Kofi Annan launched mediation talks today. Afterwards he said Kenya's immediate political issues could be resolved within four weeks. How realistic? There's clearly a lot that still needs to be resolved between opposition and government. Both sides gave away little in terms of conceding to the other side. Neither leader gave much in terms of details of how violence could be ended. The tone of meeting was much more conciliatory than their first face to face meeting last week. There's a sense that they're trying improve things, but it's hard to see how they're going to find common ground. (What is Annan saying about how common ground can be found and how violence can end?) As far as the violence goes, he's saying there needs to be a more forceful reaction by the government. The Kenyan police have just stood aside as this violence has gone on, the military has opened fire on a gang of youth that were rampaging through a town, the first time Kenyan military has gotten involved. (12 more deaths, where is most of the violence now?) Near two towns very close to Nairobi. What's disturbing is both of these cities have no history of ethnic violence. (What did people in these towns tell you about why they think violence is spreading?) People are being told that if you get rid of Tribe X you'll have this land and have this job. There's a very clear level of organization going on now. (What is it like to be reporting there now?) For my family, this town is a weekend destination for my family. There were 600 refugees parked outside the hotel we used to stay at. Near them is a mob of club-yielding youths trying to get at the refugees with a thin line of police in between. To see this conflict is difficult to take in, and these scenes are taking place all across Kenya.
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