Ex-UN Chief Kofi Annan Taking Over Mediation in Kenya's Electoral Dispute

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Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is taking over mediation in Kenya's disputed presidential election, an African Union statement said Thursday.

The AU said President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga had agreed to work with a panel of eminent Africans led by Annan to resolve their differences from the Dec. 27 election that international observers said had a flawed vote count.

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The two also had agreed to end violence and any other acts detrimental to finding a peaceful solution to the crisis. Ethnic clashes from the disputed election have left more than 500 people dead.

The statement was issued as the AU mediator, President John Kufuor of Ghana, prepared to leave Kenya after failing to persuade the rivals to meet.