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Annan suspends Kenyan talks

February 26, 2008 9:07:14 AM PST
Mediator Kofi Annan suspended on Tuesday the talks to end Kenya's deadly postelection crisis after weeks of negotiations brought little progress. Annan said he will now meet with President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga to try to spur progress.

"I hope people will understand this is a move intended to speed up action," Annan said in announcing that he was calling off the talks.

The negotiations have failed to resolve the dispute Kibaki and Odinga, who says the Dec. 27 presidential election was a sham. Kibaki was declared the winner but international and local monitors say the results were manipulated, making it unclear who would have won.

Kenya was once a beacon of stability in a tumultuous region but the contentious vote sparked widespread fighting as both sides claimed victory. Violence has largely subsided in recent weeks, but attacks that left more 1,000 dead and forced 600,000 from their homes have left the country on edge and worried about the potential for more unrest.

Kibaki was declared the winner of the presidential vote, giving him a second five-year term, after Odinga's lead in polls evaporated overnight.

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