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Published:February 1st, 2008 01:58 EST
Violence in Kenya Concerns UN Security Council

Violence in Kenya Concerns UN Security Council

By SOP newswire

The Security Council yesterday heard a closed-door briefing on the situation in Kenya, where post-electoral violence has claimed hundreds of lives, including dozens in recent days, while forcing more than a quarter of a million others to flee their homes.

In New York, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe briefed the Council on the latest developments in the East African nation, where nearly 700 people are believed to have been killed in the violence, which first began a few weeks ago after Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner over opposition leader Raila Odinga in December elections.

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Mr. Pascoe said that there is a "need for the parties to work together" to bring the violence to an end.

Voicing support for the mediation efforts of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, he said the Organization has been deeply involved from the start to bring the situation under control. Additionally, he said that numerous humanitarian organizations have been active on the ground and providing assistance to those forced to flee their homes.

During the Council meeting, members "called on Kenya's leaders to do all what is in their power to bring the violence to an end and to restore calm," Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi of Libya, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month, told the press.

Meanwhile in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discussed the situation with the African Union Chairperson, Alpha Oumar Konaré, ahead of his address to the AU summit tomorrow.

The two leaders agreed that the AU and UN should support the current efforts by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, according to a spokesperson for the world body.

UN agencies are warning that Kenya's crisis has taken a sharp turn for the worse in recent days with violence claiming many more lives and hampering relief efforts.