Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Kenya Unrest Kills 486 People
Over 486 people have died as a result of recent violence in Nairobi, Kenya following the disputed presidential elections, according to a government official.
The death toll was calculated by a special committee of humanitarian services created by the government to tour areas most affected by the violence.
In addition to the 486 dead, over 255,000 have been left homeless.
U.S. envoy Jendayi Frazer was to meet on Monday with Kenya's opposition leader, Raila Odinga, who has said that he is willing to share power with the government. He accuses the government of rigging the elections and also called for mass gatherings, which some consider to be responsible for the bloodshed.
Frazer had plans to meet with Odinga Monday morning, on the last day of a 3 day mission, accoring to T.J. Dowling, the US Envoy spokesperson.
Sunday, Odinga said that he would no longer demand that Kibaki resign and would consider sharing power. But he would only work through a mediator with enough power to negotiate an agreement that the international community could support.
Ghana's President, John Kufuor, current chairman of the African Union, is expected to arrive in Nairobi on Tuesday as well. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Great Britain appeared on BBC television Sunday, asking that the two rivals hold talks to end the political deadlock.
The vote was only the second free election held in Kenya since independence was achieved in 1963.