Australia welcomes power sharing agreement in Kenya

I welcome the power-sharing agreement signed between Kenya's political leaders yesterday. The agreement reached by the leaders underlines the strong desire of the Kenyan people to reject violence and find a political solution to the recent crisis.

I commend the unstinting efforts of African mediators led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to bring this agreement to fruition. Mr Annan and his colleagues have engaged in a month of gruelling negotiations to bring about this agreement.

The agreement represents a very important milestone but there is still work to be done. It is now up to the political leaders to make the agreement work and to devote themselves to the pressing task of national reconciliation and restoring national unity and prosperity.

Australia will provide $1.6 million in further humanitarian assistance to help Kenya in these tasks. Up to 500,000 people still require humanitarian assistance and our contributions will help protect vulnerable women and children through UNICEF, replenish emergency relief supplies through the Red Cross and promote peace-building activities through Caritas Australia.

Australia's support for Kenya is in addition to the $1 million pledged earlier this year, bringing our total humanitarian response to the crisis to $2.6 million.

Media inquiries:

Mr Smith's office 02 6277 7500
Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555