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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 13:13 GMT
Key players on Kenya: In quotes
Luos search passing vehicles for Kikuyus at a makeshift roadblock in Kisumu
The situation has descended into a cycle of revenge attacks
Reactions from key political figures inside and outside Kenya to the spiralling ethnic violence - as former UN secretary general Kofi Annan mediates talks between the government and opposition in an effort to resolve the crisis.

The number of people killed since December's disputed elections is close to 900 and rising.

MEDIATOR KOFI ANNAN

"There is one Kenya. We all have multiple identities... We are confident that the issues can be resolved within a year... and the immediate political issues can be resolved within four weeks if not shorter."

KENYAN PRESIDENT MWAI KIBAKI

"Using violence against one another can never be a sustainable substitute to discussing with one another. As leaders, we have the responsibility to preach peace and act accordingly in our dealings with our followers. I encourage all our leaders to go to their regions and urge mwananchi (citizens) to pursue peace and reconciliation amongst one another."

KENYAN OPPOSITION LEADER RAILA ODINGA

"We did not in our darkest dreams imagine that children and women would be burned alive in our beloved Kenya as happened on Sunday in Naivasha, and earlier in Eldoret... I seek to be president of all Kenyans. Their deaths and suffering horrifies me."

KENYAN PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER KENNETH MARENDE

"Today our country is under serious threat of sliding into anarchy. Today as we meet our country bleeds... The hopes and aspirations of the entire nation are weighing down on your shoulders".

KENYAN OPPOSITION SECRETARY GENERAL ANYANG NYONG'O

"The talks have to make a difference, because we need to overcome this moment of madness in our republic.

"If the government really sent the security forces to maintain law and order with the same gusto with which they shot people in Nairobi who were demonstrating peacefully, peace could be restored.

"But apparently the police, as you hear, are standing by shooting in the air, more or less just observing as the situation gets worse."

KENYAN INTERNAL SECURITY MINISTER GEORGE SAITOTI

"We have decided to act tough this time and we're going to do so to make sure that the security of this country is secured, we want to make sure the situation is normal."

"We do not want to have the criminals running around and disrupting the activities of this country and I would like to tell those... who have been used to taking laws into their hands... that they are going to face very, very, very serious consequences."

US SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZZA RICE

"We are certainly asking everyone to maintain calm. It's deeply concerning."

US ASST. SECRETARY OF STATE FOR AFRICA JENDAYI FRAZER

"There has been an organised effort to push out people from Rift Valley... It is clearly ethnic cleansing. I don't consider it genocide."

"The cycle of retaliation has gone too far and has become more dangerous."

KENYAN NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE WANGARI MAATHAI

"I appeal to the elders of the various communities to reach out to others and appeal to the youth to stop the cycle of violence and vengeance... The international community will support us, but at the end of the day it is all up to Kenyans to sit down and resolve the issues." .

UK FOREIGN SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND

"We must continue to send a very resolute signal about the need for sides to calm their supporters against violence, for election irregularities to be properly investigated, and for political power-sharing to go forward."

UN ADVISER FOR PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE FRANCIS DENG

"Political and community leaders may be held accountable for violations of international law committed at their instigation."

SOUTH AFRICAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER AZIZ PAHAD

"It will begin to take dimensions of ethnic and tribal conflict that will be disastrous for Kenya and for the African continent as a whole... For us what is alarming is that there are increasing reports coming out that militias aligned to the main protagonists are now being armed and that creates a more volatile situation."

US PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL BARACK OBAMA

"Now is the time for all parties to renounce violence. Now is the time for Kenyan leaders to rise above party affiliations and past ambitions for the sake of peace."

UK MINISTER FOR AFRICA MARK MALLOCH-BROWN

"What is so alarming about the last few days is... there's evidently hidden hands organising it now."

UN AID CHIEF JOHN HOLMES

"The situation is deteriorating quite sharply at the moment with the violence we have seen over the last few days... We were preparing to deal with these humanitarian consequences over a time scale of say, three months.

"But as you know, you all see the situation is beginning to look more serious than that."

KENYAN HIGH COMISSIONER IN LONDON JOSEPH MUCHEMI

"The scale [of the problems] is bigger than we have seen in the past, but we had a disputed election in 1992 and we were able to resolve it. So I really don't think we can say it's gone beyond control completely. It is still solvable in my view...

"Under the chairmanship of Kofi Annan, I believe there's a possibility to develop an agenda that is going to be discussed, and which I think is going to be acceptable to Kenyans, once it is known that both sides have agreed to whatever Kofi Annan may come up with, and of course with the discussions with the leaders."

KENYAN OPPOSITION MP WILLIAM RUTO

"We have been consistent - violence does not advance the cause of this country. Violence does not advance the cause of democracy. Violence will not sort out the crisis we have in our country.

"And I have been very categorical that violence should not be a part of the solution for the problems we have."



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