Kagame says Kenyans must reconcile

May 28, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – Rwandan President Paul Kagame has urged Kenyans to focus on reconciliation to ensure the post election violence witnessed early last year does not recur.

Giving a key note address during the 7th Annual National Prayer Breakfast in Nairobi on Thursday, Mr Kagame urged political and religious leaders to spearhead the reconciliation initiative to ensure Kenya doesn’t become a failed state.

“A failed state is indeed a result of a failed leadership. The people of Kenya are a great people and Kenya is a great nation of God,” he said.

“So the people of Kenya cannot afford to fail,” he stated.

The Rwandan Head of State called on Kenyans to learn from Rwanda’s experience.

“For those societies that exhibit features of conflict, the single most decisive and pressing task facing them and their leaders in particular is to confront the root cause of instability before degenerating into conflicts or even wars,” Mr Kagame expressed.

President Mwai Kibaki, who also attended the function, urged all Kenyans to support ongoing efforts towards national reconciliation, healing and integration.

He particularly singled out political leaders whom he said play a fundamental role in championing the peace process.

“In particular, political leaders must demonstrate by word and deed that they are committed to the reconciliation and healing process,” he stressed.

President Kibaki explained that he singled out national reconciliation and healing because in the aftermath of the post poll aggression, national healing is one of the key challenges that Kenya faces and gave the assurance that the government was making tremendous progress towards this challenge.

The law establishing the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) was passed by Parliament in December last year.

The process of hiring the commissioners has now commenced with a view to having a fully established body within the next two months.

The Head of State further explained that the National Cohesion and Integration Act is now operational.

He said that the TJRC would address the issues of negative ethnic tendencies and lead the process of national reconciliation and integration. 

President Kibaki expounded that the country could only move forward should the process of healing and reconciliation take deep root among Kenyans as individuals.

“The nation must be healed by a common patriotism and sense of duty among all leaders,” he said.

“As leaders, we must be united in these endeavours. The people must sense a unifying force in their institutions of governance,” the President added.


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