(AFP) – Mar 2, 2008
NAIROBI (AFP) — Kenya's rival camps were Monday to resume crisis talks in a bid to clinch solution to long-lasting problems after a power-sharing deal pulled the country from the brink of self-destruction.
The talks are chaired by former Nigerian foreign minister Oluyemi Adeniji, replacing former UN chief Kofi Annan who left the country on Sunday after extracting a power-sharing deal between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
The wide-ranging negotiations are focusing on long-term issues including land, constitutional and government reforms, and economic disparities among Kenyan communities.
Annan, who arrived in Kenya on January 22, flew out and admonished Kenyans to stick to the path of reconciliation while grappling with the remaining tough issues.
The feuding leaders last Thursday agreed to create a post of a prime minister and two deputies under the current constitution pending a comprehensive constitutional review in 12 months' time.
Odinga, who accused Kibaki of stealing the December 27 presidential elections touching off nationwide rioting, is set to become the prime minister after parliament entrenches the deal in the constitution.
Nationwide violence claimed at least 1,500 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands in a crisis that tarnished the country's reputation as an island of stability in a region beset by conflicts.
Meanwhile government and opposition lawmakers are due to meet separately to discuss ways of ensuring the power-sharing deal is entrenched in the constitution when the 222-member assembly resumes on Thursday.
The crisis tapped into simmering resentment over land, poverty and the dominance of the Kikuyu, Kibaki's tribe, in Kenyan politics and business since independence in 1963.
Besides the civilian toll, the crisis also affected the economy, particularly weakening tourism and agriculture, which both sides have pledged to address since they form the mainstay of the country's economy.
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