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FOREIGN SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND SPEAKS OF THE CRISIS IN KENYA ON A BBC RADIO 4 INTERVIEW (11/01/08)

Eddie Mair:

This lunchtime as news was just coming in that the African Union mission appeared doomed PM heard from the Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

David Miliband:

Obviously we’ve been following this very carefully since President Kufuor’s arrival, an arrival of which we argued very strongly for. The reason for the AU mission is that we need an external pressure in there, an external force, to try to bridge the gap between the two sides because in the end Kenya needs a Government that shares political power and recognises between Government and opposition they have to unite the Kenyan people.

EM:

Who is President of Kenya?

DM:

Well at the moment there isn’t a recognised Government in Kenya. We’ve had an election and it’s disputed and the dispute centres on some very we, seemingly very well founded allegations of irregularities that have been exposed by the European Union amongst others and very few Governments around the world have recognised President Kibaki after the election. I think what’s important is that any new Government before it’s recognised is clearly there as a result of constitutional processes that respect the rule of law and the basic tenets of democracy. And critically also recognise that Kenya needs a system that shares political power to bridge the ethnic and other divisions in the country.

EM:

Just one final thought, the, the latest evidence coming from the Human Rights Commission in Kenya points the finger at Mr Kibaki. There’s been a certain amount of equivalence hasn’t there from the, the British Government and others about what went wrong during the election. Is it time to be a little more partisan?

DM:

Well I don’t think we’ve been equivalent. We’ve said that in every case of an allegation of irregularity is should be followed through without fear and without favour and that is true whether in respect of the election irregularities or in respect of the violence. It’s absolutely vital that democracy isn’t just done, but it’s seen to be done and that means however powerful the individuals we follow through, or Kenyans follow through on allegations that they have not honoured the basics of democracy that are essential to the credibility of the new Kenyan Government and the confidence of the Kenyan people and the international community.

EM:

David Miliband. And tonight the Federation of Tour Operators announced that all UK charter flights to Kenya have been suspended up to and included Monday January the 14th.



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