Friday, April 11, 2008

Today's headlines - Fri 4/11/2008

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Kenyan leaders urged to end stalemate as tension mounts - AFP

15 hours ago

NAIROBI (AFP) — Pressure mounted Thursday on Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and prime minister-designate Raila Odinga to resume coalition talks amid warnings that a delay was fomenting violence.

The pair met last on Sunday and failed to agree on a unity government, a key step in implementing a power-sharing deal following disputed December polls which sparked clashes across the country, killing at least 1,500 people and displacing hundreds of thousands.

Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), which suspended talks until Kibaki's Party of National Unity (PNU) agrees to 50-50 sharing of the key portfolios and dissolution of the current cabinet, suggested the creation of an inter-party panel to resolve the issues.

"We have still not received a reply to our letter to the president proposing how to take the process forward. The essential step in the proposal is that a small PNU-ODM group to be established which lays out the essential areas on which there is divergence," ODM spokesman Salim Lone said in a statement.

But Kibaki renewed his call to Odinga to resume dialogue and expressed confidence the stalemate could be resolved, his office said.

Kibaki said the "differences over formation of a grand coalition cabinet were not insurmountable and expressed confidence that the country would overcome all the prevailing challenges," the presidential press service's statement added.

For his part, Odinga told reporters talks could only resume after Kibaki agreed to sharing key cabinet posts as well as top civil service posts, a position the government has rejected.

Kenyan newspapers urged the leaders to end the stalemate that has touched off fresh protests in the capital's slums and western city of Kisumu in the past two days.

"There are legitimate fears that if the impasse is not speedily resolved, Kenya will slide back to the kind of violence unleashed in the wake of the disputed presidential elections," top selling Daily Nation said an editorial.

The EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM), which in January said the polls were deeply flawed, on Thursday issued a final report and recommended amendments to the country's electoral laws.

The Kenyan crisis erupted after Odinga accused Kibaki of stealing presidential votes in a widely-criticised election.

In addition to the deaths, the violence also choked the east African nation's mainstay tourism and agricultural sectors.

Kenya issued a cholera outbreak alert after the disease killed 60 people in recent weeks, compounding a health nightmare facing hundreds of thousands still living in displacement camps.

Kibaki, Raila Still Miles Apart - EA Standard

The East African Standard (Nairobi)

NEWS11 April 2008

Posted to the web 11 April 2008 Nairobi

President Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga, appeared to drift further apart even as African envoys engaged in shuttle diplomacy to bring the two to talking terms.

And a new bone of contention emerged on Thursday over six key ministries, which ODM says are all headed by ministers from the Mt Kenya region. The chasm between Kibaki and Raila widened when the President insisted that he would not respond to a terse letter ODM wrote to him on April 7, asking for "real" portfolio balance.

The letter also suggested that the President appoints a four-member team from both parties to spearhead the balancing act.

ODM pulled out of the negotiations, insisting that they would not engage further if the President did not reply to the letter.

However, the Government read political mischief in the manner in which ODM resorted to using letters to communicate with President Kibaki.

In an equally terse reply, Government Spokesman, Dr Alfred Mutua, the Government said the President was ready to have a one-on-one meeting with Raila to conclude the matter.

"He (Kibaki) has no desire whatsoever to exchange letters. All he wants is to sit with Raila and reach an amicable solution to the impasse," said Mutua.

But unaware of the new development from Harambee House, Raila said he was still waiting for a reply from President Kibaki's Party of National Unity (PNU) to respond to queries on portfolio balance and sharing of political appointments before he would meet the President again.

Kibaki appeared to dig in when he insisted that he would not dissolve the half Cabinet as demanded by the ODM.
The President also declined to accept ODM's proposal to form a four-member committee to discuss the size of the coalition Cabinet.

Raila said the four-member committee was the best solution to resolve the contentious issues standing in the way of a grand coalition.

Besides the size of the Cabinet, the six key ministries in the half Cabinet also appeared to stand in the way of more negotiations, with ODM insisting that there would be no deal until the ministers and PS - all from the Mt Kenya region -- relinquished the posts for redistribution.

The contested ministries are Finance, Energy, Local Government, Internal Security, Justice and Constitutional Affairs, and Roads and Public Works held by Mr Amos Kimunya, Mr Kiraitu Murungi, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, Prof George Saitoti, Ms Martha Karua and Mr John Michuki in that order.

Ministers, PSs from one region
Besides the ministers, ODM claimed the ministries' Permanent Secretaries were from the same region. The PSs are Mr Joseph Kinyua (Finance), Mr Patrick Nyoike (Energy), Mr Cyrus Gituai (Internal Security), Mr Michael Kamau (Roads), Ms Dorothy Angote (Justice) and Mr Solomon Boit (Local Government).

But Angote and Boit are not from the region.

ODM also cited the post of the Head of Public Service, saying Mr Francis Muthaura also comes from the Mt Kenya region.

ODM Secretary-General, Prof Anyang Nyong'o, said the new Cabinet must reflect the diversity of parties and communities.

"If you analyse the contentious ministries of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Local Government, Internal Security and Provincial Administration, Finance, Energy and Roads and Public Works, all are in the hands of MPs from Mt Kenya," Nyong'o said.

Later in the day, President Kibaki returned to his Harambee House office where he remained holed up for several hours meeting, among others, Muthaura and Michuki. There was no communication from him.

On his part, Raila met US Ambassador, Mr Michael Ranneberger, and 21 other ambassadors from the African countries. After the meetings, Raila said ODM had proposed to PNU the formation of the four-member team to discuss how contested ministries should be shared out.

ODM now wants a structured approach in sharing the contested dockets, which they insist must be clustered and shared on an equal basis.

The ODM leader said unless power-sharing was extended to include permanent secretaries, diplomats and chief executives of parastatals, there would be no deal.

At the same time, Raila ruled out a fresh election, saying it could not be held now without changing electoral laws and appointing a new Electoral Commission of Kenya.

The statement came against a background of international pressure that power-sharing must be real.

Canada joined other countries in putting pressure and called on President Kibaki and Raila to exercise good faith in forming the Cabinet.

On Wednesday, the British Foreign Secretary, Mr David Miliband, asked for concessions on powerful ministries.

"There is a small gap that puts a wedge between us. It is about portfolio balance and sharing key Government structures," Raila said. "We do not want to go into a coalition and start grumbling from within. We want issues resolved and before we start serving Kenyans."

At a press conference at Pentagon House, Nyong'o said: "When we talk about portfolio balance, let it reflect the face of Kenya and address ethnic biases without fear or favour."

Tension and violence
Raila, however, remained optimistic that the talks between him and Kibaki could still be salvaged. He said they had been suspended, not stalled.

As Kibaki and Raila continued dithering, the country remained at tenterhooks with reports of fresh destruction reported in Nairobi and Likia in Njoro.

Mobs in Nairobi's Kibera slums continued uprooting the Nairobi-Kisumu railway line, while houses were torched in Likia.

The National Council Churches of Kenya (NCCK) joined in urging Kibaki and Raila to agree to fresh elections within six months rather than hold Kenyans at ransom if they could not agree to share power.

The suspense is threatening to burst into violence and destruction, said the NCCK.

"The media war between PNU and ODM is heightening emotions and is merely a cheap method of holding Kenyans at ransom with the threat of repeat violence," said Secretary-General, Canon Peter Karanja, in Mombasa.

The European Union handed to all political parties the final report of its verdict on the last General election, telling them that it remained unclear who won the presidential vote.

"The presidential elections leave a legacy of uncertainty as to who was actually elected President by the Kenyan people," said the EU report.

Head of Mission, Mr Eric Van Der Linden, handed a copy of the report to PNU, ODM, ODM-Kenya, ECK and the Kriegler Commission that is investigating the disputed presidential elections.

The effect of the stalemate between President Kibaki and Raila was the suspension of the mediation talks co-chaired by Nigerian diplomat, Mr Oluyemi Adeniji.

Two members of the PNU negotiating team told The Standard that the delay and political standoff over the Cabinet had derailed the mediation talks.

"We will only proceed with the Serena talks after a coalition government is in place," said Mbooni MP, Mr Mutula Kilonzo.

Mutula said the impasse had affected quorum as negotiators were attending meetings to unlock the deadlock.

Mutula also added another dimension to the stalemate - it was linked to the Kibaki succession in 2012.

Reports by David Ohito, Abiya Ocholla, Mutinda Mwanzia, Maureen Mudi, Beauttah Omanga, Brian Odera, Cyrus Ombati and Steve Mkawale

Copyright © 2008 The East African Standard. All rights reserved.

Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Today's Headlines - Thurs 4/10/2008

LEADING STORY - Daily Nation
Tension as Kibaki side told to give up key seats
Britain Wednesday suggested that some of President Kibaki’s supporters surrender their plum Cabinet posts for sharing with...

Why Kibaki-Raila Cabinet deal stalled
Firm demands on ministerial positions, different interpretations of the National Accord, the lacuna in the agreement and the fate of ...

EU’s advice to Kibaki and Raila
A high-powered European Union delegation Wednesday told Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka to ask President Kibaki and Prime...

Mediated talks fail to resume
Mediated talks to resolve the political impasse in the country failed to resume for the third day running Wednesday....

ODM team ready for fresh elections
The ODM is ready for fresh elections, party MPs have declared....

From Google News - Kenya

BBC Afrique
Kenyan leaders under pressure to resume talks, Thailand - 1 hour ago
Nairobi, April 10 (Xinhua) Kenyan leaders are under intense pressure from the international community to resume talks on forming a coalition government in a ...

Kenya violence flare up, no cause for major concern, yet (press release)

Kenyan leaders urged to end stalemate amid mounting tension AFP

Africa: Kenya Should Not Let Down Continent

Business Day - Government of Canada Newsroom (press release)

all 528 news articles »

Kenya: Government Adopts Male Cut As Strategy in Fight Against HIV, Washington - 5 hours ago
The policy, stipulating how all willing Kenyan men, irrespective of their age, will undergo circumcision, sets into motion the use of the surgical procedure ...

Kenya: Refugees in Uganda to Move, Washington - 5 hours ago
More than 1900 Kenyan refugees who fled post-election violence and are camping near the border will be moved further inland. UNHCR Uganda external affairs ...

Kenya: Fida - Train Women On the Court Procedure, Washington - 6 hours ago
The Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida-Kenya) say Kenya has about 5000 advocates for a population of 32 million, translating to one lawyer for 6500 citizens. ...

Kenya: Witness Recalls How Police Officer Shot Protesters, Washington - 5 hours ago
A witness Wednesday told a court how a policeman shot and killed two protesters in Kisumu Town during the post-election violence. ...

Kenya: Civic Leader Sounds the Alarm On Forest, Washington - 5 hours ago
A councillor has raised the red flag over the destruction of Sagalla forest in Voi constituency, Taita district. Vast sections of the forest had been ...

Kenya: Mungiki Gangs Return to Extort, Washington - 5 hours ago
So organised are the gangs that they are even issuing receipts to public transport operators, whom they force to pay illegal fees of Sh500, sources said on ...

DJ Kenya-Uganda Rail Link Vandalized, Goods Transit Disrupted
Trading Markets (press release), CA - 3 hours ago
KAMPALA, Uganda, Apr 10, 2008 (Dow Jones Commodities News Select via Comtex) -- -- Rioters in Kenya have vandalized up to 600 meters of track on the ...

Uganda: country Extends Fibre Cable to Rwanda Border

Uganda Completes First Phase of National Data Backbone CIO

Uganda Telecom to extend fibre network to Rwandan border TeleGeography

all 9 news articles »

From UN's IRIN News Service - recent stories (4/1-10/2008):

KENYA: Talks deadlock could slow IDP returns - officials
08 April 2008 (IRIN), The suspension of talks between Kenya's key political parties, announced on 8 April, could slow or halt progress made in returning thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their homes, humanitarian officials said.

AFRICA: Soaring food and fuel prices may hurt growth
07 April 2008 (IRIN), Tayech Ali arrived half an hour before the grain distribution centre in Gojam Berenda, in the capital, Addis Ababa, opened, but still had to queue for three hours before she could buy some wheat.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN-CEA Weekly Round-up 425 for 29 March - 4 April 2008
04 April 2008 (IRIN), IRIN-CEA Weekly Round-up 425 for 29 March - 4 April 2008

GLOBAL: IRIN/PlusNews Weekly Issue 381, 4 April 2008
04 April 2008 (PlusNews), IRIN/PlusNews Weekly Issue 381, 4 April 2008

GLOBAL: Gates Foundation moves to fight killer wheat disease
03 April 2008 (IRIN), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given US$26.8 million to Cornell University in the USA for a new global project to fight wheat (stem) rust disease, which specialists say poses a threat to world food security.

KENYA: Cholera kills 40 in western region
03 April 2008 (IRIN), At least 42 people have died in western Kenya following an outbreak of Cholera, health officials said.

GLOBAL: More mothers and children on ARVs
03 April 2008 (PlusNews), More mothers and children in developing countries are receiving treatment than ever before, according to a new report by the United Nations. But stigma, limited information and fragile health systems still pose hurdles to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

KENYA: Floods hit thousands, including IDP camps
02 April 2008 (IRIN), At least 6,000 people have been affected by flooding following heavy rains in the southern coastal district of Taveta, the Kenya Red Cross Society said.

KENYA: Displacement raises risk of drug-resistant TB
02 April 2008 (PlusNews), The threat of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Kenya has been heightened by the displacement of an estimated 300,000 people in the country's recent political crisis, health workers have said.

KENYA: Joseph Lotaba - "I don't understand why my home was burnt"
01 April 2008 (IRIN), Father-of-five Joseph Lotaba woke up on 6 March morning to fire and panic as a neighbouring village in Rift Valley's Laikipia West district went up in flames. Soon, it was his village's turn to face the wrath of hundreds of attackers who were hacking people with machetes and burning homes and granaries. This was a day after violence erupted in Rumuruti - pitting the Turkana and Tugen communities against the Kikuyu - following the killing of a suspected rustler.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

More Headlines - Wed 4/9/2008

* NEW *
Kenya opposition urges restraint - BBC


Kenya's main opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has appealed to his supporters to exercise restraint after violence broke out in the capital, Nairobi.

Mr Odinga suspended talks on forming a power-sharing government on Tuesday.

"It is better to take slightly longer and get it right then to rush it and make mistakes which will lead to regrets," he told the BBC.

Mr Odinga says he wants a 50-50 split in cabinet posts as promised by an accord to end post-poll violence.

Some 1,500 people died and 600,000 were displaced in January and February.

Meanwhile, the African Union has expressed concern about the political impasse.

ODM MPs: 102
PNU MPs: 46
Pro-ODM MPs: 5
Pro-PNU MPs: 61
Vacant seats: 6

"The delays in appointing a coalition government will inevitably delay a return to normalcy in Kenya, and is also of concern to the rest of the region," AU chairman Alpha Omar Konare said in a statement.

Mr Odinga, who under the agreement will become prime minister, also accuses President Mwai Kibaki of insisting that full executive power would remain exclusively with Kenya's presidency.

The president expressed surprise at the accusations, as he said the two men had been close to completing their discussions.

Mr Odinga says his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will return to talks with the government after it has agreed to its demands on a coalition government.

"I know people are getting impatient, but to negotiate matters of this nature takes time," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa.

He said the ministries are split into five "clusters" and they want them to be divided 50/50.

So far, ODM had not been allocated any position in the "co-ordination ministries" (foreign affairs, finance, local government and public service) or "security ministries" (defence, internal security, home affairs and immigration).

He also called for the ODM to be able to appoint some politically appointed permanent secretaries and diplomats.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/04/09 16:24:00 GMT© BBC MMVIII

What is the solution to Kenya’s political gridlock?
Reuters UK, UK - 1 hour ago
Implementation of Kenya’s peace accord brokered by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in February to end post-election bloodshed has hit a logjam over ...

VP meets diplomats
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Kenya - 2 hours ago
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka on Wednesday held talks with Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Kenya from Europe and North America at his ...

Full story:

VP meets diplomatsWritten By:Rose Kamau , Posted: Wed, Apr 09, 2008
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka on Wednesday held talks with Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Kenya from Europe and North America at his Jogoo House office.
Mr. Musyoka briefed the envoys on the progress of the negotiations and consultations towards the formation of a grand coalition government.
He assured them of President Mwai Kibaki's commitment in forming the coalition government as soon as the consultations with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, are completed.
The Vice President who was accompanied by Ministers George Saitoti and Uhuru Kenyatta, and the Mbooni MP Mutula Kilonzo told the diplomats that it was imperative that the ODM leader contacts the President urgently, for the two to conclude the consultations and announce a cabinet that is acceptable to all Kenyans.
The diplomats raised concerns over the delay in naming the cabinet, saying it was hindering the efforts to address other pressing challenges facing the country such as the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons and the reconstruction of the country.
Later, the Vice President held talks with African Ambassadors and High Comissioners.
The Vice President said Kenya appreciates the role played by the African Union in the drafting the agreement that gave rise to the National Accord.
Mr. Musyoka said all that was remaining was for the ODM leader to join President Mwai Kibaki and give Kenyans the cabinet they deserve, saying that the announcement of cabinet is not an end in itself but will pave way for resettlement of the IDPs among other issues.
He said there is need to separate the issue of the formation of cabinet and IDPs adding that both sides should work together to create an enabling environment for resettlement of the displaced persons.
The Vice President also urged Kenyans to remain patient and shun violence.
The Mozambican High Commissioner to Kenya Marcos G Namashulua, who led the diplomats appealed to the government and ODM to embrace the spirit of give and take so as to reach an amicable solution to the on-going crisis.

US ambassador says relations with Kenya at stake in power-sharing deal (Pressemitteilung), Austria - 2 hours ago© AP
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Kenya's relationship with the United States depends on the implementation of the East ...

Full story:
World News
US ambassador says relations with Kenya at stake in power-sharing deal

Print article

Refer to a friend © AP
US ambassador says relations with Kenya at stake in power-sharing dealBy ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY - Associated Press Writer© AP
2008-04-09 16:07:44 -
Kenya (AP) - Kenya's relationship with the United States depends on the implementation of the East African country's stalled power-sharing accord, the U.S. ambassador to Kenya said Wednesday.Michael Ranneberger spoke one day after the opposition suspended talks with the government and parts of Kenya erupted in violence reminiscent of scenes that rocked the
country for weeks after the disputed Dec. 27 presidential election.«The whole U.S. relationship with Kenya depends on the implementation of this accord,» Ranneberger told reporters at his residence in the capital, Nairobi. «If the political accord is not implemented, it will make it difficult, if not impossible, for us to work in Kenya.Still, Ranneberger, who met with both men Tuesday, said a deal could happen within a week.«There is no crisis,» he said. «This is a time for the Kenyan people to remain calm.Government spokesman Alfred Mutua declined to comment on Ranneberger's statements. Calls to the opposition leader were not immediately returned Wednesday.The U.S. and other allies consider Kenya a vital partner in the war on terrorism and a regional economic and military powerhouse whose stability has stood in stark contrast to war-ravaged neighbors like Sudan and Somalia, where Islamic extremism is rife.Ranneberger also said some US$2 billion (¤1.27 billion) flows from the United States to Kenya every year, including aid,
investments, tourism and remittances.President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga both claim to have won the presidency and are trying to form a joint government to resolve the crisis. More than 1,000 people were killed in weeks of clashes that followed the vote, and 300,000 were displaced.Kibaki and Odinga agreed in February to share power, but they have not worked out exactly how. The agreement called for Cabinet posts to be split equally, but both sides have been trying to secure the most powerful ministries, such as internal security and foreign affairs.Ranneberger said some of the delay is due to the politicians surrounding Kibaki and Odinga who want to serve in vital posts.«It's a little bit like kindergarten,» he said. «Everyone's saying, 'Me! Me! MeForeign pressure _ which was increasing in the days leading up to the signing of February's accord _ appeared to be growing again.British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Wednesday that «all sides must be prepared to make concessions to allow this to happen, including President Kibaki's supporters ceding some powerful portfolios.U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also said the U.S. will hold responsible anyone who stands in the way of true power-sharing.On Tuesday, Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement said it had suspended negotiations and would only resume after Kibaki dissolved the current Cabinet.Kibaki and Odinga must try to repair the lives of hundreds of thousands of Kenyans who remain displaced from their homes after violence that tarnished the country's reputation.There is also the matter of restoring one of Africa's most promising economies. Kenya, one of the most prosperous and tourist-friendly countries in Africa, has seen up to US$1 billion (¤640 million) in losses linked to the turmoil.Much of the bloodshed pitted ethnic groups, such as Odinga's Luo tribe, against Kibaki's Kikuyu people, long resented for their domination of the economy and politics. In many regions, the violence brought a bloody end to decades of coexistence among Kenya's ethnic groups, transforming cities and towns where Kenyans had lived together _ however uneasily at times _ since independence from Britain in 1963.

US envoy sees Kibaki-Raila agreeing
Daily Nation, Kenya - 3 hours ago
By KEVIN J. KELLEY in New York
The United States is confident that an agreement will soon be reached on a power-sharing Cabinet and thus sees no need to ...
Full story:
US envoy sees Kibaki-Raila agreeing
By KEVIN J. KELLEY in New YorkLast updated: 4 hours ago
The United States is confident that an agreement will soon be reached on a power-sharing Cabinet and thus sees no need to punish Kenya, US ambassador Michael Ranneberger said on today.
Noting that he met on Tuesday with both President Kibaki and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga, the American envoy said he "came away optimistic about their commitment" to forming a grand coalition government.
"I do not think there is any need to impose sanctions," Mr Ranneberger added.
In response to a question from a Nation reporter, the ambassador said he views a 40-member cabinet as "too large." Mr Ranneberger added in an Internet chat that "sometimes compromises must be made between what is best and what is politically needed."
Asked whether an enlarged Cabinet poses greater opportunities for corruption, the US ambassador said "there are a lot of means to hold the new Cabinet members accountable. We will continue to make efforts to fight corruption a priority. The Kenya media will also help expose abuses."
Urging patience, Mr Ranneberger noted that "in some European countries it has taken months to work out coalition governments."
The ambassador did allude to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s threat on Tuesday to "act accordingly" if Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga fail to conclude an agreement.
But Mr Ranneberger’s tone was consistently upbeat. He downplayed fears of renewed chaos, saying that violence on Tuesday was not widespread. He also reiterated US pledges to provide additional support once a power-sharing government is formed.
Mr Ranneberger further expressed optimism that such a government can function effectively.

Pressure mounts on leaders to resume talks
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Kenya - 3 hours ago
Pressure is mounting on President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Designate Raila Odinga to resume talks and name the grand coaltion cabinet. ...

Pressure mounts on leaders to resume talksWritten By:Andrew Kilungu , Posted: Wed, Apr 09, 2008
Pressure is mounting on President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Designate Raila Odinga to resume talks and name the grand coaltion cabinet.
Nobel Peace Laureate Prof. Wangari Maathai says the signing of the National Reconciliation Accord saw the post election violence subside and expressed fear that it would escalate with the collapse of the talks.
She was speaking at her office where she released a press statement about the state of the IDPs.
Maathai said that it was extremely important for the government to provide security for the IDPs to return to their farms because there are many cases of sexual exploitation in the camps as well as deplorable living conditions that could lead to disease outbreaks.
Maathai also asked the government to assist displaced farmers with seeds and fertilizers so that they can return to their farms and plant during this rain season.
Meanwhile US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Rannerberger says he is confident that President Kibaki and Odinga will resolve the cabinet stalement.
The envoy says he met the two principles separately Tuesday and they showed their commitment to working together and moving the country forward.
Addressing the press at his residence the envoy therefore called on Kenyans to remain calm saying the issue was complicated with a lot of political interest.
He at the same time urged leaders to stop making public statements that might complicate the matter further.
He clearly said that US is just talking to the two principals, but urged Kenyans to put pressure on the two leaders by sending them peaceful comments.
At the same time Rannerberger says the sharing of positions in the public service commission is not an issue at the moment as it could be resolved once the new government is reconstituted.
US says it is committed to working with Kenya but warned that if the accord does not work the relationship between the two nations might change.

Kenya Is Back On Edge
HULIQ (press release), NC - 4 hours ago
Kenya was recently in the news for an unprecedented level of political and ethnic violence that followed the bungled December 27th 2007 presidential ...

US envoy sees Kenya coalition deal "in days"
Reuters South Africa, South Africa - 4 hours ago
NAIROBI (Reuters) - The US ambassador to Kenya said on Wednesday he expected the country's political rivals to agree on a power-sharing cabinet soon despite ...

Rice urges Kenyans to speed up coalition plans
USA Today - 4 hours ago
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Scores of demonstrators torched tires in Nairobi's largest slum on Wednesday to protest a political standoff between the president and ...

US pressure pushes for Kenya coalition
Daily Nation, Kenya - 5 hours ago
By PATRICK NZIOKA The US is pushing Kenya ’s leaders to name a coalition Cabinet urgently even as tension rose in parts of the country due to a stalemate ...

Fear as Kenya deadlock deepens
Independent Online, South Africa - 6 hours ago
Nairobi - Kenya's opposition has suspended talks with President Mwai Kibaki's party, while police have fired teargas to disperse opposition supporters ...

Kenya warned by US over Cabinet
CNN International - 6 hours ago
(CNN) -- US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has urged Kenya's government and opposition party to agree on the composition of their coalition Cabinet ...

Kenyan leaders under pressure to resume coalition talks
AFP - 6 hours ago
NAIROBI (AFP) — Kenyan leaders were Wednesday under pressure to resume talks on forming a coalition government in a bid to end a devastating political ...

ODM may resort to mass action
Daily Nation, Kenya - 6 hours agoBy Emman Omari The latest stalemate over the formation of grand coalition Cabinet is fuelling speculation on what might happen if the deal brokered by ...

Kenya shilling seesaws on jitters over politics
Reuters South Africa, South Africa - 6 hours ago
NAIROBI (Reuters) - The Kenya shilling extended its losing streak against the dollar in early trade Wednesday, hit by political uncertainty over a ...

Rice asks Raila, Kibaki to implement accord
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Kenya - 7 hours agoUS Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has urged President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Designate Raila Odinga to urgently put in place a power-sharing ...

Kenya: Raila Odinga’s ODM pulls out of cabinet talks
New Sudan Vision, Canada - 12 hours ago
April 8, 2008 (Nairobi NSV) - Hopes on Kenya’s post-election progress were dampened on Tuesday as opposition leader Raila Odinga suspended its participation ...

Rice Tells Kenyan Leaders to Implement Power-Sharing Accord
Bloomberg - 12 hours agoBy Paul Tighe and Eric Ombok April 8 (Bloomberg) -- US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader ...

Protests in Kenya as talks collapse
Times Online, UK - 12 hours ago
Police fired teargas to scatter opposition protesters after a breakdown in power-sharing talks with President Kibaki's party. The protests spread west from ...

Violence erupts in Kenya
United Press International - 14 hours ago
LAMU, Kenya, April 8 (UPI) -- Violence erupted Tuesday in Kenya after opposition leaders said they were abandoning talks with the government over a ...

Kenyans Express Disappointment In Country’s Leadership
Voice of America - 15 hours ago
By Peter Clottey A cross section of Kenyans is expressing disappointment and anger after talks between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate ...

Kenya opposition halts talks, protests flare
Reuters - 16 hours ago
By Katie Nguyen and Daniel Wallis NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's opposition suspended talks with President Mwai Kibaki's party on Tuesday and police fired tear ...

Rice says she telephoned contending Kenyan politicians and urged ...
International Herald Tribune, France - 16 hours ago
AP WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she personally urged Kenya's two most powerful politicians to settle their power-sharing dispute ...

Rice calls for speedy power-share agreement in Kenya
AFP - 17 hours agoWASHINGTON (AFP) — US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday urged Kenya's two rival leaders to quickly put in place a power-sharing agreement to ...

Violence breaks out as Kenyan leaders fail to agree cabinet
Independent, UK - 17 hours ago
By Steve Bloomfield in Nairobi Fresh violence has broken out in parts of Kenya as the country's fragile power-sharing deal appeared to be on the brink of ...

Kenya: Riots Resume, Washington - 17 hours ago
Kenya's opposition party suspended talks with the government Tuesday and hundreds of angry young opposition backers set fires to protest delays in reaching ...

Kenyan Opposition Suspends Unity Talks; Violence Grips Nairobi Slum
AHN - 18 hours ago
Nairobi, Kenya (AHN) - Violence between opposition supporters and police has erupted in Africa's second largest slum, Kibera, following the suspension of ...

Danger in Kenya
UN Dispatch - 18 hours ago
Riots erupted in Kenya on Tuesday as opposition leaders announced that they were suspending talks with the government over a stalled power sharing agreement ...

Kenya: A Sad Day As ODM Pulls Out of Talks, Washington - 18 hours ago
It was a day of drawn swords after ODM announced it had pulled out of Cabinet talks, and PNU declared it was ready for elections if negotiations fail. ...

Kenya: Annan Plea to Leaders, Washington - 18 hours ago
FORMER United Nations Secretary General, Dr Kofi Annan, has once again pleaded with President Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga, ...

Kenya: Serena Talks 'May Collapse', Washington - 18 hours ago
Mediation talks hang in the balance due to the Cabinet deadlock between PNU and ODM. Sources said there was growing discomfort among international mediators ...

Today's headlines - Wed. 4/9/2008

updated 4 hours, 17 minutes ago

Kenya warned by U.S. over Cabinet row
Story Highlights

  • NEW: Kenya's main parties warned by U.S. after halting power-sharing talks
  • Government and opposition have disagreed over key ministries in the Cabinet
  • U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice contacts both parties' leaders
  • She tells them to reach an agreement or U.S. will "act accordingly"
(CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has urged Kenya's government and opposition party to agree on the composition of their coalition Cabinet after the two sides suspended talks on power-sharing.

[Photo] A supporter of opposition leader Raila Odinga shouts during protests Tuesday in the Kibera slum of Nairobi.

Rice warned that the United States would "act accordingly" if they failed to reach an agreement.

The opposition Orange Democratic Movement said Tuesday it was suspending talks with President Mwai Kibaki's Party of National Unity because they failed to agree on a balanced Cabinet.

Rice said she had spoken separately by telephone with Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga -- who would become prime minister in the new government -- and urged them to "implement real power-sharing by agreeing on the composition of their coalition cabinet."

"It is imperative that they form the Cabinet without further delay and address the vitally important work of the nation," Rice said in a statement dated Tuesday.

"The United States and the entire international community stand ready to assist the coalition government and to help ensure that the provisions of the February 28 political accord are fully respected.

Don't Miss
Kenyan leaders in conflict over Cabinet

"Should the accord not be implemented, however, the United States will form its own judgments regarding responsibility for lack of implementation of the accord, and act accordingly."

Kibaki and Odinga signed a power-sharing agreement on February 28 to end two months of chaos and violence which followed the disputed presidential election. Incumbent Kibaki narrowly won amid allegations the vote was rigged.

The United Nations estimates that about 1,000 people were killed and another 300,000 were driven from their homes during the violence.

The agreement called for Cabinet positions to be distributed equally, but the two sides have disagreed over the division of ministries.

Kenya's government contends Odinga is making unrealistic demands for key ministries like foreign affairs, local government, and energy.

ODM supporters of the opposition party clashed with police Tuesday after the suspension of talks.

Police used tear gas on a crowd of Odinga's supporters in Nairobi's large Kibera slum, according to a CNN cameraman.

Kenya warned by US over Cabinet
CNN International - 2 hours ago
(CNN) -- US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has urged Kenya's government and opposition party to agree on the composition of their coalition Cabinet after the two sides suspended talks on power-sharing.

Unrest in Kenya as Peace Plan Falters New York Times
Rice urges Kenyans to speed up coalition plans USA Today
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Kenya Is Back On Edge
HULIQ (press release), NC - 1 hour ago
Kenya was recently in the news for an unprecedented level of political and ethnic violence that followed the bungled December 27th 2007 presidential ...

US pressure pushes for Kenya coalition Daily Nation

Kenyan leaders under pressure to resume coalition talks AFP

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Kenya: End Cabinet Stalemate, Says Envoy, Washington - 14 hours ago
The Rwandese ambassador to Kenya has called for a quick resolution of the Cabinet stalemate. "Kenya can solve this problem. What happened should never be ...

Kenya: Fresh Protests in Kibera, Kisumu Over Impasse, Washington - 15 hours ago
Fresh violent protests to push for a balanced Cabinet broke out in Kibera slums and Kisumu. In Kibera, the protestors vandalised the railway line, ...

BBC video:

Kenya" src="">
Violence returns to Kenya

Clashes between youths and police have returned to the streets of Nairobi after the political deadlock.
9 Apr 2008

Kenya's Odinga snubs Kibaki" src="">
Kenya's Odinga snubs Kibaki

Kenya's Prime Minister-designate Odinga has shunned a meeting with President Kibaki on planned power-sharing.
8 Apr 2008

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Kenya chronology - Tues 4/8/2008

CHRONOLOGY-Kenya in crisis after disputed elections

08 Apr 2008 11:59:33 GMT 08 Apr 2008 11:59:33 GMT
Source: Reuters

April 8 (Reuters) - Kenya's opposition party said on Tuesday it was suspending talks with President Mwai Kibaki's party until its rivals agreed to share power fairly.

Here is a chronology since Dec. 27 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Dec. 30, 2007 - Electoral Commission declares Kibaki re-elected and he is hurriedly sworn in. Riots erupt as his rival, Raila Odinga, says the vote was stolen.

Jan. 4, 2008 - Kibaki says he will accept an election re-run if a court orders it. The next day, he says he is ready to form a government of national unity. The opposition rejects the offer.

Jan. 8 - Kibaki announces 17 ministers for his new cabinet. Protesters burn barricades in response.

Jan. 15 - Parliament is convened. The opposition, which won a majority of seats, takes the post of speaker.

Jan. 24 - Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, mediating in the crisis, brings Kibaki and Odinga together for their first meeting since the crisis began.

Jan. 28 - Opposition legislator Melitus Were is shot dead outside his home in Nairobi, triggering more rioting and ethnic killings.

Feb. 5 - Red Cross says the death toll from Kenya's bloodletting has risen to at least 1,000.

Feb. 16 - U.S. President George W. Bush, on a visit to Africa, backs a power sharing deal for Kenya.

Feb. 28 - Kibaki and Odinga sign agreement after talks on power-sharing.

March 6 - Kibaki commemorates the 1,000 people killed during the crisis and urges parliament to enshrine into law a power-sharing deal intended to keep the peace.

April 8 - Odinga's opposition Orange Democratic Movement suspends talks with Kibaki's party until it agrees to share power fairly.

-- Police fire teargas to disperse opposition supporters in Nairobi protesting after the second delay in two days in naming a new cabinet.

(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;)
(For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: )

Today's Headlines - Tues 4/8/2008

Kenya shilling slips further on political deadlock
Reuters South Africa, South Africa - 1 hour ago
NAIROBI (Reuters) - The Kenya shilling continued to slide against the dollar on Tuesday on jitters over the deepening row between the country's political ...

Kenya police moves to quell slum protest over cabinet delay AFP

Tension rises in Kenya as cabinet talks collapse Guardian

Kenyan opposition party suspends talks with government International Herald Tribune

FACTBOX-What next for Kenya's power-sharing deal?
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Kenya opposition suspends talks, protests flare
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Kenya opposition suspends talks with Kibaki
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Angry opposition supporters protest in Kenya
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Monday, April 7, 2008

Today's headlines - Mon 4/7/2008

Kenya: Skewed Distribution of Land Still Haunts, Washington - 4 hours ago
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