Former UN chief Kofi Annan’s charm

The former UN Secretary General was forced to face Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki directly.
Panelists at the Kofi Annan-chaired Serena mediation talks have revealed that his charm quelled their fiery spirits.

Panelists Martha Karua for Mwai Kibaki’s PNU, James Orengo for Raila Odinga’s ODM and former Attorney General Amos Wako said Annan’s skill and diplomacy disarmed them.

Others were William Ruto, Musalia Mudavadi, Dr Sally Kosgei, Moses Wetangula, the late Mutula Kilonzo and Prof Sam Ongeri.

“His calm and amiable demeanor coupled with his mastery of the art of diplomacy facilitated a successful conclusion. We remain indebted to him,” Karua said. Orengo said some of the eminent persons in Serena did not want Raila involved in the governance of the country.

“Without him, we would not have worked out a deal the way we did. Annan was made for Kenya,” he added.

The Siaya Senator, who eulogised Annan as a firm and resolute leader, said he was a master deal maker in political circumstances through peace and tolerance even where things looked extremely difficult.

Wako who knew Annan in the 1980s when he was as assistant UN Secretary General said long before the meditation, said he encouraged him to vie for the Secretary General position at the International Law Commission.

“I would not be who I am today were it not for Annan,” he added.

He disclosed that Annan monitored the country’s progress and even invited several leaders to Geneva under his foundation, over the issue.

Speaking in Bungoma, Wetang’ula said the late former UN chief ensured the country achieved peace during the post-election violence that broke out after the 2007 elections.

“It is with great shock that I have learnt the passing on of our friend and elder brother Kofi Anan. He was instrumental in making this country heal after the skirmishes that were witnessed in this country,” he said.

Wetang’ula urged the government to honour Annan’s legacy by implementing the Agenda 4 items. 

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Kofi AnnanRaila OdingaMwai Kibaki