Kenyan peace deal possible

Kenya’s warring political parties could soon strike a peace deal, ending to the political violence which has killed 1,000 Kenyans and decimated the country’s tourism industry.

The possible deal, being brokered by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, could see a new political constitution written with the new role of Prime Minister introduced. While no formal agreement has been made sources are indicating the deal will be accepted.

Once an agreement has been reached, Kenya Tourist Board UK sales and marketing director Angie Meddins said it is hoped that the country will be able to start rebuilding its shattered tourism industry.

Operators have blamed the problems for sales drops of up to 75% while others have pulled their programmes to the country entirely. During the worst of the violence in January the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised against all but essential travel to the entire country.

Meddins said: “The news from Kenya is more and more encouraging everyday and we welcome the recent news that the talks between the Kenya Government, the opposition party and Kofi Annan have taken huge steps forward with both leaders agreeing to write a new constitution within a year.

“Kenya depends heavily on tourism and this move will help build trade and consumer confidence and increase the flow of tourists returning to the destination.

“Kenya is very much open for business and there has never been a better time to visit with some great deals to be had, even over the peak Easter season.”

The violence started following the December elections which saw President Kibaki re-elected in a poll that the opposition Orange Democratic Movement party claimed was rigged.

The FCO is now advising against all but essential travel to the Western and Nyanza Provinces and certain districts of the Rift Valley province.

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