by RAY FLEMING
FINGERS will be tightly crossed over the good news that the two sides in the Kenyan election dispute have reached agreement on an independent inquiry into “all aspects of the 2007 presidential election” to start work on March 15 and report within six months. The membership of this inquiry will be all-important. It would greatly help if Kofi Annan, who brought about this agreement, would serve as its chairman. Understandings were also reached that Kenya needs a new constitution to replace the one drafted by Britain before the country's independence, that the electoral laws need reform and, in a particularly interesting proposal, that a truth and reconciliation commission should be set up. If this all sounds too good to be true, it may prove to be. One new problem for Kenya following the killing of thousands and displacement of many more after the presidential election is that the country is segregating itself into ethnic areas. This may in future lead to social, economic and political divisions of a much more rigid kind than have existed before and could profoundly change the nature of a country that won admiration for its relatively tolerant attitudes. It is not clear from yesterday's announcement by Kofi Annan what agreement, if any, to share political power has been reached for the period while the inquiry on the election is taking place. If there is no sign of compromise in that area the danger of further protest and violence will remain.