Kenya’s rival leaders broke their tense standoff on Thursday, agreeing to share power in a deal that may end the violence that has engulfed this nation but could be the beginning of a long and difficult political relationship.
The country seemed to let out a collective cheer as Mwai Kibaki, the president, and Raila Odinga, the top opposition leader, sat down at a desk in front of the president’s office, with a bank of television cameras rolling, and signed an agreement that creates a powerful prime minister position for Odinga and splits cabinet posts between the government and the opposition.
The two sides, which have been bitterly at odds for the past two months, will now be fused together in a government of national unity.
But there are still many thorny issues to resolve, starting with how the new government will function with essentially two bosses who have tried unsuccessfully to work together before. The government must also deal with the delicate business of reassigning the choice positions already given to Kibaki’s allies.