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Annan: Progress being made in forging deal in Kenya

  • Story Highlights
  • Kofi Annan says progress is being made in forging a political deal in Kenya
  • Mediators have made strides toward constitutional and electoral reforms
  • Kenyan opposition frustrated at pace of talks to resolve crisis, officials say
  • President Bush has said Condoleezza Rice will fly to Kenya to support talks
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NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- Kofi Annan, mediating talks between bitter Kenyan political rivals, said Friday that major progress is being made in forging a political deal that will end the crisis in the East African country.

Annan, a former U.N. secretary-general, said mediators "have defined a reform agenda of a new government" and have made strides toward making constitutional and electoral reforms and building a truth and reconciliation commission.

The two sides are taking the text of the latest agreements to their leaders, incumbent President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga, and will continue negotiating next week, he said.

Kibaki won the December 27 elections, but the opposition charged it was rigged. That disagreement sparked violence that rippled across the country between members of Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe and other groups, including opposition Raila Odinga's Luo tribe.

Earlier Friday, a senior official from Kenya's opposition party says its camp is "frustrated with the pace of the negotiations" to settle the political crisis in Kenya.

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The official, from the Orange Democratic Movement, said the government mediation team has not put details of a "power-sharing agreement" on the table and could be "stonewalling Kofi Annan to tire him out."

That assertion was given some weight by a Kenyan TV report that the government mediation team on Thursday asked for a seven-day recess from the negotiations. The report said Annan told the mediators they had to continue their work.

Alfred Matua, spokesman for the government, told CNN that "those statements are incorrect" because the government team has come up with three political framework options.

The Orange Democratic Movement said it proposed a separation of powers plan with a prime minister and the president retaining significant powers.

On Thursday, U.S. President George W. Bush announced U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would visit Kenya in the coming few days to support efforts to end violence there.

Kenyan opposition party spokesman Salim Lone said that Rice's trip to Kenya is a "very positive step." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's David McKenzie contributed to this report

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