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Research Report

A Choice for Peace?: The Story of Forty-One Days of Mediation in Kenya

Elisabeth Lindenmayer
Josie Lianna Kaye
Copyright Date: Aug. 1, 2009
Pages: 36

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. i-ii)
  3. (pp. iii-iii)
    Edward C. Luck
  4. (pp. iv-iv)
  5. (pp. 1-1)
  6. (pp. 1-2)

    At the heart of the successful forty-one-day mediation process in Kenya was the realization that this was a crisis that the world could not afford to ignore. For chief mediator Kofi Annan, however— making reference to the Chinese characters which make up the word—a crisis presents us with both danger and opportunity. On the one hand, the danger was that this East African nation, previously perceived as an island of political and economic stability and an essential hub for international activity, would allow the election crisis of 2007 to deteriorate into a catastrophic civil war along ethnic lines; as...

  7. (pp. 2-7)

    The 2007 elections in Kenya were the fourth since the country’s return to multiparty politics in 1992. There were 108 parties vying for 210 seats at the parliamentary level, with three major candidates at the presidential level:Mwai Kibaki representing the PNU, Raila Odinga representing ODM, and former Foreign Minister Kalonzo Musyoka representing ODM-Kenya. When the presidential election results announced by the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) indicated both a rapid disintegration of Odinga’s large lead and a 2.5 percent margin between the two leading candidates, Odinga and Kibaki, suspicions of tampering were high—not least because the opposition had won...

  8. (pp. 7-15)

    Kufuor’s23 selection of Annan to lead the AUmandated mediation process, which was announced publicly on January 10th, was nothing less than an “inspired choice.”24 With years of mediation experience, an internationally renowned figure with moral authority and a strong political reputation, Annan combines extensive political experience and unique negotiating skills with the ability to bring a wide pool of contacts to the negotiating table. There was a strong personal motivation for Annan also; given that he played a large role in the formulation of the concept of RtoP, launched at the World Summit of 2005, he had many reasons to...

  9. (pp. 15-21)

    On February 12th, as the convoys carrying the Panel and members of the secretariat sped from Parliament through midday traffic to Wilson International Airport on the other side of the city where air-force planes were waiting, the media scrambled to find out exactly where this “undisclosed” location could be. The members of the secretariat were already waiting for take-off on the Kenya Air Force plane when Kofi Annan boarded and sat alone, no doubt needing time to reflect on the steps ahead. As the plane crossed over the Kenyan savannah and landed on red dust in the middle of a...

  10. (pp. 21-22)

    In a crescendo of well-orchestrated pressure as the forty-first day drew near, Kofi Annan asked that President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania46 join him, along with former President Mkapa, for the final stage of negotiations with President Kibaki and Mr. Odinga. Having suspended the talks so abruptly, the leaders were most probably not only in shock but also absorbing the very clear message that the moment for agreement could no longer be postponed. The decision to bring in President Kikwete at this point was double-edged: a respected figure on the continent and at the time chairperson of the African Union, he...

  11. (pp. 22-25)

    When the Chairman of the Panel, Kofi Annan, said farewell to Kenya on March 3rd, six long and difficult weeks had passed. But this was only the beginning of an even longer andmore difficult road ahead toward sustainable peace in Kenya. The technical elements of agenda item three were left in the hands of Attorney-General Amos Wako and a team of lawyers whose job it was to draft the necessary bills for the implementation of the power-sharing agreement into law, and 2 billion Kenyan shillings49 were pledged by the US in support of the speedy implementation of the agreement, in...

  12. (pp. 26-29)
  13. (pp. 30-30)