Talks on Power-Sharing Deal in Kenya Halted

Talks to end the political standoff in Kenya have been suspended. Government and opposition negotiators failed to reach a breakthrough on a power-sharing deal. Weeks of deadly violence have killed hundreds since December's disputed presidential elections.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

More bad news in Kenya yesterday, was followed by a sliver of good news today. The former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan had suspended talks in Kenya's election crisis, but today the opposition party said it was calling off protests it had planned for tomorrow. Adam Mynott reports from Nairobi.

ADAM MYNOTT: For more than four weeks Kofi Annan has sat in a conference room in a five star hotel in the Kenyan capital trying to mediate between the government and the opposition. There was early agreement on ways to end the wave of brutal violence which swept through the country and on ways to tackle the in searing humanitarian disaster.

But a solution to the political crisis has remained elusive. Discussions have centered on power-sharing, but the governing party has refused to yield any authority. Enormous international pressure has been exerted, culminating in a visit just over a week ago by the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. And yesterday she increased the pressure saying delay was inexcusable and warned that measures would be taken against anyone standing in the way of a solution.

There has been no progress in talks in the past few days and the former U.N. Secretary General announced that he was suspending negotiations between representatives of the opposing sides.

Mr. KOFI ANNAN (Former U.N. Secretary General): It's an extraordinary situation and it takes extraordinary measures and steps to bring it under control.

MYNOTT: Violence has subsided, but the atmosphere in Kenya remains extremely tense and many fear it could explode again if the talks break down completely.

For NPR News, this is Adam Mynott in Nairobi, Kenya.

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