America’s top most official for Africa is due in Kenya today to help set up talks between President Kibaki and his rival Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
At the same time, ODM have insisted their protest rally today will go on at Uhuru Park, and that the rallies will continue until President Kibaki concedes defeat.
US assistant Secretary of State for Africa Jendayi Frazer is expected to arrive in Nairobi later this afternoon to help bring the two parties to a negotiation table. The US and the European Union are understood to be pushing the ODM and President Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) to settle for a form of a coalition government as a way of settling the presidential election impasse.
ODM has ruled out joining any government of national unity set up by President Kibaki, and are instead calling for a transitional administration to clear the way for a rerun of the presidential election in three months.
President Kibaki has this morning been in a meeting with South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu and is also expected to hold talks with ambassadors of foreign countries serving in Kenya.
On the other hand, Mr Odinga held talks with the German ambassador Walter Linder at the party’s Pentagon House offices.
Nairobi woke up to an uneasy calm with Uhuru Park, the venue of ODM’s banned rally, cordoned off by paramilitary police.
People and passenger vehicles have been allowed into the city centre and many more business premises opened, but the situation is likely to change once ODM leaders and supporters attempt to get to the venue of their rally.