Leading a group of "Eminent Africans," Nobel peace prize winner and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was called in to help mediate talks between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Annan, who is from Ghana, arrived in Kenya in mid-January to kick-start dialogue between Kibaki and Odinga. The two had not met since Kibaki was declared the winner in Dec. 27, 2007 presidential elections that local and international election monitors later called flawed, launching weeks of rioting, looting and killings.
But Annan met resistance from both sides from the start and postponed talks on Jan. 31, 2008, after two opposition lawmakers were killed in three days. Further talks between the two sides yielded little, and Annan again suspended negotiations on Feb. 25.
A deal between the political rivals was reached at last on Feb. 28, when Annan bypassed deadlocked negotiating teams and appealed directly to Kibaki and Odinga to settle their differences and end the violence wracking different parts of the country.
"Let the spirit of healing begin today. Let it begin now," Annan said when announcing the power-sharing agreement.