Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Kenyan president, opposition leader call truce

Kenyan president, opposition leader call truce

"I congratulate President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga for meeting this morning".

Friday's breakthrough came just hours before U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's first official visit Kenya.

The president said the government's initiative known as the Last Mile Connectivity, meant to connect as many Kenyans as possible to electricity, is still ongoing and therefore presents opportunities for the private sector.

About 150 people were killed in the aftermath of the election, which Mr Kenyatta won after an opposition boycott.

"That, we will begin a process of discussing what ails us and what creates divisions amongst us".

Kenyatta, for his part, said during the meeting that the solid friendship and cooperation that continues to deepen, only serves to encourage Kenya to strengthen its resolve to work together with the US toward an even brighter future, the statement said.

In their joint address, President Kenyatta referred to Mr Odinga as his "brother". "A free and independent media is essential to safeguarding democracy and giving all Kenyans confidence in their government".

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Kulanka dib Uhuru Kenyatta iyo Raila Odinga ayaa si wada jir ah ula hadlay saxaafadda ka isla markaana balan qaaday in ay bilaabayaan geedi socod dib u heshiisiinta. He said he was due back in the country on March 26, 2018 "so as to continue the struggle for electoral justice and the culture of impunity that both Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta now represent".

"As we fight ostensibly to save ourselves from each other, the reality is that we need to save our children from ourselves".

The Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) party leader also reiterated the importance of Kenyans feeling included in the National Agenda.

Tillerson said Washington looks forward to seeing successful implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) because it offers a big market in which the US wants to engage.

Political analyst and writer Patrick Gathara said such a dialogue is still needed despite Friday's meeting. "So, it helps ease the political tensions...."

"We the leaders are summoned to take the front seat and heal the growing ethnic and sectarian strife in the country after every election cycle", Odinga said.

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