From BBC - Thursday, 31 January 2008, 10:18 GMT
African leaders at their summit in Ethiopia have been told they must get involved with the crisis in Kenya.
AU commission chairman Alpha Oumar Konare told them they could not just sit by. "If Kenya burns, there will be nothing for tomorrow," he said.
Mr Konare - the AU's top executive - said it was the AU's duty to support the mediation process which is led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
The current UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Kenyan leaders to find a peaceful way out.
"President [Mwai] Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga... have a special responsibility to solve the crisis peacefully," he told the summit.
Mr Kibaki is among more than 40 leaders present at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, even though the ODM called on the AU not to recognise him.
Mr Odinga, by contrast, has not been invited.
The BBC's Will Ross, reporting from the conference, says all eyes will be on Mr Kibaki.
He says Mr Kibaki is likely to brief at least some of the African leaders on events in Kenya, especially the talks between government and opposition.
The Kenyan crisis may then be pushed away, which could be convenient for an organisation which often struggles to tackle the continent's problems with any great urgency, he says.
Despite Mr Konare's plea, the official theme of the AU summit is industrialisation.
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