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Today marks the fourth anniversary of the political truce between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga

Today, President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga commemorate the fourth anniversary of a cease-fire that, above all odds, averts a civil war. The anniversary falls exactly five months before Kenya’s fifth president is elected in a general election. The historic handshake between the two fierce political foes lowered the political temperature in a country that had previously been splintered by another presidential election results dispute.
The Supreme Court declared the election invalid and ordered a new election. While the handshake was greeted positively by the majority of Kenyans, investors, and the foreign world, Deputy President William Ruto and his followers saw it as a sign of malice. Ruto was dubious of the ODM leader’s inclusion in what became known as the Building Bridges Initiative on March 9, 2018, in a country riven by ethnic division and constant rivalry, which was crystallized by the reintroduction of competitive politics 30 years ago.
The handshake, according to the second in charge, was really a ruse to keep him out of the Jubilee Party candidacy and, eventually, the throne in five months. When the Deputy President and other rebels were replaced in a reorganization exercise, the Jubilee National Delegates Convention stated that he had locked himself out of the party nomination by absconding duty. For the past four years, Ruto has been campaigning for a new political party, the United Democratic Alliance, which he will use to take on competitors such as Kenyatta’s Azimio la Umoja Movement. Raila is the unchallenged leader of a coalition of parties that includes Jubilee and ODM, among others.
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