AnNAN gives kenyA August deADlinE

NAIROBI - THE mediator in Kenya's post-election crisis, Kofi Annan, says the country's leaders have until August to set up a local court for perpetrators of violence - or face international action.

NAIROBI - THE mediator in Kenya's post-election crisis, Kofi Annan, says the country's leaders have until August to set up a local court for perpetrators of violence - or face international action.

The former UN boss has a sealed envelope holding the names of the 10 top people suspected of being responsible for the chaos that resulted in the killing of more than 1300 people, displaced 300000 and paralysed key sectors of the region's largest economy in early 2008.

Under the terms of an inquiry into the crisis, Annan is to hand that envelope to the Hague-based International Criminal Court if Nairobi fails to establish a special local court.

Parliament has repeatedly dragged its feet over this.

"I'm in discussions with the two leaders ... and they told me they're going to make a second attempt to get the tribunal established," Annan told BBC radio yesterday, referring to President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

He also said he had made it clear that if the tribunal were not established by the end of August he would hand the envelope over to the ICC.

Annan brokered the coalition government between Kibaki and Odinga after Odinga, the main opposition candidate, said the election was stolen from him.

The issue of the 2008 violence is among various problems straining the fragile coalition, though it has held the peace after the worst blood-letting in Kenya since the 1963 independence.

The 10 names are believed to include senior politicians and businessmen, including cabinet members.

The political elite whipped voters up, along tribal lines, prior to the December 2007 vote. - Reuters

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