Returning to Kenya, Annan applauds cabinet but warns of work ahead

Other News Materials 16 April 2008 21:33

( dpa ) - Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan returned to Kenya Wednesday, congratulating a new coalition government he helped form but warning that much remains to be done to return the East African country to its former glory.

Annan, who spent a month in Kenya brokering a peace deal following a vicious spate of post-election violence earlier this year, returned to see the cabinet sworn in Thursday.

"One has to mould this 40-member cabinet into a cohesive, productive and effective team that is going to work to steer this nation aright," Annan said after touching down.

Annan called the cabinet naming "an important step" but warned of a "long way to go." He urged President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to work towards healing the wounds from the conflict that saw neighbour turn on neighbour.

Kenya's bloated cabinet - meant to fit backers from both leaders' once warring parties - was named Sunday after weeks of wrangling which stirred fears violence could reignite.

More than 1,000 people were killed in the ethnic-based violence over December's disputed polls which paralysed Kenya's economy and tarnished its image as a beacon of stability in a volatile region.