31 December 2007 Strongly deploring the loss of human lives in Kenya after the announcement of election results, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the security forces there to show utmost restraint and appealed to the population for calm, patience and respect for law.
?The Secretary General calls on the political parties and leaders to resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue and by making full use of the existing legal mechanisms and procedures,? a statement issued by his spokesperson said.
It added that Mr. Ban had been closely following developments in the East African country since the announcement of the results of the elections and was concerned at the ensuing violence.
In a separate statement, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour also expressed her deep concern, calling on the Government to abide by its international human rights obligations in responding to demonstrations.
That includes holding police accountable for their actions. While recognizing the challenges in maintaining order, she said security forces must employ force only in proportion to the actual threat faced.
She stressed equally that it was essential for the organizers of the demonstrations and their followers to employ only peaceful means of protest. She also strongly urged the Government to ensure that journalists be permitted to freely carry out their work.