- Title: ETHIOPIA: Kenya overshadows second day of African leaders' summit
- Date: 2nd February 2008
- Summary: AFRICAN LEADERS DEPARTING FROM VENUE BENIN PRESIDENT THOMAS YAYI BONI AWAITS VEHICLE ON DEPARTURE GABON FOREIGN MINISTER JEAN PING AFTER BEING ELECTED AS NEW HEAD OF COMMISSION OF THE AFRICAN UNION
- Embargoed: 17th February 2008 12:00
- Location: Ethiopia
- Country: Ethiopia
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA7HBYJQ8BU6M6DOWX1ZO0MR5YU
- Story Text: The situation in Kenya continues to dominate security discussions at the summit of African leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
African leaders got down to business at the annual African Union leaders summit in Addis Ababa on Friday (February 1), but it was hard to shake the shadow of recent crises across the continent.
Issues relating to violence sweeping Kenya following disputed elections have loomed large at the summit, which was intended to focus on issues relating to Africa's growing economy.
Kenya is not the only crisis African leaders have had to discuss; Sudan and a rebel attack in Chad were also discussed after the opening of the summit on Thursday (January 31).
But shockwaves from the Kenya crisis were clearly felt.
"People have worries about what is happening in Kenya, its unfortunate and I think this afternoon there is a report on peace and security in Africa and Kenya will feature very prominently and I think that's where you'll find the concerns of the people being expressed and there might be a resolution as to help the Kenyans get out of this unfortunate situation they are in," said Sudan's ambassador to Ethiopia.
One of the panellists of a fact-finding trip ot Kenya prior to the December 27 election, Marie Anjelique Savane, said her organisation, the African Peer Review Mechanism, had recommended that the Kenyan government act to prevent violent outbreaks during the election, but the recommendation had fallen on deaf ears.
"We feel really sorry because we knew that all the conditions were met for this kind of situation but we were expecting the government to take a stand and we encouraged them. So now the situation is there, one of our panel members, Mrs Graca Michel, who led the team is with the Kofi Annan group. We hope they will achieve a consensus," she said.
The African Peer Review Mechanism is one attempt to improve by African nations to improve governance across Africa, but it has yet to make a big impact. However, this instance shows that nations ignoring its recommendations do so at their peril.
However, African Union business was not totally overshadowed by the Kenya crisis; African Union leaders on Friday elected a new head of commission - Gabon's Foreign Minister Jean Ping, who will take over from Malian Alpha Oumar Konare The summit is expected to end on Saturday (February 2).
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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