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Kenya Rivals Sign Power-Sharing Deal

Posted by Anonymous Thursday, February 28, 2008

This, from Reuters. Regardless of whether or not it's the best solution, I'm just pleased that it's a done deal.

Speaking of Kenya, I depart in 2 weeks for that beautiful land!

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga signed an agreement on Thursday after talks on power-sharing to end a post-election crisis.

In a televised ceremony, the two political rivals inked an deal hammered out under the mediation of former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, who had earlier said the two sides had reached agreement on the terms of a coalition government.

Annan said after the signing: "We have a deal."

A key part of the deal included the creation of the post of prime minister, as demand by the opposition, he said.

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.

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

Kenya'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 U.N. 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.