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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 February 2008, 10:39 GMT
'Hard' Kenya crisis talks resume
Former UN chief Kofi Annan mediates talks between government and opposition officials in Nairobi on Monday
On Monday both sides agreed to tackle the humanitarian crisis
Kenya's political foes have begun discussing crucial political issues to try to end to weeks of violence.

Kofi Annan, who is brokering the negotiations between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga, warned they would be "hard".

The local Red Cross says in the five weeks since disputed elections, more than 1,000 people have been killed and 300,000 displaced in violence.

Top business figures are seeking quick action to help the ailing economy.

Mr Annan highlighted the impact of the crisis on the country's economy when he addressed the 300 or so participants at a conference of leading business figures in the capital, Nairobi, whose businesses together account for about 80% of the country's GDP.

Tourism and agriculture have been especially hard hit.

'Hard'

Earlier, the former UN chief warned that there would be no easy resolution to the crisis.

"The crisis arising out of the December 2007 elections, that is going to take hard negotiations, understandably give and take," Mr Annan told reporters.

Every day that there's another delay more business is lost and becomes irrecoverable
Michael Joseph
Safaricom (mobile phone company)

A framework for the negotiations was agreed on Friday, and on Monday the two sides agreed immediate measures to address the humanitarian crisis, including helping those displaced by violence to return to their homes.

Mr Annan also called for a South Africa-style truth and reconciliation committee to investigate the political and ethnic violence.

But the negotiation process was dealt a blow when the man Mr Annan hoped would lead the talks, South African businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, withdrew from the mediation panel after Kenyan government objections.

Tuesday's talks will focus on the political crisis - though both sides have expressed deep reservations about any power-sharing deal.

Issues relating to land distribution and historical injustices are also set to be debated later in the negotiations.

Business warning

The Kenyan business people meeting in Nairobi on Tuesday will highlight the urgency with which a political solution must be found, reports the BBC's Adam Mynott in Nairobi.

Displaced camp near Eldoret in western Kenya
The political disruption also affects the economy

"Every day that there's another delay, more business is lost and becomes irrecoverable," Michael Joseph, the chief executive of the mobile phone company Safaricom, told our correspondent.

"People can say we're putting profit first, but we're not putting profit first - we're putting our country first, because without our businesses there's no jobs," he said.

Mr Annan said he was "extremely delighted" at the initiative.

Streets in western Kenya - scene of much of the recent violence - appeared calm on Tuesday.

But the Kenya Red Cross has said it believes more than 1,000 have died, and about 304,000 displaced since the 27 December elections, which were marred by irregularities according to local and foreign observers.





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