Ireland to support Annan Peace Talks in Kenya
Ireland is to provide €100,000 to support the current Kofi Annan-led mediation efforts in Kenya, in response to a request from the United Nations.
Announcing the funding today, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, T.D., reiterated Ireland’s strong support for the mediation efforts led by former UN Secretary General Annan aimed at finding a political resolution to the crisis which has affected Kenya since disputed presidential elections on 27 December 2007.
“I am delighted to be able to support this vital work of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The panel of Eminent African Personalities initiative led by Kofi Annan represents the best prospect for achieving a political resolution of the current crisis in Kenya.
It is incumbent upon us all to do what we can to support the search for peace which Kofi Annan is spearheading. It also demonstrates the Government’s strong commitment to assisting conflict resolution in a range of practical ways.”
The Minister also renewed his call to the Kenyan Government and opposition to cooperate fully in the current Annan peace talks. “Serious engagement is vital, not just for the peace and stability of Kenya but that of the whole East African region. I am encouraged by the good progress which has been made to date in Nairobi under Kofi Annan’s skilled stewardship.”
The funding of €100,000 was also welcomed by the Minister of State for Overseas Development, Michael Kitt, T.D. “Irish Aid is a significant donor to Kenya, with over €18.6 million made available to key non-governmental organisations and UN agencies such as the World Food Programme since 2006. This includes €1 million in humanitarian assistance made available last month in response to the widespread death, destruction and displacement which followed the disputed December elections.”
“Development prospects in Kenya will be severely affected if there is no early resolution to the current crisis and it is therefore imperative that all donors and friends of Kenya do what they can to assist Mr. Annan’s vital mediation efforts”, added the Minister of State.
Ireland’s contribution will be to an UN-managed Trust Fund which has been especially established to support the current Annan peace talks in Nairobi.
Note for editors:
Ireland is one of a number of donors who have been approached by the UN to provide financial support to the peace talks which Kofi Annan and a Panel of Eminent African Personalities are currently mediating in Kenya. The other members of the panel are Ms. Gracia Machel of Mozambique and former Tanzanian President, Benjamin Mkapa. The peace talks have been underway since mid-January and a framework agreement was reached on 1 February on the main issues to be addressed in order to arrive at a final political settlement. Mr. Annan has set a deadline of 1 March for the current phase of the talks aimed at achieving an immediate political resolution to the crisis which has resulted in over 1,000 people losing their lives and up to 300,000 Kenyans being displaced.