In late 2007, ethnic based violence broke out in Kenya in response to a fraudulent election. This article describes the international response, focusing on the Kofi Annan-led African Union (AU) mediation in early 2008, and analyzes whether the mediation should constitute success, as well as what lessons may be learned from the mediation. Despite shortcomings, the author argues the mediation was successful, as it played an instrumental role in ending the post-election violence, led to a change in behavior of the principals, and secured the creation of several mechanisms to address the root causes of Kenya’s governance crisis. The paper concludes by outlining important lessons Kenya’s experience provides for peace processes, including the need for early diplomatic intervention in the face of ethnic conflict as well as international coordination in support of one fully empowered mediator.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/trevor_keck/2/