( dpa ) - Negotiation teams representing Kenya's rival politicians will square off Thursday in a bid to find a solution to the crisis sparked by disputed elections that has plunged the country into violence, officials said.
Former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan brought President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga together Tuesday and each team was set to submit a response to Annan's proposed rules of engagement before the talks could officially begin.
Meetings were scheduled to proceed Wednesday but the opposition said Kibaki's Party of National Unity (PNU) had not replied to Annan's proposal, which had delayed the meeting.
"We are waiting for the PNU to submit its formal reply to Annan's proposal. We have no idea what's taking so long," said Salim Lone, spokesman for the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
A UN official said the delay was due to a scheduling problem.
Each side appointed three negotiators to push their respective agendas and the two teams met late Tuesday to assess Annan's proposal.
Annan on Tuesday called on both sides to urgently find a resolution to the stalemate, saying "short-term" issues would be resolved in four weeks, even as renewed violence sparked by the shooting death of an ODM legislator flared-up countrywide.
The BBC reported that at least nine people were killed in Tuesday's clashes in ethnic-based violence around the country that has seen Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe battle Odinga's Luo people as well as some of the country's 42 other tribes.
But most areas returned to calm Wednesday.
"There is no fighting because we are waiting for the talks with Annan to end," said Gideon, a bus driver who lives in Kibera, East Africa's largest slum, who did not want to give his last name.
"If Annan leaves and there is no answer, then we can kill anyone," he said.
Meanwhile, the UN's special adviser for the prevention of genocide is set to send a representative to Kenya, the independent Daily Nation reported, to investigate the violence that some rights groups have said was planned.
Odinga charges Kibaki rigged the elections and has demanded he step down.
More than 800 people have been killed in the brutal violence that has seen houses torched, victims burned alive and at least 250,000 people displaced in what has marked a disturbing change in the otherwise peaceful and stable country.