Ramaphosa role in talks rejected
Tuesday 05 February 2008
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.
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...