Monday, March 31, 2008

Today's headlines - Mon 3/31/2008

Kenya: Mediation Talks Resume, Washington - 1 hour ago
Apart from ambassadors and other members of the diplomatic corps assigned to Kenya, foreign governments and international governmental institutions like the ...

Mediation Talks Resume Tomorrow

The East African Standard (Nairobi)
31 March 2008 Posted to the web 31 March 2008
By Abiya OcholaNairobi

Mediation talks resume after a two-week break.

Talks chairman, Mr Oluyemi Adeniji, jetted back into the country from Nigeria on Saturday morning, but maintained a low profile as anxiety heightened over the new Cabinet composition.

A source close to the talks said the teams might revisit Agenda Three on power sharing after President Kibaki and prime minister-designate, Mr Raila Odinga, did not agree on Cabinet portfolio.

"The teams will not continue discussions on Agenda Four with issues on political settlement like Cabinet formation unresolved. They may adjourn the talks until the Cabinet issue is resolved or agree to discuss the stalemate with a view to finding a breakthrough," said the source.

The teams are expected to tackle items under Agenda Four that deal with long-term issues of land and judicial reforms as well as equity.

Also on the agenda is composition of the Violence Committee, which is a sub-committee of the Independent Review Commission, headed by South African retired judge, Justice Johann Kreigler.

"The remaining issues cannot be handled under the current atmosphere," said the source.

Raila and Kibaki have twice failed to agree on the size and portfolio of the Cabinet under the power-sharing arrangement.

Raila has advocated a 34-member Cabinet, but Kibaki wants one with 44 members.

Mr William Ruto, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Mr James Orengo and Dr Sally Kosgei represent ODM while Cabinet ministers, Ms Martha Karua, Mr Moses Wetangula and Prof Sam Ongeri and Mbooni MP, Mr Mutula Kilonzo, represent PNU.

Apart from ambassadors and other members of the diplomatic corps assigned to Kenya, foreign governments and international governmental institutions like the African Union, European Union and the United Nations have been quiet over the latest stalemate.

The US Secretary of State, Dr Condoleezza Rice, had been vocal in pushing for a speedy political solution to the worst crisis in Kenya's history.

The EU, Kenya's largest trading partner, had threatened economic sanctions at the height of the crisis, but are yet to issue a statement on the stalemate.

Chief mediator, Dr Kofi Annan, has also disregarded calls that he return to help sort out the stalemate.

He told Raila and Kibaki that the composition of the Cabinet was well within their reach and saw no reason why he should return.

Copyright © 2008 The East African Standard. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (

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