5.35 AM Tuesday, 16 April 2024
  • City Fajr Shuruq Duhr Asr Magrib Isha
  • Dubai 04:36 05:52 12:21 15:49 18:45 20:02
16 April 2024

Annan says Kenya talks reach agreement

By Agencies

Mediator Kofi Annan said Kenya's government and opposition had reached agreement on a power-sharing deal at talks on Thursday to end the country's deadly post-election crisis.

"We have come to an understanding on the coalition agreement," Annan told reporters after meeting President Mwai Kibaki, opposition leader Raila Odinga and African Union head Jakaya Kikwete.

Annan said the two sides would meet again at 1pm GMT, when the thay would be ready to sign a document and he would be able to give further details.

Thursday's talks brought Odinga and Kibaki to the same table for the first time in a month, after discussions between negotiators for the two men hit a deadlock earlier in the week.

"We've had a very constructive and fruitful day and we've come to an understanding on the coalition agreement ... I'm not in a position to tell you anything further, all that I can say is we do have an agreement," said Annan, who has been leading mediation efforts for the past month.

Odinga and Kibaki have come under intense pressure to compromise over Kibaki's disputed re-election in a December 27 vote, which sparked ethnic violence that killed 1,000 people and displaced 300,000 more.

Kemya's trade unions and employers published an open letter in a newspaper on Thursday urging a swift settlement, while Nairobi-based diplomatic missions from Europe, Japan and Canada issued a statement calling for compromise.

The opposition had threatened to hold mass street protests on Thursday, but called them off after meeting Annan, a former UN Secretary General, on Wednesday.

Kibaki has agreed to create a prime minister post, as demanded by the opposition, but it was unclear what powers a premier would have and how many cabinet jobs Odinga's side would get.

The crisis that exploded after Kibaki was sworn in on December 30, amid Odinga's claims the election was rigged, seriously hurt Kenya's reputation as a stable, prosperous nation in a turbulent corner of Africa. (Reuters)