Story: Nehemia Owusu Achiaw & Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
Kenyan President, Mwai Kibaki, has formally invited President J.A. Kufuor, the African Union Chairman, to help in finding an amicable solution to Kenya’s post election conflict.
President Kibaki’s Special Envoy, Mr Moses Wetangula, who conveyed the invitation to President Kufuor in Kumasi on Saturday, also presented a special message from the Kenyan leader to the AU Chairman.
The content of the message was not disclosed but was believed to have centred on the political turmoil in Kenya.
President Kufuor accepted the invitation but indicated that the date on which he would travel to Kenya would be made known later.
President Kibaki was proclaimed winner in the Kenyan general election on December 27, 2007 but Mr Raila Odinga, the leader of the Orange Democractic Movement (ODM), the main opposition party, challenged the results claiming that the election was rigged.
An ensuing violence has claimed the lives of more than 300 people and displaced some 70,000 others.
The political development in Kenya is hurting the economies of other Eastern African countries which depend on Kenya for some essential services.
But there appears to be a glimmer of hope as President Kibaki and Mr Odinga have both indicated their preparedness to use dialogue to resolve the conflict.
Accepting the invitation, President Kufuor said the willingness of the political leadership in Kenya to form a national unity government was a step in the right direction and impressed on the political establishment to use dialogue to resolve any misunderstandings resulting from the elections. “Violence is destructive and destabilisation of normal life should not be countenanced,” he said.
President Kufuor said as Chairman of the AU, he was naturally concerned about the situation in Kenya and was willing to constribute to the restoration of peace in that country.
Briefing President Kufuor on the situation in Kenya, Mr Wetangula, said the situation in Kenya was stabilising except that there were some pockets of disturbances in the western part of that country.
Present at the meeting were Mr Kwasi Osei Adjei, Minister of Foreign Affairs, NEPAD and Regional Integration, Mr Osei-Assibey Antwi, the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Andrew Awuni, the Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman, and some government officials.