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Kenya: Thank you Annan and team

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya, Elections, Governance, Politics

After the deal was announced [1], a caller to a local radio station was ecstatic and invited Kofi Annan and team to “nyama choma” (barbeque), another caller offered him two beers and another pronounced that Annan was the best angel God had sent to the people of Kenya.

The level of excitement in the streets of Nairobi and Kisumu demonstrated that the worst is over, and that Kenya will possibly not tilt over the edge like it did in the last two months.

The deal was finally brokered, it will force constitutional amendments but in the end, Kenyans knew that their fate is in their hands. It is a new begining for a nation that has been saved from following the legacy of failed states in Africa.

The details of the deal and the “behind the scenes” details are being discussed in the major towns. The Kenyan blogosphere also paints a similiar picture.

When the news broke,  Lovely money [2] wrote a “thank you” note to Kofi Annan and his team:

On behalf of hopeful Kenyans, I would sincerely like to thank you for your hard efforts and patience that you have demonstrated.
Last but not least, the sustained efforts of Graca Michel and Benjamin Mkapa cannot be ignored. Asanteni sana.

LostwhiteKenyan [3] felt the political development was like a new year's gift and decided to showcase the happiness and the dance moves online:

In order to celebrate this fabulous day when our leaders finally made a decision to bring peace back to Kenya, I am extremely excited to be able to bring you a full programme of entertainment for your viewing pleasure to help you all join in our merriment ………
We shall start with a little dance from yours truly….

Political articles [4] witnessed the jubilations in Kenya:

Kenyans cheered and danced as they witnessed the opposition leader Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki signing a power-sharing agreement in Nairobi.  
Supporters of Mr. Odinga’s party, the Orange Democratic Movement, celebrated in Kisumu, Kenya, after the signing. The agreement was reached only after Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general, negotiated directly with Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga.

The post by Kumekucha [5] gives an idea of how people's lives had come to “almost” a halt as a result of the violence and subsequesnt slow pace of the talks:

It is like the whole country has been holding it’s breath since December 30th 2007 and everybody started breathing again a few hours ago when a breakthrough in the the Anan peace talks was finally announced.
“We have a deal,” Anan said capturing the drama and suspense of the moment.

Wild celebrations were noted in many parts of the country including areas like Migori where or man on the ground reports, Kenyans went crazy with jubilation. As I wrote his, I still don’t have a reaction from the Rift Valley. No reports of celebrations there, at least not yet.

For  Wheremadnessresides [6] it was time to wish each other a “happy new year” because it will be time to proceed with normal business for many Kenyans:

Everybody in my parts is wishing everybody a Happy New Year.
Happy New Year. Today is when 2008 begins for us.

I read from Oyunga Pala that Dr Frank Njenga, probably Kenya's most reknown pyschiatrist, had listed ‘not being able to stop talking about politics’ as one of the symptoms of post-election trauma in Kenya.

One Nairobian [7] witnessed the jubilation and has a request to the international media- to extend their coverage:

An almost euphoric celebration greeted the wider Kenya due to this recent development that will bring to an end two months of tension and violence [8].

It is my sincere hope that the International press the likes of Al Jazeera, CNN, BBC, SKY News will now feature this joyous news on a 15 minute basis to highlight that Kenyans are not just about machettes but co-existence , perseverance,  resilience, agreement, peace, love and unity. Dont just sell the negative!

With the deal reached, it will now be time to heal the wounds and start the reconstruction process.