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He eventually reversed himself under immense pressure from the international community, which was extremely concerned about the destabilizing regional effects if violence were to spread and escalate.

However, meeting with Tutu, he maintained that the violence had to stop before any talks could be held, and that foreign mediators were unnecessary.[xi].

Odinga was ready to accept international mediation from the outset.

President Kibaki was reluctant, and Kufuor actually had to trick Kibaki into accepting any mediation at all. The following morning the ambassador of Ghana in Nairobi delivered formal letters to Kibaki and Odinga from Kufuor on the appointment of the Panel of Eminent Personalities led by Annan to mediate in the crisis.

The UN team worked discreetly in support of the mediation and produced vital documents beginning with the draft for the agenda for the talks.

Annan has noted that his AU mandate was “very short – almost one line” essentially empowering him to use own judgment, a lack of restriction he found helpful in this case.[xx] One key element of his approach was continuous, in-depth, and wide-ranging consultation with various Kenyan interest and civil society groups, as well as the media, both before and during the formal mediation process, which was fittingly named the Kenyan National Dialogue and Reconciliation Process (KNDP).

Kibaki initially refused to meet with Tutu, maintaining that the violence was a Kenyan internal matter.Jendayi Frazier, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, also came and spent two weeks in Kenya.The UN Secretary-General was very fast in acting on the crisis and dispatched the first UN team to Nairobi on January 5.However, critics of the AU response have pointed out that while these documents called on the AU Commission to closely monitor the situation and report back, there is no evidence that these reports actually took place, and neither did they “identify concrete actions to be taken during the mediation process or provide a framework for the AU Assembly to monitor the process.”[xviii] The United Nations Security Council chose to leave the situation to Annan and the AU, issuing a statement pledging full support for the mediation on February 6.More concretely, the UN also assisted by lending staff members who conducted analysis, offered policy advice, and generally served as staff support to Annan’s team.[xix] The entire mediation, although AU in name, was financially, logistically and staff-wise supported by the UN.

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