Kenyan Prez Agrees to Form Unity Gov't

Top US diplomat in talks as humanitarian crisis grows
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2008 6:08 AM CST
Maize is handed out to displaced people who are taking shelter at a sports arena on the outskirts of the slum of Kibera, Nairobi, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008. The leading U.S. diplomat for Africa, Jendayi...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 7 more images

(Newser) – Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki today pledged to form a unity government, after talks with the top US diplomat for Africa aimed at solving the country's violent post-election crisis, the BBC reports. Jendayi Frazer met first with opposition leader Raila Odinga, who has said he will not negotiate unless Kibaki steps down. Another meeting is planned.

Kibaki is "ready to form a government of national unity that would not only unite Kenyans but would also help in the healing and reconciliation process," his official statement said. Over 350 people have been killed in rioting and tribal violence since the Dec. 27 election, which Odinga accuses Kibaki of rigging. A UN official estimated that half a million Kenyans need food and shelter; over 180,000 have been forced from their homes.