Kenyan leaders were on Wednesday under pressure to resume talks on forming a coalition government in a bid to end a devastating political crisis, a day after hundreds demonstrated to demand a new Cabinet. The much-delayed unveiling of a national-unity government is a key step in implementing a power-sharing deal aimed at quelling deadly violence.
The announcement of Kenya's new coalition Cabinet has been delayed indefinitely over disagreements on its composition, both sides said on Saturday. "The widely expected announcement tomorrow [Sunday] of a new Cabinet that all Kenyans were so keenly awaiting has been delayed," Orange Democratic Movement spokesperson Salim Lone said.
African Union chief John Kufuor met Kenyan leaders on Wednesday to try to break a political deadlock following disputed presidential polls that sparked widespread violence and left at least 600 dead. President Mwai Kibaki, whose re-election 11 days ago triggered the unrest, denied there was any national crisis in his meeting with Kufuor.
United Nations agencies have expressed increasing concern for the plight of up to 250 000 Kenyans displaced by post-election violence, as international diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis continued. The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that at least 100 000 people in the northern Rift Valley alone needed immediate help.
Defeated Kenyan opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga was set Thursday to press his claims of vote fraud at a rally declaring him "the people's president" despite threats of arrest, as the toll from post-election violence climbed above 340. The government has banned the Nairobi protest rally, one week after the election, over fears of further violence.
Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes amid brutal post-election violence in Kenya that had claimed at least 300 lives by Wednesday and threatens to descend into full-scale tribal conflict. On Tuesday, at least 35 children and adults sheltering in a church near the western town of Eldoret were burnt alive by an angry mob.
Brutal unrest across Kenya over President Mwai Kibaki's re-election left about 150 people dead on Monday -- some hacked to death -- taking the overall toll to at least 185 killed in four days. Police opened fire on some protesters and looters and many people were killed with machetes as ethnic tensions mounted.
Ugandan troops looted truckloads of valuable trees from south Sudan when they were pursuing Lord's Resistance Army rebels who were hiding in the region, a research group said on Friday. The Swiss-based Small Arms Survey said the Uganda People's Defence Forces cut teak trees in southern Sudan's Equatoria region during Operation Iron Fist.
"This is war too," murmurs an ex-child soldier in southern Sudan, stone-faced and staring blankly at a placard reading: "Let all children go to school ... Leave no child behind." A year after the end of two decades of fighting with regimes in Khartoum in a conflict that claimed 1,5-million lives and displaced four million people, south Sudan has declared war on illiteracy.