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Kenya parliament approves power-sharing agreement in bid to end violence

[JURIST] The Parliament of Kenya [official website] Tuesday voted unanimously to approve a power-sharing agreement [JURIST report] between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] and opposition leader Raila Odinga [campaign profile]. The Kenya Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008 [text], intended to end violence sparked by the country's disputed 2007 presidential election [JURIST report], names Odinga as the nation's first Prime Minister. The agreement has been praised by the US State Department and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who helped broker the deal. Reuters has more. CNN has additional coverage.

The controversial presidential vote sparked simmering ethnic tensions in the country, where Kibaki has long been accused of using his position to favor members of the Kikuyu tribe. Fueling accusations of malfeasance, Kibaki won the December 27 election despite early opinion polls that placed rival candidate Odinga in the lead. Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets following the election, which prompted the government to temporarily ban public rallies and institute a curfew in Nairobi, the capital city. Human Rights Watch reports that over 1,000 people have been killed and 500,000 displaced since protests began. Odinga's opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement filed a formal complaint [JURIST report] in January with the International Criminal Court [official website], alleging that Kibaki's administration committed crimes against humanity while using force against demonstrators.

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