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Put Kenya's motto into practice

Kenya's political leaders must "pull together" if the country is to recover from postelection violence.

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Kenya's motto, means "pull together." And indeed, since independence in 1963, many citizen-volunteers have helped build schools and health clinics. But especially now, as postelection violence splits the country, its political leaders need to catch the spirit.

Considerable international pressure is bearing down on Kenya's president, Mwai Kibaki, and its opposition leader, Raila Odinga, to come together and negotiate after flawed elections last month. The official – and dubious – results, which returned Mr. Kibaki to the presidency, triggered tribe-based riots that has left at least 500 killed and driven at least 250,000 people from their homes.

Foreign powers, aghast that this longtime anchor of East Africa is now caught in ethnic turmoil, are pushing the two men to find a solution.

The United States, which sees Kenya as a critical partner in the fight against Islamist terrorism, dispatched an envoy to facilitate dialogue. This week, the president of Ghana, who leads the African Union, arrived in an attempt to mediate. Several former African heads of state are visiting a badly hit area. "It's like seeing a neighbor's house on fire," said Mozambique's Joachim Chissano.


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