President Obama’s Exclusive Phone Call to Raila Odinga


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Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader Raila Odinga has on several occasions closely associated himself with US President Barack Obama and was at one point quoted claiming to be his relative.

Little, however, is said about how Obama contributed in uniting Odinga with former Head of State Mwai Kibaki during the 2007-08 post-election violence.

Rarely documented is a series of messages from Obama to the two leaders during the heightened violence including an exclusive phone call to Odinga.

In January 2008, days after the disputed General Election sparked violent chaos in various regions across the country, Obama is said to have called the Opposition leader in a bid to intervene in the situation.

After the call, the outgoing US President stated that Odinga agreed to meet with Kibaki to discuss on ways of having an amicable solution to the dispute as documented in a book: The Obama Nation by Jerome R. Corsi.

“Obviously he (Odinga) believes that the votes were not properly tallied. But what I (Obama) urged was that all the leaders there, regardless of their position on the election tell their supporters to stand down, to desist with the violence and solve it in a peaceful way with Kenyan laws,” read part of the book.

At the same time, Obama also divulged of another message which he addressed to Kibaki and Odinga adding that he intended to make himself useful in resolving the conflict that was escalating day after day.

This time, he is said to have urged the CORD leader to lead from the front and hold talks with the then President without giving any pre-conditions.

“If the country sees you talking and a willingness to resolve this political situation peacefully, a powerful message will be sent to the people. The country would see the message that both you and Kibaki do not want chaos and that violence on all sides must stop,” Obama was quoted as having told Mr Odinga.

After a series of calls to end the violence which claimed more than 1000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands, the two leaders began negotiations guided by former United Nations Secretary General Koffi Anan.

This culminated in the formation of the coalition government under agreeable terms to both parties who settled on a 50-50 division of power.

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