Kenya: ‘Brothers’ Kenyatta and Odinga vow to resolve differences

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Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition rival Raila Odinga have promised to resolve their differences and heal the country’s political divide.

The East African nation has experienced intensifying political tension following last year’s double election fiasco, which peaked when opposition party NASA held a symbolic inauguration for Raila Odinga as “the people’s president”. However, during an unscheduled joint TV address last week, the pair called each other “brothers” and vowed to put their differences aside.

‘Time to resolve our differences’

Almost 100 people died during election violence in 2017 as opposition supporters clashed with security forces in Kenya. Since then, TV stations have been shut down and various opposition members arrested for involvement with NASA activities following last year’s presidential election.

Tensions have been escalating with the Jubilee government trying to legitimise its power after losing credit throughout the election process and NASA refusing to acknowledge Uhuru Kenyatta as the country’s president – a concept easily adopted by the opposition party’s supporters.

Events in Kenya have prompted international voices to urge Kenyatta and Odinga to engage in dialogue and bring the country’s political crisis to an end. After months of uncertainty, the rival politicians confirmed last week that such dialogue has taken place and promised to resolve their differences in the interest of stability and progress for the country.

“It is time to resolve our differences,” Odinga said during the joint TV address.

Featured image: By Amanda Lucidon (Uhuru Kenyatta photograph) / World Economic Forum (Raila Odinga photograph) – https://www.flickr.com/photos/statephotos/14860312613 / https://www.flickr.com/photos/15237218@N00/3237854563, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62121592

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.