"Leaders Must Think Beyond Own
Interests", says Ban Ki-Moon
Business Daily (Nairobi)
12 February 2008
Over the past month, I have been deeply engaged in the evolving
situation in Kenya. As I warned at the African Union Summit,
ethnic clashes threaten to escalate out of control.
During my visit, I told Kenya's leaders, President Mwai Kibaki and
Raila Odinga, that they bear a particular political responsibility
for the future of Kenya.
I stressed to all the Kenyan leaders the need to stop the
unacceptable violence and killings and to resolve their
differences through dialogue and the democratic process. I also
appealed to all the political leaders to think beyond their
individual interests or party lines, and to look to the future of
Kenya as one country.
I reiterate my support to the mediation efforts of the Panel of
Eminent African Personalities led by former Secretary-General Kofi
Annan. When I met him in Nairobi, we discussed in depth his
roadmap for the talks.
The parties are now talking and discussing practical measures to
stop the spiral of violence, to address the humanitarian crisis,
and to restore fundamental human rights and liberties.
I have assigned several members of my staff to provide necessary
assistance to Mr. Annan's team, and we have established a UNDP
trust fund to support this.
With our partners, we have been able to meet the initial basic
needs of displaced populations, totalling around 310,000 IDPs
spread over 192 sites in the western and central provinces, and I
[have] dispatched Mr John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General of the
Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, to look
after these issues. Needless to say, much more needs to be done.
I urge donors to provide additional funding to address this grave
emergency. Turning to the situation in Chad, I am alarmed by the
deteriorating security situation in the capital, N'Djamena, and
elsewhere. We can no longer guarantee the safety and security of
UN staff in Chad and we have evacuated, with the help of the
French Government, most of the personnel into neighbouring
countries, in Cameroon and Gabon.
However, a small number of personnel from Minurcat in N'Djamena,
and some other UN agencies are still remaining. We will take
necessary measures in close cooperation with the French Government
when it is necessary.
The UN will do its utmost to help resolve the crisis. I welcome
the initiative of the African Union to have designated leaders of
Libya and the Republic of Congo to mediate this issue. It has
devastating consequences not only for the people of Chad and
Darfurian refugees seeking shelter there, but also for Darfur
Ban Ki-Moon is the UN secretary- general.