Sunday, February 3, 2008

The United Nations Tries to Fix the Kenyan Crisis

The President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, recently held a series of meetings with African Heads of State during the 10th summit of the African Union, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

During the meetings, Mr. Kaberuka stressed the importance of ending the crisis in Kenya and not losing the gains made over the past several years.

During his meetings with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, Mr. Kaberuka suggested ways the bank could help end the crisis. In a joint statement with the World Bank, The African Development Bank stated the following:

"By our early estimates, the current situation could drive 2 million Kenyans into poverty, reversing the gains made over the last few years".

Both institutions went further, saying that they "support efforts by Mr. Kofi Annan and his team, under the African Union initiative, to bring all parties together to make credible and visible progress toward quick and peaceful reconciliation."

Additionally, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, was in Kenya this week to put energy behind the efforts of Kofi Annan and his mediation talks.

Mr Ban made his appearance as France called for the UN Security Council to get more deeply involved in the Kenyan Crisis. Thus far, the crisis has left 850 dead and over 300,000 homeless.

Mr. Ban's message to Mwai Kibaki, Raila Odinga and the Kenyan people was simple: "It has to stop." His message was delivered in Nairobi and repeated several times.

At the same time Mr. Ban was speaking in Nairobi, Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya, Ross Hynes, was also getting involved Mr. Hynes stated that Canada can no longer engage in "business as usual" with the Kenyan government. He claimed that Canada would refuse contact with Kenyan leaders accused of disabling democratic institutions. He also said that they may even deny them visas to his country.

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