Do away with the violence, Kenya told

An East African peacemaking body on Friday called for an end to Kenya’s post-election violence and expressed support for mediation talks led by former United Nations chief Kofi Annan.

“We urge all Kenyans to support the line of peace and dialogue and reconciliation and do away with the violence,” Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin told a news conference on behalf of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) in Nairobi.

“We cannot afford [to see] Kenya continue the way it has been immediately after the general elections were concluded and the post-election dispute. This must be reversed.”

Foreign ministers from Igad members Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda who arrived in Nairobi on Wednesday held talks with the government and the opposition as well as Annan.

Unrest in Nairobi and towns in western Kenya after President Mwai Kibaki was declared winner of a disputed December 27 presidential election has left more than 1 000 people dead and over 300 000 others displaced.

Seyoum told Kenyan leaders that “the situation that is going on in this country must be unacceptable to themselves and to the region”. Igad has been active in peace efforts in Somalia and south Sudan.

The conflict in Kenya has caused disruption in many landlocked neighbouring countries who receive fuel supplies through Kenya’s transport routes.—Sapa-AFP


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