January 4, 2008
Dr Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Madame Secretary,
We appreciate your statement on January 2 calling for a cessation of violence in Kenya. Unfortunately the violence and underlying causes of the conflict have not been resolved, and we urgently request that you make lasting peace in Kenya a priority and use all available diplomatic resources to help Kenyans bring a definitive end to the violence.
Kenya has the largest population of members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the world and Friends in Kenya and the Great Lakes Region have actively worked to promote peaceful alternatives to violence and promote reconciliation.
As you know, Quakers abide by a peace testimony that renounces all forms of violence; and in this spirit of non-violence we ask that you personally make another strong public statement calling for the cessation of all violence in Kenya, call on political parties to reiterate their commitments to a peaceful resolution of the current crisis, and work with the African Union and other multilateral organizations to support efforts to resolve the crisis.
Additionally, a lasting commitment by the US to promote democracy and peace is needed in Kenya and throughout East Africa. We urge you to make a sustainable peace in Kenya and throughout Africa a priority and to commit sufficient resources to achieve this goal. As part of this effort we urge you to increase funding for conflict prevention programs and reconciliation programs that bring together people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds to resolve their differences peacefully. While we understand that much of the President’s budget request for FY 09 has already been finalized, we hope that you will consider increasing funding for reconciliation and peace promotion programs in the upcoming budget so as to address some of the underlying causes of violent conflict. In addition, robustly funding programs that support economic and social development are integral to a country’s successful-and peaceful- development and we ask that the FY 09 budget contains increased funding for the Development Assistance account over last year’s request so as to help mitigate the economic disparity that exists within Kenya and much of the developing world and which fuels deadly conflict and violence.
We hope that you will commit to taking a leadership role in supporting a peaceful resolution to the current crisis in Kenya and that you will continue to work to support efforts to promote lasting peace in Kenya.
Friends Committee on National Legislation