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France 24
26 January 2008

Former UN chief Kofi Annan said Saturday he had seen "gross and systematic human rights abuses" in western Kenya after violence sparked by contested presidential elections last month.

"We saw gross and systematic human rights abuses of fellow citizens," Annan said in Nairobi after a visit to the conflict-torn western Rift Valley.

"Impunity can not be allowed to stand," he added.

Annan earlier visited the heart of Kenya's ethnic fighting along with former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa and Graca Machel, wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela, as 15 more people were reported killed overnight in nearby Nakuru.

They are part of the latest international effort to mediate the crisis sparked by the widely-contested reelection of President Mwai Kibaki on December 30, in which opposition leader Raila Odinga claims to have been robbed of victory.

Along with Kenyan officials, the trio toured camps of the displaced in Cherangani and Eldoret, scene of some of the worst post-poll violence, as well as Total, a shopping post in Molo district that was razed to the ground in fighting between supporters of Kibaki and Odinga.

Around 800 people have been killed and some 260,000 others displaced across the country, mainly in the west and the capital's slums, since the disputed poll touched off a wave of deadly rioting and ethnic killings.

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