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Kenya Opposition Calls for Deployment of Foreign Peacekeepers


Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga on Sunday called for the deployment of international peacekeepers to help contain the violence in the country.

Odinga said the peacekeepers can be either from the African Union or the United Nations because they would adopt a more neutral role in the crisis than local security forces.

His call came as deadly post-election violence continued between rival ethnic groups in western Kenya, where at least 14 people have been killed since Friday.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan brokered a four-point plan between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Odinga to end the fighting, which has killed about 850 people since late December.

Mr. Annan says the sides believe they can come to terms on how to stop the violence, safeguard the delivery of humanitarian aid and end Kenya's political impasse within 15 days.

Odinga accuses President Kibaki of rigging the December 27 election in which he won re-election. Protests that exploded after the vote have since degenerated into tribal violence.

The leader of the Roman Catholic church, Pope Benedict XVI, urged pilgrims at the Vatican Sunday to pray for peace in Kenya. He says he hopes that good will and cooperation will bring a rapid solution to the east African nation's problems.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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