29 February 2008


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Madam Ban Soon-taek arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday morning, 1 February, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Secretary-General met first with former Secretary-General Kofi Annan to reiterate his fullest support to the mediation efforts of the Panel of Eminent African Persons led by Mr. Annan who briefed him on the progress of the talks between the parties.  Later, the Secretary-General was introduced to the group of mediators meeting that morning with Mr. Annan.  The Secretary-General appealed to them to stop the violence, to look beyond party lines and think of the country’s future.

The Secretary-General who had met President Mwai Kibaki the day before in Addis Ababa, also held consultations in Nairobi with opposition leader Raila Odinga, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and members of the Kenyan Government.  He also met with representatives of civil society.  In these encounters, the Secretary-General emphasized the need to restore peace throughout the country and to resolve all issues through dialogue.

The Secretary-General also met with United Nations heads of agencies and held a town hall meeting with United Nations staff on the Gigiri campus.

Speaking that afternoon to the media, the Secretary-General expressed his concern over the civil strife that had led to an intolerable level of deaths, destruction, displacement and suffering in Kenya.  “This is unacceptable,” the Secretary-General said.  “The killing must stop; the violence must end for the sake of the Kenyan people, for the sake of Kenya.  I am encouraged,” he said, “by the constructive spirit that has prevailed throughout my discussions so far.  I call on the negotiating teams to persevere and show the courage, vision and leadership to expeditiously find a just and peaceful solution.”  He appealed once more “to all Kenyans to end the violence and to put Kenya back on its rightful path -- that of one Kenya united in peace, progress and freedom for its people”.  The Secretary-General reaffirmed that the humanitarian assistance provided by the United Nations family to the people of Kenya will continue.

The Secretary-General and Madam Ban Soon-taek left Nairobi that evening to return to New York.

For information media. Not an official record.