Kenya. The year began with severe unrest in large parts
of the country as a result of President Mwai Kibaki being
declared victorious in the presidential elections at the end
of December 2007, despite a seemingly confident leadership
of opposition candidate Raila Odinga. The violence bore
clear features of ethnic cleansing carried out by both
sides, the kikuyu people's group to which the president
belongs, and Odinga's luo.
About 1,500 people are estimated to have been killed and
600,000 driven away from their homes, before calm was
restored somewhat in February following the mediation of
former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The rival political
camps began negotiations that culminated in an agreement on
a unifying government and the creation of a new post as
prime minister. Kibaki was allowed to remain as president
while Odinga was appointed prime minister. A new
constitution must also be written.
Countryaah reports, a commission of inquiry headed by Judge Phillip Waki
concluded that politicians and businessmen on all sides
had ignited the violence and demanded that an international
tribunal be formed to investigate those responsible. Only in
December, however, did Kibaki and Odinga agree to set up
such a tribunal, in view of the threat of withdrawn EU aid.
If it did not start answering the suspects by March 2009 at
the latest, Kofi Annan shall submit a list of ten names to
the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The
Odinga Party's Orange Democratic Movement protested for a
long time that Kenyan citizens could be extradited to the
ICC and demanded amnesty for all involved, the Justice
The Wakiki Commission also found that the root of evil
was tracing far back in time, to the unfair distribution of
land and state resources and former political leaders'
violations of human rights. On the recommendation of Waki,
Parliament decided in October to appoint a Truth, Justice
and Reconciliation Commission to investigate human rights
violations from K's independence in 1963.
A separate, international commission set up by the
African Union found that it was not possible to prove that
the Kenyan Election Commission had falsified the election
results. Instead, the Commission judged the entire electoral
system, saying that it was never possible to clarify who
actually won the election. However, in December Parliament
followed the recommendation of the AU Commission to dissolve
the Electoral Commission.
The new government formed in April after lengthy
negotiations became the largest in K's history: 40 ministers
and 52 secretaries at a cost to the Treasury of the
equivalent of a few hundred million SEK per year, including
salaries and a number of benefits. The finance minister
noted that the government's wage demands risked the
financing of new housing for those who have become homeless
during the violence. In December, Parliament voted down a
proposal that members should start paying tax on their
salary of about SEK 120,000 per month.