.

“I reiterate the United Nation’s support to continue working with the Government and people of Kenya for efforts towards consolidating peace, stability and development in the country,” he said.

Days before the controversial swearing-in of Raila Odinga as the People’s President, UN confirmed sending former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to mediate in the then political stalemate in the country.

During a press briefing in Geneva on January 19, Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric  said:  “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.”

Jubilee and NASA however denied that there was such a meeting.

Then, NASA had maintained a hard stance saying it would not recognise the repeat election results that declared President Uhuru Kenyatta winner. NASA boycotted the election insisting no reforms had been made on the electoral commission.

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On January 30, Raila Odinga was sworn in as the people’s president triggering talk of betrayal after his coalition co-principals skipped the fete.

The Government launched a clampdown of the Opposition leaders by withdrawing their passports and attempting to arrest businessman Jimi Wanjigi seen as one of NASA's financiers.

However, last Friday Uhuru and Raila held a surprise  rapprochement meeting at Harambee House and addressed a joint press conference declaring an end to post 2017 electoral animosities.

The duo signed a communique highlighting their goals for the country and greed to roll out a programme that will implement their shared objectives.

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