Following irregularities in the conduct of the elections, Kenya was early this year the scene of violent clashes. Only after a difficult mediation mission by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan could the rival parties agree on 28 February to form a coalition government.
At Kofi Annan's request Germany, too, has provided assistance. Minister of State Erler was sent to Nairobi to explain how coalition negotiations are conducted in Germany.
The 28 February agreement seemed initially to have resolved the crisis. To demonstrate his support for the accords, Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier invited Kenyan Vice-President Musyoka and Foreign Minister Wetangula to Berlin for talks on 7 March. During these talks Steinmeier impressed on both politicians the importance of quickly forming a government.
Although the target date set was last Sunday (6 April), a new cabinet has still not been appointed to date.
Commenting on this situation, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier today (10 April) issued the following statement in Berlin:
"A great deal is at stake in Kenya. I strongly urge both sides to stay on course and work for the formation of a grand coalition. In the negotiations on a new cabinet both parties must be open to dialogue and demonstrate a will to reach agreement. It would be folly to put the hard-won compromise and the voters' trust at risk!"