Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Kenya says it expects deal by Friday to end political crisis

Kenya says it expects deal by Friday to end political crisis

A political deal to end Kenya's deadly postelection crisis is expected by Friday as the two sides have "largely agreed" on a new government structure, officials said Thursday.
"I am beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel," former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is mediating the talks, said in a statement.
The Dec. 27 election, which foreign and local observers say was rigged, returned President Mwai Kibaki to power for a second five-year term after opposition leader Raila Odinga's lead evaporated overnight. The controversy has stirred up grievances over land and poverty that have bedeviled Kenya since independence in 1963.
More than 1,000 people have been killed in weeks of violence.
Mutula Kilonzo, a top government negotiator, said the two sides will "finish work, particularly on Agenda 3, by tomorrow." Agenda 3 refers to resolving the political crisis stemming from the election.
According to a statement from Annan's office, the two sides "outlined a joint proposal, that had been largely agreed, on the governance structure." The two sides will resume talks Friday.
Kenya's opposition on Wednesday had threatened mass protests unless serious work to put power-sharing into the constitution starts within a week _ the latest sign the country remains delicately balanced on the edge of violence despite weeks of peace talks. Much of the bloodshed has pitted other ethnic groups against Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe, long resented for dominating politics and the economy.
Meanwhile, a think tank said Thursday that armed groups on opposite sides of the political and ethnic strife are mobilizing for new attacks and serious violence could erupt again if peace talks fail.
"Calm has partly returned but the situation remains highly volatile," the Brussels-based International Crisis Group said in a report. "Armed groups are still mobilizing on both sides."
Talks between Kibaki and Odinga have focused on how to create a government that will usher Kenya out of its bloody crisis. In particular, Odinga and his backers want the president to share power, possibly through the creation of a prime minister's position.
The country remains caught between a desire to move on from waves of ethnic attacks and a fear that any compromise could spark new fighting.
On Wednesday, a bus full of people was attacked by rioters protesting arrests by police for rents gone unpaid during attacks that have left whole neighborhoods torched and sent landlords fleeing.
One of the rioters said they targeted the bus because they assumed the driver would be a member of Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe. Police said no deaths were reported, though a street remained blocked through late Wednesday by the burned-out shell of the bus.


Updated : 2021-10-17 23:13 GMT+08:00