Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu has congratulated President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga for their readiness to engage in talks.
In a statement on Monday, Gebeyehu stated that a dialogue between the two leaders would preserve the Kenyan unity and constitutional order.
“I congratulate William Ruto and Raila Odinga for their readiness to engage in dialogue to resolve differences on national issues through peaceful means & preserve Kenya‘s unity and constitutional order,” he stated.
This comes hours after Raila called an end to the two-week-long anti-government protests.
“William Ruto has issued what I regard as an important statement, we have met and listened to a lot of people, including religious leaders, they have implored us to give dialogue a chance.
“We acknowledge the olive branch on dialogue, this is a positive development. We agree to a balanced parliamentary proceed co-chaired by both sides, this committee must be done immediately, including all arrests and prosecution related to demos,” he said
The opposition leader however said Ruto’s proposed bipartisan strategy would be the same to determine whether the protests would resume.
“Should there be no meaningful engagement or response from Ruto to our counteroffer, we are set to resume our demonstrations after one week,” the Azimio One Kenya Coalition leader added.
Ruto in a State of the Nation Address on Sunday urged Raila to call off the protests and agreed to reconstitute the selection panel for the IEBC through a bipartisan parliamentary process.
“I have carefully listened to the issues raised by my friend Raila Odinga. In times like these, it is not about who is right or who is wrong. Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak but it is also what it takes to sit down and listen
“I urge my brother Raila Odinga and the opposition to call off demonstrations and give a bipartisan approach a chance for us to take Kenya forward,” the president said.