Monday, February 18, 2008


Rice in Kenya for peace push.

MS. Rice does not expect to come away with a final deal from her mission to Kenya the reports indicate. However, the US secretary of state has arrived in Kenya to bolster efforts aimed at ending the country's post-election crisis.

She is the highest-ranking US official to visit the country since a disputed presidential vote in December 2007 election. Mr. George Bush, the US president, said Rice will be bolstering efforts by Kofi Annan, the former UN chief, to mediate a lasting political solution to one of the darkest chapters in Kenya's post-independence history.

But on the eve of Rice's visit, Kenya's foreign minister,Mr Moses wetangula had strong words for anyone trying to force a deal on the PANU government. "We encourage our friends to support us and not make any mistake of putting a gun to anybody's head and saying 'either/or', because that cannot work," he said. He went on to say, "Even if we get visitors to help us in any way possible, the answer to the problem in Kenya lies with Kenyans themselves."

Mr. Bush, who is on the second leg of a five-nation Africa tour, says Washington wants to help the talks, not dictate a solution. Reinforcing that, a White House spokeswoman said Rice did not expect to come away with a final deal, nor would she offer incentives to encourage the feuding sides to strike a pact.

"But I do think ... they are inching their ways closer and they need a little bit of help to get there," she said.

Mr. Annan has reported considerable progress in last week's talks with the two rivals.
Rice is expected to meet Annan, Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, on Monday.

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