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Rice urging Kenyan leaders to quell violence

thecheers.org    2008-01-02 13:34:08    

Rice has already spoke with Raila Odinga, who was defeated by Kibaki in the election marred by accusations of fraud. More than 300 people have died in violence since Kibaki was declared the winner.
Washington (dpa) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was to telephone Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday to urge him to work with the political opposition to end the violence that has swept the country since the disputed December 27 election.

Rice has already spoke with Raila Odinga, who was defeated by Kibaki in the election marred by accusations of fraud. More than 300 people have died in violence since Kibaki was declared the winner.

"It's important for the Kenyan people and for their democracy to work within the confines of the law and constitution to find a political way forward and, most importantly, to put an end to the violence," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

More than 100,000 people have fled their homes during the outbreak of the ethnic violence. A Kenyan government spokesman has accused Odinga of sparking "ethnic cleansing" while Odinga has charged the Kibaki administration is guilty of "genocide."

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the burning of a church on Tuesday where dozens of people had sought refuge "was absolutely tragic." Thirty five people died in the blaze.

"What happened there yesterday was absolutely tragic," Perino said.

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