The situation in Nairobi remains calm as Kenya moves into the third week of political deadlock following the disputed general elections of 27 December. However, a source in the capital reports that people are afraid in view of the reopening of parliament on 15 January, when the main opposition party Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has threatened to occupy the government benches, and multiple protests across the country on 16-18 January, which the opposition says will go ahead despite a police ban.
Meanwhile schools in Nairobi have reopened a week behind schedule, although international media sources report that some parents have chosen to keep their children at home until the political, social and economic crisis sparked by the elections has been resolved.
Former United Nations (UN) secretary general Kofi Annan and a small team of other eminent Africans are due to arrive in Nairobi shortly to start a new round of talks with incumbent president Mwai Kibaki of the Party of National Unity (PNU) and his defeated opponent Raila Odinga of ODM, who is refusing to acknowledge the outcome of the presidential poll amid signs of rigging.
The international community and especially the United States and the European Union are calling for a compromise solution that will restore stability to the country, but Odinga has refused to take part in a power-sharing administration.
Church leaders have also called for continued negotiation.
Nearly 700 people are now thought to have died in post-election riots and fighting according to the state broadcaster KBC Kenya, citing Kenyan Red Cross and police figures. Further the UN warns that an estimated 500,000 people will need emergency humanitarian assistance in the coming weeks if the crisis worsens.
Recently the East African Community, of which Kenya is a member, added its voice to the chorus of international observer missions that have expressed concerns about the elections, criticising the Kenyan electoral commission for mismanaging the tallying of the presidential poll.