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Kenya Needs UN’s Help, Says Top Lawmaker

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon talks at a news conference during Summit (file photo)

A top Kenyan lawmaker is calling on UN secretary General Ban Ki Moon to put pressure on President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to fully implement that country’s new constitution.

The UN chief concludes a two-day official visit to the East African nation today (Friday).

“This [constitution] requires massive institutional and financial support. And I hope the UN Secretary General will urge both principals to make sure that the new constitution is implemented to the letter,” said Honorable Aden Keynan, chairman of the parliamentary committee on defense and foreign affairs.

Kenya is scheduled to go to the polls next year. However there is growing debate about whether the election should be held in August or December.

Keynan says the country will need the UN’s expertise in organizing credible elections to ensure next year’s general election is devoid of irregularities and violence.

“We hope the UN is going to lend support to the election and the boundary commission and the general public, so that we can have a free and fair election, without any controversies as we experienced in 2007 and 2008.”

The post-election violence left more than 1,300 people dead and many more displaced.

This week, Kenya’s parliament adopted a resolution asking the government to send troops to join African Union forces in Somali battling the hard-line insurgent group, al-Shabab.

Recently, Kenya sent troops to neighboring Somalia to combat al-Shabab militants who are accused of committing cross-border acts of violence and kidnappings.

Keynan says he expects the UN chief to help Kenya in its efforts with neighboring countries to stabilize Somalia.

“I hope the head of the UN will give support to the Kenyan government in order to realize that peace and lasting security in Somalia,” said Keynan.