REGIONAL - The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has begun crisis consultations with regional leaders over the post-election violence in Kenya. At least 480 people have been killed in clashes after the widely disputed presidential elections in which President Mwai Kibaki was declared winner over main rival Raila Odinga last week.
Uganda’s minister for International Relations, Okello Oryem, told The New Times yesterday that EALA will after consultations debate ways to subdue the Kenyan crisis.
To reinforce the assembly’s intervention, EALA Speaker Abdirahin Abdi has already started traversing the East African region, meeting leaders in an effort to suppress the violence sparked off by tribal sentiments after Kibaki was declared victor over Odinga.
The five-nation East African Community (EAC) is comprised of Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Abdirahin met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe over the weekend. And according to Oryem, President Museveni briefed the EALA Speaker about his efforts to encourage dialogue between Kibaki and Odinga.
“The president told the Speaker that he had encouraged Kibaki and Odinga to start immediate negotiations. He cautioned them to be tolerant. The president told him he was in disagreement with the ongoing violence,” Oryem said.
Oryem said Abdirahin was slated to meet with President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania.
“The Speaker said he was going to consult all regional leaders in East Africa before the Assembly takes up the matter. But after meeting Museveni he said he would meet with Kikwete over the same issue,” Oryem said.
In addition to the EAC, the US, UK and the African Union are working jointly to help end the violence in Kenya.