Violence breaks out as Kenyan leaders fail to agree cabinet

Fresh violence has broken out in parts of Kenya as the country's fragile power-sharing deal appeared to be on the brink of collapse. Raila Odinga's ODM party suspended talks with President Mwai Kibaki yesterday, accusing him of trying to "monopolise power".

Almost six weeks have passed since Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga agreed to share power, but they have yet to agree on a cabinet. Under the terms of the deal struck by Kofi Annan, the two sides were supposed to share cabinet positions 50/50. Crucially, it was also agreed that there would be "portfolio balance" to ensure that the largest ministries were shared equally.

ODM has accused Mr Kibaki of trying to keep the most influential ministries for his own party. One official close to the Annan talks said Mr Kibaki appeared to be breaking the spirit of the deal. "We all know what real power-sharing looks like. You can't give one side the ministry of finance and the other side the ministry of chickens," he said.

A Western diplomat in Nairobi said President Kibaki had been "got at" by hardliners in his PNU party. At a meeting with Mr Odinga on Thursday, Mr Kibaki had agreed to give two prominent ministries – Local Government and Foreign Affairs – to ODM. But following a meeting with his own ministers Mr Kibaki changed his mind.

After Mr Odinga's announcement, violence broke out in Nairobi and the western city of Kisumu. Young men in Kibera, a Nairobi slum, burned tyres and shouted "No Cabinet! No peace!" Paramilitary police fired tear gas in a repeat of the original skirmishes that broke out after the announcement of the presidential result in December.

Mr Annan last week expressed his frustration at the inability of Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga to make any progress since he left at the end of February. There have been calls from civil society activists for him to return but he has limited his involvement to phone calls with both leaders.

Both sides still appear hopeful that an agreement will be found, but if it takes this long to agree on a cabinet, few Kenyans expect their new government to be able to agree on more important matters.

Hundreds of thousands of people remain displaced following the violence in January. Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga last month asked the international community for almost £250m to help rebuild the country.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc