Friday, February 08, 2008

Kenya Wins, Loses

A deal's been reached at talks between Kenya's government and opposition. Former UN chief Kofi Annan's been leading negotiations to end the violence that has followed the recent disputed elections. Although we haven't got the details yet, the sides have agreed to some kind of interim joint government.

In the short-term, this is good news for the Kenyan people. Anything that stops the kind of tribal fighting we've seen over the last few weeks is a good thing. Any fears Kenya could go the same way as Rwanda 14 years ago have surely now gone.

But this deal may end up being something we all regret. What's basically happened is that the Kibaki regime lost the election, changed the result, and has now got away with it. It sets a dangerous precedent, when an unpopular government is allowed by the rest of the world to simply ignore the will of the majority of its people as expressed at the ballot box. The violence may now end, but peace will come at a high price, and not just in terms of the lives that have already been lost.

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