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US Sanctions 10 Kenyan Leaders for Post-Election Violence

The U.S. government says it is barring 10 Kenyan leaders suspected of involvement in the post-election violence that has killed nearly 1,000 people. Correspondent Scott Bobb reports from Nairobi.

U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Michael Rannenberger told the Kenya Television Network that 10 prominent Kenyans would be refused entry to the United States because of alleged association with the violence.

"A number of individuals on both sides have been involved in inciting or perpetrating or supporting violence," he said.

He would not reveal the names of the individuals, but an embassy spokesman said they include five politicians and five prominent businessmen. The ban also applies to their immediate families.

The spokesman said about 30 other prominent Kenyans could face a similar ban.

The Canadian embassy announced a similar ban it said would apply to people found to be subverting democratic processes.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the U.N. Human Rights Commission arrived Wednesday in Kenya to examine what were termed allegations of grave human rights violations committed in recent weeks.

The Development Commissioner of the European Union and foreign ministers of the IGAD block of east African nations were also in Kenya on fact-finding missions.

The flurry of diplomatic activity came as government and opposition negotiators concluded the first week of meetings aimed at resolving the dispute over the December elections that sparked the violence.

The opposition says the vote was rigged to give President Mwai Kibaki a second term.

A member of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende, told VOA that deep divisions separate the two sides.

"This is going to be tedious," he said. "Yes, a solution will come, but it can not be immediately."

But a member of Mr. Kibaki's Party of National Unity, Information Minister Samuel Poghisio, said such divisions can be useful.

"It is good for everybody because the divisions you see now are simply to prepare us for what maybe the end of the problem," he said.

The two sides have agreed on measures to end the violence and resettle displaced people, but remain far apart on the major political issues. The opposition reportedly wants an all-party, interim government to oversee a new presidential vote, but the pro-Kibaki group has rejected this.