US to deal with those responsible for lack of progress in Kenya talks

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The US announced Tuesday it would take “necessary steps” against those responsible for the lack of progress in the attempt to resolve Kenya’s post-poll violence which is being mid-wived by a team of eminent persons led by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.

This indication was given in a “terse” statement, credited to the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, and made available to panapress by the state department in Washington.

The statement quoted Rice as saying “I want to emphasize that the future of our relationship with both sides and their legitimacy hinges on their cooperation to achieve this political solution.”

She said “In that regard, we are exploring a wide range of possible actions. We will draw our own conclusions about who is responsible for the lack of progress and take necessary steps.

“We will also exert leadership with the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union and others to ensure that the political solution the Kenyan people deserve is achieved.”

She said the US was a strong friend and partner of Kenya, recalling that since the outset of the electoral crisis, “we have urged a political solution acceptable to the Kenyan people.

“The crescendo of peaceful voices continues to mount from a broad range of civil society organizations, churches, and directly from the Kenyan people on the need for a political solution. I join my voice to that of the Kenyan people.”

The Annan-led team has been engaged in intensive efforts to help the parties achieve a solution.

Rice said “I strongly support those efforts,” adding “Last week, President Mwai Kibaki and the Honorable Raila Odinga assured me of their commitment to work out a structure for the real sharing of power to govern the country.”

The US official said “While some progress has been made, I am disappointed by the failure of the leadership necessary to resolve all the remaining issues.”

She warned that “there can be no excuse for further delay. There can also be no excuse for violence, and those responsible must be held accountable.”

She said she had conveyed to both sides the commitment of President George Bush and the US government to support a political solution and to provide the additional assistance that Kenyans would need to rebuild, reconcile and carry out institutional reforms.


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