THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published — Sunday 24 February 2013
Last update 24 February 2013 3:45 am
NAIROBI, Kenya: The former head of the UN — the man who helped save Kenya from spiraling deeper into election violence five years ago — warned yesterday that intimidation, ethnic rivalry and violence could undermine Kenya’s March 4 presidential vote.
Kofi Annan said that Kenya is on a positive trajectory five years after postelection violence killed more than 1,000 people and forced some 600,000 from their homes. But he reminded Kenyans that their country stood on the “precipice of self-destruction” after the country’s last vote.
“The elections must be peaceful, free and fair. They must be conducted in accordance with the rule of law.
They must be carried out with integrity, and must reflect the will of the people. Only then will national unity, stability and cohesion be safeguarded,” Annan said in a statement.
“Yet, intimidation, electoral violence and ethnic rivalry have the potential to undermine and jeopardize the whole process,” he added. “And that is why recent violent events and increasing tensions in the run-up to the elections are deeply worrying.”