African News

AU panel decries situation in Kenya

By Kemo Cham
The African Union Panel of Eminent African Personalities has released a statement, expressing concern over the current political impasse in Kenya and its potential effect on the implementation of the National Accord signed by the opposing sides in the violent aftermath of the country’s general elections late 2007.
In a press release dispatched Thursday February 18, 2010, the AU panel, recognizing as positive the considerable progress that has been achieved so far on the implementation of the National Accord, ‘‘particularly around constitutional, land and electoral reform, warned that these achievements could be reversed if the current disagreement is not swiftly resolved.
Established by the continental body, the panel, some of whose members are Benjamin Mkapa, former Tanzanian president, and Mrs Graça Machel, wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela, is chaired by Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary General.
“The Panel acknowledges the immense challenges facing Kenya at this time. We urge the coalition partners to focus on the difficult tasks ahead, and to re-dedicate themselves to the full and speedy implementation of the reform agenda for the sake of the prosperity and wellbeing of all Kenyans,’’ the release quoted Kofi Annan.
‘‘We recall the core principle of collaboration agreed to in the National Accord and exhort the coalition partners to recommit themselves to this crucial principle,” the former UN chief added.
The dispatch went on to express the Panel’s concern ‘‘that this current political impasse will impede or slow down the crucial efforts needed to combat the corrosive practices of corruption.’’
To this effect, they called on both President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga to meet urgently in order to agree on a practical and workable application of the principle of collaboration; on the continued need for investigation of the alleged acts of corruption; and on the imperative of joint sustained efforts to implement the reform agenda.

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