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President preaches peace in R. Valley

NAKURU, October 18 – President Mwai Kibaki used a peace rally in Afraha Stadium on Saturday to express solidarity with all Kenyans whose lives were disrupted by the post election violence.

The President told a large crowd that he hoped the country would never have to experience such horrific violence ever again.

“The independence that Kenyans struggled for and gained must be guarded jealously because enough blood was shed then. For 45 years Kenya has been one indivisible nation and whatever happened early this year must never recur.”

The Head of State noted that the critical issues that caused the frictions early in the year could be resolved comprehensively, so that a new Kenya is built for future generations.

The President commended all peace makers in the Province, particularly the Rift Valley Provincial Commissioner Noor Hassan Noor and other grassroots leaders for their role in promoting the reintegration of internally displaced persons within society. The region was the worst affected by the poll violence.

President Kibaki meanwhile also urged all elected Members of Parliament to rededicate their services to Kenyans and help improve their living standards.

He urged the youth to take advantage of the various programmes directed towards empowering them, such as the Youth Enterprise Fund, so that they could lead decent lives.

More than 30 MPs from the region attended the gathering, where Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka observed that with the country back on track, Kenya could resume its pivotal role of promoting regional peace, particularly in Somalia.

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The VP intimated that the three main contenders for the Presidency in December were working together for sake of all Kenyans.

The leaders’ sentiments came just a day after chief mediator and former UN boss Kofi Annan impressed on the new administration not to forget the tragedy that befell the country earlier this year.

He said while receiving an honorary degree from the University of Nairobi for his role in negotiating the peace pact, that the leaders had a duty to implement the National Peace Accord agreed in February and especially the final mediated question on essential reforms.

The career diplomat also asked Kenyans to hold their political leaders accountable to ensure the implementation of the Waki and Kriegler reports – on the post election violence and electoral malpractices respectively.

A wave of chilling violence swept through the country at the start of the year after President Mwai Kibaki was announced winner of a bitterly disputed December 2007 general election, leaving about 1,200 dead in its wake and 350,000 others displaced.

Since then national and religious leaders have been working to dampen tribal hostilities and repair damaged inter-tribal relations, in a drive towards peace, healing and national reconciliation.

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