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Message to Kenyans by The Elders' Chair Desmond Tutu

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Monday, 4 February, 2008

Following post-election violence in Kenya, Desmond Tutu appeals to all Kenyans to stand up for peace.

[Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as delivered via radio interview on BBC World, Network Africa Feb 4, 2008, Cape Town]

“This is Archbishop Desmond Tutu – and my heart aches for Kenya.

You and your countrymen and women have suffered greatly. It is in your power to stop the violence - if you act as one.

You have an opportunity now to stand up for peace. Support the agreement that has been mediated by my fellow Elders Kofi Annan, Graça Machel as well as former President Benjamin Mkapa.

The agreement reached on February 1st allows for an end to the violence. It addresses the humanitarian crisis of refugees and the internally displaced. It seeks to break the political logjam that sparked the crisis. And it will be the basis for settling historical injustices.

Join me in appealing to the goodness and strength that is in every Kenyan. Respect the rights and dignity of one another. Expect your leaders to do the same. And let your leaders know that that this peaceful path is Kenya’s way forward.

If you are asked to take up arms, reject that call. By putting down your arms you will demonstrate the character that God gave to each of you, and to which I now appeal.

God Bless.”

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