New Kenyan cabinet members sworn in as mediation continues
( dpa ) - President Mwai Kibaki, whose contested poll victory sparked widespread violence in Kenya, began swearing in his new cabinet Thursday as mediation efforts continued in Nairobi. African Union (AU) chair and Ghanaian President John Kufuor was leading a new round of mediation talks with Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga aimed at resolving the post-election crisis that has led to the deaths of up to 600 people and the displacement of 250,000 others. Also taking part were chief US envoy to Africa Jendayi Frazer as well as numerous other US and European diplomats. Kibaki has said that he wanted his cabinet to be broadly representative and also named opposition politicians as ministers. However, no members of Odinga's Orange Democracy Movement (ODM) have been named in the new cabinet. All the key posts have already been filled, and even if ODM members were to enter the new government, it would only be in a peripheral role. There has been no progress made on opposition demands for an interim government and new elections. A spokesman for Odinga said Thursday that there was hope that something could come out of the talks, but that it was still too early to be optimistic or pessimistic. "We want a peaceful resolution," he said. No details have, however, been released as to the content of the talks or possible steps towards an agreement. Kibaki was declared winner of the December 27 presidential polls three days after they were held. Odinga and his supporters have, however, charged the incumbent with widespread vote-rigging and refused to concede defeat. International observers have also highlighted discrepancies in the voting process and cast doubt on the veracity of the result. Subsequent violence pitting supporters of each side against each other has engulfed parts of Kenya. Kenya's Human Rights Commission also on Thursday announced the opening of a judicial case against the country's Electoral Commission.