Kenya's leader Kibaki seeks Ghanaian president Kufuor's mediation

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Ghana’s President John Kufuor is expected to travel to Kenya this week to help resolve the escalating violence that has plunged Kenya into a political crisis. This comes after Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki sent an envoy to brief the Ghanaian president, who is also chairman of the African Union on the current situation in Kenya. Kibaki has also reportedly said he is willing to dialogue without pre-condition with opposition leader Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement who is claiming he won December’s presidential election. Odigna has decided to call off protests that were due to take place tomorrow as a result of the action. He has agreed to take part in the mediation process. This is despite earlier reports that he would not take part in the mediation.

Akwasi Osei-Adjei is Ghana’s foreign minister. He tells VOA reporter Peter Clottey that President Kufuor is concerned about the tensions in Kenya.

“Basically, the president has been invited to Kenya to see for himself the situation and offer advise as to how the two leaders can come together to stop what is happening in Kenya. As you know, people are being killed and there are a lot of disturbances in Kenya and Kenya is like a pillar of a democratic country is now blowing up in our faces. And I don’t think it is for any African country to stand by and more so the chair of the AU (Africa Union) to sit by for such a thing to happen to Kenya. He (president Kufuor) is going there to offer advice,” Osei-Adjei noted.

He reckoned that President Kufuor’s expected trip would yield positive results that would help alleviate the escalating violence in Kenya.

“We hope so. He (President Kufuor) wouldn’t move from Ghana to Kenya not expecting to make a difference to make the situation calm and normal. You know so that is what we expect,” he said.

Osei-Adjei denied speculations that President Kufuor’s mediation efforts could possibly worsen the situation just like in Zimbabwe.

“No, I don’t think so. Zimbabwe is quite a different issue. This is coming out as a result of elections, the recent elections and what is happening that we have to be there to ensure that the two leaders can sit down and then calm the situation,” Osei-Adjei pointed out.

He said President Kibaki invited the Ghanaian president to help solve the escalating violence, which is blamed on the controversy surrounding the December elections.

“Well, the envoy came yesterday to brief the president of Ghana and at the same time the chair of the AU the situation before elections, during elections and after the elections. Upon this then he also added the President (Kibaki) has also asked him to invite the president of Ghana that is President Kufuor of Ghana to be there to help calm the situation. This is what was said yesterday that President Kufuor is going to Kenya to talk to the two leadership and then make them come to if you like some the peace pipe so that things in Kenya will calm down so that of course the necessary things could be done, and then ensure that people go about their normal businesses,” he said.


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