Talks needed to end increasing violence

In Summary

• The African Union has called for talks between President Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga

• Escalating violence has led to attacks on shops, police and property linked to political leaders

Kenya is now balanced on a knife-edge where it could easily topple into tit-for-tat violence.

The instability originally came out of opposition leader Raila Odinga's mass action where he sought to remove the government of President William Ruto and reduce the cost of living.

But it now appears that government supporters, with or without official blessing, have attacked the huge Northlands farm belonging to the Kenyattas and the Spectre gas cylinder company belonging to Raila Odinga.

There is a real risk of escalating revenge attacks and of a rapid descent into serious violence.

The African Union has called for peace talks between both sides. This will be difficult to swallow for both Raila and Ruto. Both feel they should be President and Ruto has the additional imprimatur of being appointed by the IEBC and confirmed by the Supreme Court.

Nevertheless, Ruto remains President for all Kenyans and has a special responsibility to maintain the stability of Kenya.

His first move on his return from Germany should be to meet Raila or his representatives. And Raila should not try to turn this into a tactical victory but into an opportunity to restore peace to Kenya.

Quote of the day: "Recovery begins from the darkest moment."

John Major
The English Prime Minister was born on March 29, 1943

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