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Africa
Kibaki swears in Kenyan cabinet
Emergency talks are under way to resolve the political deadlock in Kenya.
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2008 13:30 GMT
Female opposition members took
their protest to the streets [EPA]

Mwai Kibaki, the Kenyan president, has sworn in 17 ministers, as Raila Odinga, his opposition rival, is in talks to resolve a political deadlock, sparked by a presidential poll that he says he won. 
 
John Kufuor, the African Union chief, led the talks, with Jendayi Frazer, the leading US diplomat on Africa, and four former African presidents.
Despite opposition to Kibaki's decision to name a partial new cabinet in the middle of a political crisis, the president went ahead and swore in the cabinet members on Thursday.
 
At least 300 people have died in violent unrest since the contested election.

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Kufuor, who is also the president of Ghana, was supposed to meet Kibaki and Odinga together. That fell through, leaving him to shuttle between them in separate meetings that officials say made little headway. 

However, Kibaki reportedly told Kufuor that he had initiated dialogue with opposition leaders and his office said: "Now that peace was returning ... his partially formed government would continue to reach out to Kenyan leaders".

Further protests

As diplomatic activity continues in Nairobi, Kenyan police fired tear gas to disperse more than 100 female opposition supporters marching towards a church in the capital, Nairobi.
  
David Kerini, a police commander, said: "They had not notified police about the demonstration.

"We asked them to disperse peacefully, which they refused and we were forced to fire tear gas."
  
Jacqueline Oduol, the chairman of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) women's league, said: "We are calling for truth about what happened to our votes and the votes of Kenyans."

Electoral commission accused

Meanwhile, Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice, an umbrella of civil society groups formed after the elections, presented a list of alleged charges to police against electoral commissioners and some staff. The charges include forgery, subverting the rule of law, making out false certificates and the abuse of office.

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The groups called for the prosecution of all 22 members of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) and some commission staff, including vote counters.

Shailja Patel, a member of Kenyans for Peace, which includes the state-funded Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights and the Law Society of Kenya, said: "The electoral process is so seriously flawed that, until that is redressed, and until we have truth and justice about the election, we are not going to have a viable society in Kenya."

But Kibaki said in a speech on Wednesday that he considered questions about the vote and the count "closed".
Source:
Agencies
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