CAFOD welcomes Kenya peace breakthrough

 CAFOD has welcomed the Kenyan peace deal that has been signed yesterday between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga over the disputed elections of 27 December. The agency says that the country now faces the huge challenge of healing and rebuilding lives. Fergus Conmee CAFOD's Regional Manager for East Africa said: "The focus of this greatly welcomed peace agreement between the political leaders is not that a power deal has been reached, but that they both recognise that things went badly wrong. They must now resolve to work together to strengthen institutions for the good of Kenya, particularly the poorest and most marginalised. "This political agreement is not the end, but just the beginning of the reconciliation that needs to take place for Kenya. The country needs time to heal - this is not a quick fix. "CAFOD's local partners will be working with communities for the long haul. We are already supporting crisis centres, trauma counselling and training in healing and reconciliation skills. "Over the next weeks and months CAFOD and its Church partners have a huge task to respond to the massive ongoing humanitarian need. There are still hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their homes and we will be continuing to work through our local partners to support them." The power-sharing deal was brokered by former head of the UN - Kofi Annan. The terms of the deal means that a coalition government made up of members of the current ruling party and opposition will now be formed. Under the agreement a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission has been proposed. Fergus Conmee said: "This will only work if there is the involvement of local people and civil society, and our Church partners are ready to work with political leaders and support local communities to take part in such a process." To date some 1,500 people have died as a result of the disputed elections, and an estimated 600,000 have fled their homes.

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