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Situation in Kenya

Published on February 27, 2008
Statement by Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

Paris, January 31, 2008

We are very concerned about the violence which is continuing to convulse Kenya, causing many victims and bringing the number of displaced persons to 290,000 in a very disturbing humanitarian context. Barbarous acts are being committed; civilians are being killed in horrifying conditions. Women and children are being violated. Two opposition lawmakers have also been killed.

We fear lest these excesses plunge Kenya into a deadly ethnic conflict of an ethnic character.

The origin of the present crisis lies in the immense disappointment of the Kenyan people in the face of an election result marred by irregularities. The solution is political and must be swift. Both parties now face a historic responsibility: choose dialogue or bear responsibility for a political and human catastrophe.

France reaffirms its confidence in Mr. Kofi Annan to pursue his mediation. It also reaffirms its support for the efforts of the African Union and the United Nations Secretary-General to end the violence and find a political solution to the crisis.

In the name of the responsibility to protect, it is urgent to help the people of Kenya. The United Nations Security Council must take up this question and act./.

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