The United Nations political chief Thursday stressed the need for all Kenyans and their institutions to ensure the upcoming general elections in March are credible, peaceful and transparent.
"Kenya's elections will be watched closely around the world," Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said during a visit to Nairobi, the capital.
"Let me take this opportunity to appeal to all Kenyans to exercise their democratic right and participate actively - but peacefully - in the elections," he said. "Let me also underscore the responsibility shared by leaders at all levels to abide by legal mechanisms and to send a clear message to supporters that violence of any kind would be unacceptable."
Feltman, who oversees UN support to elections globally in his capacity as Focal Point for UN Electoral Assistance, commended the electoral authorities for their preparations and underscored the readiness of the UN to continue providing financial and technical assistance to the electoral process.
During his visit, Feltman met the Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya and praised the Commission's successful conduct of the registration of voters in record time, as well as efforts to avoid any violence.
The previous general elections were held in December 2007, and were followed by post-election violence in which more than 1,100 people were killed, 3,500 injured and up to 600,000 forcibly displaced.