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Press despair as Kenya crisis continues

A Kikuyu woman walks past houses burned to the ground during ethnic clashes
Thousands of Kenyans have been displaced

The press in Kenya and neighbouring countries expresses deep dismay that the post-election violence has continued despite talks being held between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga to find a way out of the crisis.

Several Kenyan commentators doubt that the talks mediated by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan will succeed unless political leaders acknowledge the full extent of the crisis and its underlying causes.

In neighbouring Uganda, one writer calls on the Kenyan government to engage with the opposition, while another urges the Ugandan-born Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, to speak out on the crisis.

KENYA'S INDEPENDENT SUNDAY STANDARD

The spiral of post-election violence, the killings, displacement and wanton destruction of property have reached catastrophic levels. It is time we stopped burying our heads in the sand as government officials claim life is returning to normal.

GITAU WARIGI IN KENYA'S SUNDAY NATION

Mr Annan cannot avoid looking at the way the ethnic card has been played at different times by different politicians and to what ends? I agree with people who subscribe to the fact that power-sharing is good in principle. But I don't see it working when each side believes it won the election fair and square.

KENYA'S INDEPENDENT WEEKLY NEWSPAPER SUNDAY NATION

It is now recognised that women and children are bearing the brunt of the raging conflict. Sexual abuse has been thrown into the equation, and these two vulnerable groups are suffering double jeopardy... the increase in sexual attacks is a direct offshoot of the breakdown of law and order and the consequent collapse of social mechanisms. In our situation, there is no substitute for peace in ensuring women and girls are safe from sexual depredation.

KENYAN PRIVATELY-OWNED NEWSPAPER DAILY NATION

In this situation it is pointless for any group to crow that they are properly elected and fully in charge of government. The reality is that the instruments of governance have been overwhelmed with the protests that followed the disputed presidential election.

UGANDA'S INDEPENDENT SUNDAY MONITOR

Kibaki's camp cannot pretend that there is no crisis in Kenya when killings are continuing. As a way forward, Mr Odinga has floated three options: Kibaki's resignation, a vote re-run, or power-sharing then a new election. Disagreeable as these suggestions maybe for Mr Kibaki's side, they should surely form the basis of dialogue.

SAM AKAKI IN UGANDA'S SUNDAY MONITOR

Uganda-born Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu has not uttered a word on the events in Kenya where the people have been drowning in blood for almost 30 days. Has the bishop got a selective sense of injustice, only noticing and condemning human rights abuses in the Middle East and Zimbabwe, or is he too busy praying for Mr Mugabe's immediate demise to care about the evolving genocide in Kenya?

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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