The bloodshed in Kenya gets worse by the day. Nearly 900 people have already lost their lives in the violence sparked by December's rigged presidential election. The international community needs to put a stop to these atrocities and push Kenya back from the brink of civil war.
The first step is to announce a schedule for new elections. December's vote was so flawed it robs President Mwai Kibaki of any legitimacy at home or on the global stage. The irregularities stoked long-simmering ethnic hatreds, which are playing out now as Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe and the opposition Luos shoot, hack and stone each other to death. The prospect of new elections could calm Kenya, stem the violence and lay the conditions for a fair, free and transparent vote.
The international community needs to press the warring sides to halt the fighting. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Anna, who is brokering peace talks, said the two main rival groups agreed Friday to a framework for political talks. But it will take diplomatic pressure to end the crisis once the talks get under way. The African Union needs to take more responsibility for its regional security role. The United Nations needs to do more than issue proclamations. And the U.S. State Department should move beyond the semantics of whether ethnic cleansing is taking place. The world needs to ratchet up the pressure on Kibaki and his rival, Raila Odinga, to halt the slaughter.