End Kenya violence, UN urges
Jan 31, 2008
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations (UN) Security Council has
deplored the continuing violence in Kenya spawned by last month’s
disputed presidential poll and urged the country’s rival leaders
to strive to bring it to an end.
"The council members deplored the continuing violence following
the disputed elections...and called on Kenya’s leaders to do all
in their power to bring the violence to an end and restore calm,"
Libya’s UN Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi, who chairs the 15-member
body this month, said in a statement.
He read out the statement to reporters after the council heard a
briefing from UN under secretary general for political affairs
Lynn Pascoe on the latest developments in the volatile east
Ettalhi said all council members "expressed concern about the
safety of the many UN personnel in Kenya and...underlined full
support for the panel of eminent African personalities led by (former
UN secretary general) Kofi Annan in seeking to resolve the crisis."
The council welcomed the convening of a national dialogue under
Annan’s mediation and urged both sides "to engage fully and
constructively to secure a political solution."
In his encounter with reporters, Pascoe highlighted the role
played by UN chief Ban Ki-moon in efforts to involve African
leaders in the push for a political solution. He said Ban, who is
currently at the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa,
discussed the Kenyan crisis with African leaders yesterday and
would do so again today.
"The real imperative is to immediately stop the violence, and that
is up to the leaders," Pascoe said, stressing that the UN has been
trying to provide assistance on both the humanitarian and
political fronts since the very beginning of the crisis.
He also said council members were "very concerned" about the
safety of the some 5,000 UN personnel in Kenya, east Africa’s
largest economy and a major regional trading hub providing
supplies to neighbouring Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, the Democratic
Republic of Congo and Ethiopia, all hit by conflict.
On Tuesday, Annan launched formal crisis talks between Kenyan
President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga as 22
died in fresh clashes stoked by the slaying of an opposition
The former UN chief said he hoped the immediate political issues
could be resolved within four weeks and gave Kenya a year to
resolve damage inflicted by a month of chaos in which almost 1,000
people have died. The violence was sparked by the disputed
re-election of Kibaki one month ago.