Harare,Zimbabwe(News of the South)-Kenya’s president and opposition leader said they met for talks on Friday, months after the presidential elections sparked turmoil as the opposition charged there was electoral fraud.

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga launched a new initiative to unify the country as their rival parties largely divide the country along tribal lines, raising fears of ethnic violence.

 

It’s not known if demands by Odinga for new elections were discussed and journalists were not allowed to field questions when the announcement was made.

 

The meeting did not happen as the result of pressure from Western countries, there was no external pressure on the two leaders from western countries, specifically the US, for the leaders to hold the talks ahead US Rex W Tillerson’s three-day visit beginning on Friday.

 

“This is a purely domestic initiative,” Odinga’s spokesperson Dennis Onyango said.

 

Kenyatta and Odinga met publicly at a funeral service where they shook hands earlier this year, but they did not have talks.

 

Odinga said Kenya has never dealt with the challenges “that our diversity (different tribes) was always going to pose to our efforts to create a prosperous and united nation … The time has come for us to confront and resolve our differences. These differences are becoming too entrenched.”

Odinga’s and Kenyatta’s fathers were allies in the struggle for Kenya’s independence from British colonial rule and then became adversaries.

 

Now President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga have extended the family rivalry by ethnic allegiances and personality politics.-News24

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