The Negotiators
The Negotiators
Oct 17, 2023
How Kofi Annan Mediated a Volatile Political Crisis in Kenya
Play • 43 min

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, who passed away five years ago, was one of the most famous diplomats of his time. On today’s episode of The Negotiators, we hear about Annan’s mediation of a Kenyan political crisis in 2008—which stands out as one of his most impressive acts of diplomacy.

A disputed election in late December 2007 spurred violence and displacement across Kenya. A number of diplomats tried to mediate an end to the conflict. But ultimately, Kofi Annan along with Graça Machel, politician and wife to the late Nelson Mandela, and Benjamin Mkapa, former President of Tanzania, were asked to negotiate an end to the violence and a peaceful transition of power. 

Meredith Preston McGhie was an aide to Annan during this mediation. She was also the Africa director at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. She describes how Annan approached the negotiations, including garnering Kenyan and international support for the process. McGhie, currently the Secretary General for the Global Center for Pluralism, told her story to our senior producer Laura Rosbrow-Telem.

The Negotiators is a collaboration between Doha Debates and Foreign Policy.

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