Former UN chief book reveals petty obstacles that dogged peace deal
SEE ALSO :Obado and Ruto throw jab at RailaAccording to the former UN chief two negotiation teams were set and they were supposed to tackle some of the fundamental disagreements and issues which needed to be addressed immediately. These issues included quelling the fighting and the escalating humanitarian crisis. This is how the negotiators came up with the four point agenda where the last item was to bring long term reform programe for Kenya political system. The four point agenda was in the document which was finalised, signed and distributed publicly on February 1. As the negotiations progressed, Annan says that, Kibaki, who was at the African Union summit in Ethiopia attacked the stance taken by the opposition even as observers started comparing what was happening in Kenya to the events which had led to the Rwanda genocide a decade earlier. He says he was moved by an open letter by a chief subeditor which was published on February 8, expressing fears that if he abandoned his peace mission in Kenya, the people would be devoured by a monster. As he led the negotiations, Annan explains that he was against a repeat of presidential elections as the electoral system could not be trusted.
SEE ALSO :The Uhuru-Raila 'secret' visits to ChinaDuring a retreat in Kilaguni Lodge on February 6, the former UN chief says that the negotiating team went through the merits and demerits of the various options available to settle the political crisis. Throughout the negotiations, it was clear that no other option except power sharing would calm the situation but this concept was alien in the country. Punishing the perpetrators “I brought in Craig Jenness, Director of UN Electoral Assistance Division of the department of political affairs to present expert details of what each option would mean.” He adds, “I invited Gernot Erler, a German minister of state to to speak to the negotiators and share his experience of coalition government. The negotiators then came to an agreement and signed a statement on February 14. The statement noted that since there was a serious crisis in the country,” we agree a political settlement is necessary to promote National reconciliation and Unity.” The statement also spelt out the measures to be undertaken including punishing the perpetrators violence and establishment of a peace and reconciliation commission for long term healing of the nation. By this time the death toll going by Red Cross statistics had risen to 1,000 and there were mass displacement of people occasioned by burning of villages and looting. According to the power sharing deal, Kibaki would remain president, a post of executive prime minister would be created for Raila and a coalition cabinet formed which would be shared between PNU and ODM. Frustrated by the deadlock, Annan says he decided to publicly announce he had finished his negotiations and now it was time for Kibaki and Raila to conclude the negotiations face to face. “They were not expecting this sudden move and the prospect of negotiating face to face surprised them. Speaking to Odinga, I reminded him that if he worked through the compromise he would likely be set to become the next president. This message seemed to resonate,” he says. However when he met Kibaki, this was a hard sell as Kibaki, “listened in his usual quiet and unemotional way but replied there were technical issues with a coalition government and questions as to the the validity of an executive prime minister in the Kenyan Constitution.” When the president dithered, Anan told him, “Mr president, over 1,00 people are dead. Its time to make a deal.” By going public, Anan had cornered Kibaki for if the negotiators walked out of Kenya without a deal, he would be blamed. In the meantime, the former UN chief was in regular contact with the international community, Condleeza Rice who announced that any future relationship with the US would depend on the deal. It is against this background that Kibaki, Raila and the then Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete and his predecessor Benjamin Mkapa held a five hour meeting during which they explained how power sharing arrangement worked in Tanzania. Before the meeting, Annan had told Kibaki and Raila that this was the final negotiation and nobody would be allowed to back down as after the agreement they would append their signatures in public. The signing of the deal Annan believes was monumental because, “We had achieved something far too elusive in history of peacemaking-halting a spiral of violence before too m any of either side have little left to lose and live only for vengeance.” Thereafter the Constitution was amended to create new posts and was later overhauled in 2010 creating a new political dispensation and levels of governance. Annan’s last act was to hand over a list of suspects, Uhuru, Muthaura, Hussein Ali, William Ruro, Henry Kosgey and Joshua Sang to the International Criminal Court to be tried for committing crimes against humanity after the Kenyan government failed to prosecute them locally. The cases were thrown out.