The former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says that violence and reports of militia groups organizing five months before Kenya's presidential election are a "cause of great concern."

Annan on Thursday urged Kenyan leaders to carry out security sector reforms before the March vote.

The international envoy is in the country to meet with Kenyan leaders to make sure the groundwork for a peaceful election is being laid. More than 1,000 people were killed in political/ethnic violence that broke out after Kenya's 2007 presidential election. Annan helped broker a compromise to end the violence.

Annan said he also met with international ambassadors and said that the global community is keenly interested in seeing a peaceful election.