Kenya must do more to prevent unrest

October 5, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 5 – Kenya’s unity government must do more to implement reforms and avoid a resurgence of last year’s post-election violence, former UN chief Kofi Annan, the mediator in the crisis, said on Sunday.

During his visit to Kenya, Mr Annan will meet with President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, rivals in the disputed December 2007 election whom the former United Nations chief convinced to form a unity government.

"Clearly, the Kenyan people are expecting more from the coalition government – more unity of purpose, more progress on the reform agenda, more concrete action to end impunity and combat corruption," Mr Annan told reporters in Nairobi.

"Those sentiments are understandable, and I will be urging the coalition government to listen to the voices of the people and do more to push forward the essential reforms," he said after arriving in the Kenyan capital.

The visit comes amid international pressure in recent weeks for the government to implement reforms in the country, where 1,500 people died and 300,000 were displaced by violence after the last election.

"In Kenya today, there is added pressure to complete the reforms — including a new constitution, electoral reforms, police and judicial reforms, as well as land reform — well before the 2012 elections, so as to prevent a recurrence of the crisis and violence experienced after the 2007 elections," Mr Annan said.

The United States has threatened to slap a travel ban on 15 Kenyan officials considered hostile to reforms.

And Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, said last week that he would pursue those ‘most responsible’ for crimes against humanity during the unrest.


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