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Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Wednesday, 30 January 2008

African press fears crisis point

African press graphic

As the crisis in Kenya starts to affect the upper reaches of government with the killing of a member of parliament, African papers speak of a make-or-break situation.

Some Kenyan papers are urging President Mwai Kibaki to take a stronger stand to halt the bloodshed. One daily places hope in the talks between the government and opposition, mediated by Kofi Annan, saying the discussions must focus on peace rather than power-sharing.

Other African papers reflect a sense of urgency about the crisis. A Ugandan daily says Kenya's economy is collapsing. Another commentator says the point of no return has been reached, and fears another Rwanda scenario.

EDITORIAL IN KENYA'S NAIROBI STAR

In times of national crisis, great leaders emerge... Kenya today stands at such a crisis point and it is up to President Kibaki to rise to the challenge... Kibaki should step forward and play a more dynamic personal and public role in trying to calm the nation.

EDITORIAL IN KENYA'S NATION

President Kibaki now occupies State House and owes this country a responsibility. Granted, the legitimacy of his presidency is in question, but nobody is better placed than he to deal with the daily slaughter of innocent Kenyans and the rancid climate of ethnic distrust... Mr Kibaki, if Kenya disintegrates, history books will record that the collapse of a once great, united and prosperous country happened on your watch.

EDITORIAL IN KENYA'S STANDARD

We condemn the killing of Embakasi MP, Mr Mugabe Were... It is important to give the police a chance to investigate the murder and hope they do so as quickly as possible... The police should ensure that this killing is investigated and suspects prosecuted. The government should boost MPs' security so that they are not easy prey.

EDITORIAL IN KENYA'S STANDARD

At last, it is encouraging that Party of National Unity (PNU) and opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) are holding formal talks... The talks must, however, not be about satisfying the power ambitions and egos of politicians. They must not be about the much-touted sharing of power. Before it comes to that, the negotiations must be about peace, harmony and reconciliation among the people.

EDITORIAL IN UGANDA'S NEW VISION

It is urgent that the new round of talks this week yields better results - because apart from the senseless loss of lives, the Kenyan economy is caving in with tourists fleeing the country in droves... Kenya's economic, social and political success will be history if the key players in the conflict do not pause and settle for a sober solution.

ETIM ETIM IN NIGERIA'S THE GUARDIAN

It is a grave but understandable irony that Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua... has not offered even a whimper on the political crisis rocking Kenya... Our president is acutely aware that he himself is a product of an equally flawed election (or a worse variant)... The kettle cannot call the pot black, you may say.

CHEICK BELDH'OR SIGUE IN BURKINA FASO'S LE PAYS

The law of the machete and the bludgeon has taken residence in the land of Kenya's founding president, Jomo Kenyatta... It is all very clear, really: the point of no return has been reached. There is now cause to fear a scenario similar to Rwanda if nothing is done to stop the cycle of violence.

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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