The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has lauded President William Ruto and Opposition Chief Raila Odinga for resolving to address the challenges facing the country through dialogue.

In a Twitter post, IGAD Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu congratulated the two leaders for the move to resolve national issues through peaceful means and preserve Kenya’s unity.

“I congratulate President William Ruto and Raila Odinga for their readiness to engage in dialogue to resolve differences on national issues through peaceful means and preserve Kenya’s unity and constitutional order. Hongera wa Kenya!” Said Gebeyehu.

Raila had expressed reservation with the constitution of the panel to vet IEBC commissioners.

He has also raised the issue of high cost of living.

Addressing the press on Sunday, Raila said the Azimio la Umoja coalition party made the decision after President William Ruto expressed willingness to address their concerns through a bipartisan approach.

“We acknowledge Ruto’s olive branch for dialogue on key issues raised by Azimio la Umoja. To us this is a positive development,” said Raila

President Ruto had earlier urged the opposition to call off demonstrations and suggested to have the concerns raised such as the reconstitution of IEBC selection panel be addressed through a parliamentary process.

However, Raila warned that if the process fails to resolve the issues the opposition will resume demonstrations after one week.

“We agree that a balanced parliamentary process co-chaired by both sides and backed by experts from outside should proceed. In our view this committee must be composed with immediate effect with strict deadlines for resolving crisis facing the country,” said Raila

“We reserve our rights to call for demonstrations should this process not bear fruits. Should there be no meaningful engagement or response from Ruto to our counter-offer, we resolve to resume demonstrations after one week,” he added

Further, the opposition wants all arrests and prosecution related to the protests against its leaders and supporters stopped with immediately.

By Fred Odanga.