Ramaphosa role in talks rejected

The government and the Party of National Unity objected to the choice of the South African businessman Cyril Ramaphosa as a mediator in talks to end Kenya's post-election crisis, claiming he was too close to the opposition party.

Mr Ramaphosa was the choice of former UN secretary general Kofi Annan. The talks in the Kenyan capital continued without him.

The fighting has killed more than 1,000 people and made 300,000 homeless since the presidential election on 27 December, which foreign and local observers say was rigged. Protests have deteriorated into ethnic clashes, with much of the anger aimed at President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe, long resented for dominating politics and the economy.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan brought together Kibaki and his chief rival, Raila Odinga, and the two sides agreed on Friday to take immediate action to end the violence. They said they would complete talks within 15 days on measures to resolve the political crisis, but Annan said it would take up to a year to solve the deeper problems.

Both sides have expressed trust in Annan's efforts, but Cyril Ramaphosa withdrew yesterday because of objections by Kibaki's government and ruling party.

Ramaphosa, a South African businessman who had played a leading role in talks to end apartheid in his own country, said he could not function as mediator "without the complete confidence" of both parties.

"I thought I should withdraw and go back to South Africa, so I don't become a stumbling block myself," he told reporters outside the hotel where the talks were being held.

News of his departure came as ethnic fighting flared in western Kenya, scene of some of the worst bloodshed. At least seven people were killed overnight in battles between Kisii and Kalenjin communities in a region 155 miles west of the capital, Nairobi, said district commissioner of Sotik town, Humphrey Nakitare.

The fighting continued Monday with hundreds of youths — armed with bows and arrows and machetes — attacking one another in an area where 2,000 people have fled their homes during nine days of clashes, Rift Valley Provincial Commissioner Hassan Noor said. Dozens of houses were burned overnight, witnesses said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate