24 February 2013

Kenya: Annan Calls On Kenyans to Reject Violence and Hatred During Election

Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on Saturday (February 23rd) called on Kenyans to repudiate violence and hatred during and after the upcoming elections in order to avoid a repeat of the 2007-2008 post-election violence.

"Intimidation, electoral violence and ethnic rivalry have the potential to undermine and jeopardise the whole process," he said in a statement on behalf of the African Union Panel of Eminent African Personalities. "And that is why recent violent events and increasing tensions in the run-up to the elections are deeply worrying."

"I urge all Kenyans to take the necessary steps to ensure that violence and hatred play no part in these elections," he said.

Annan praised Kenya's progress in development and economic growth, and the implementation of its new constitution, emphasising that peaceful and transparent elections are crucial to maintaining these gains.

Also this week, US Secretary of State John Kerry said he spoke by phone with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki to encourage Kenyan unity during the elections.

"Now is time for Kenya to come together, free, fair, credible election with no violence," Kerry posted on Twitter on Friday, adding that he was echoing US President Barack Obama's message to Kenyans.

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