NPR logo U.N. Chief Arrives in Kenya to Aid Peace Talks


U.N. Chief Arrives in Kenya to Aid Peace Talks

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged Kenyans Friday to end the political and ethnic crisis that has claimed more than 800 lives.

In Nairobi to add his diplomatic clout to mediation efforts, Ban warned that recent violent developments threaten to escalate to "catastrophic levels."

Ban met with former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is the chief mediator in the Kenya conflict, for a briefing on the progress of the peace negotiations. The pair once again appealed for an end to the violence that has lasted more than a month.

Ban met Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki Thursday at the African Union summit in Ethiopia. Ban is also scheduled to meet with opposition leader Raila Odinga and others.

The violence in Kenya began after Kibaki's disputed re-election in December. Odinga has charged that Kibaki rigged the outcome, while Kibaki said he was legitimately elected. International observers said the count was so chaotic it was impossible to tell who won.