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Kofi Annan Finds “Rights Abuses” In Kenya

From his fans at the AFP:

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (2ndR) gives a press ...

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (2nd R) gives a press conference with religious leaders in Nairobi.

Annan slams ‘systematic’ Kenya abuses as scores killed

by Bogonko Bosire

NAIROBI (AFP) – Kofi Annan said Saturday he had witnessed “gross and systematic human rights abuses” on a visit to western Kenya, where scores more people were killed in the flashpoint Rift Valley region…

The former UN chief slammed “systematic” rights abuses after a visit to the chaotic west, on the fifth day of his trip to mediate the crisis sparked by disputed presidential polls one month ago.

“We saw gross and systematic human rights abuses of fellow citizens,” Annan said in Nairobi after a visit to the Rift Valley, which, along with the capital’s slums, has seen some of the worst acts of Kenya’s post-election violence.

Impunity can not be allowed to stand,” Annan added.

He earlier visited the heart of Kenya’s ethnic fighting along with former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa and Graca Machel, wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela…

Around 800 people have been killed and some 260,000 others displaced across the country since the disputed poll on December 27 touched off a wave of deadly rioting and ethnic killings…

Annan, Mkapa and Machel toured camps of displaced people in western Kenya who had fled fighting between supporters of Kibaki and Odinga in an area tense with latent land and ethnic disputes.

“What we saw was rather tragic,” Annan said.

I hope there is a serious investigation to establish facts and that those responsible will be punished,” he added, calling on the government to boost security in the region.

The former UN chief said he and the two other mediators would not stay in Kenya “for months on end” and called on the feuding political leaders to work with them “as expeditiously as possible.”

“But even if we are not here, the mechanism we set up will allow the work to go on, will allow the negotiations to go on,” he added, without elaborating…

Probably just like you, I had been asking myself “what does Kofi Annan think about the crisis in Kenya?” And now we know.

Surely with Mr. Annan’s great moral authority in force all of the parties involved will be shamed into reaching some kind of affable reconciliation.

But of course things won’t be settle for sure until the United Nations itself issues a resolution on the contretemps.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, January 26th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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