President Uhuru Kenyatta shakes hands with US President Donald Trump before a performance by the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra in the ancient Greek theatre as part of the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017. /COURTESY

U.S Reaffirms Support For Uhuru Kenyatta In Kenya’s Presidential Standoff

By Ajong Mbapndah L

President Uhuru Kenyatta shakes hands with US President Donald Trump before a performance by the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra in the ancient Greek theatre as part of the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017. /COURTESY
President Uhuru Kenyatta shakes hands with US President Donald Trump before a performance by the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra in the ancient Greek theatre as part of the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017. /COURTESY

The U.S Government has urged the leaders and citizens of Kenya to begin a national conversation to build cohesion and address long standing issues.

In a press statement issued on February 1 by State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert,the U.S government expressed grave concerns to the self-inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga on January 30 .Such actions undermine the Kenya’s constitution and the rule of law, the statement from Nauert  read.

“Uhuru Kenyatta was elected as President of the Republic of Kenya on October 26, 2017 in a poll that was upheld by Kenya’s Supreme Court,” said Nauert.

While calling on the use of appropriate legal mechanisms to resolve grievances, the statement salutes the security forces in Kenya for the restraint shown during Raila’s self-inauguration and urges them to shun any excessive use of force.

Calling on  Kenyans to reject violence and hatred, the State Department Spokesperson said all arrests, and prosecutions must be made in full accordance with the law, and transparent due process.

The statement condemns the decision of the Kenyan Government to crack down on some media houses.

“Freedom of expression, including for members of the media, is essential to democracy and is enshrined in Kenya’s Constitution. We urge the Government and all Kenyans to respect freedom of expression and implement court orders calling for the restoration of television broadcasts, Nauert said.

“The United States stands firmly with the people of Kenya; it is only Kenyans who can find a way to resolve their differences and chart the destiny of this great country,” Nauert said

President Uhuru Kenyatta who participated recently at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa enjoys strong support amongst African leaders, and is serving what should be his second, and last term. His victory  was facilitated by the controversial decision of opposition challenger Raila Odinga to participate in the rerun of the elections ordered by the Supreme Court.

Full Statement

Press Statement

Heather Nauert
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 1, 2018

The United States is gravely concerned by Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga’s self-“inauguration” on January 30. We reject actions that undermine Kenya’s Constitution and the rule of law. Uhuru Kenyatta was elected as President of the Republic of Kenya on October 26, 2017 in a poll that was upheld by Kenya’s Supreme Court. Grievances must be resolved through appropriate legal mechanisms.

We commend the restraint shown by security forces and urge them to continue to refrain from any unnecessary or excessive use of force. Any arrests and prosecutions must be made in full accordance with the rule of law and demonstrate transparent due process. We urge all Kenyans to reject violence and hatred. Protesters have a right to assemble peacefully, to express their views freely, and to hold opinions without interference.

We are also deeply concerned by the Government’s action to shut down, intimidate, and restrict the media. Freedom of expression, including for members of the media, is essential to democracy and is enshrined in Kenya’s Constitution. We urge the Government and all Kenyans to respect freedom of expression and implement court orders calling for the restoration of television broadcasts.

We again urge Kenyan leaders and citizens to begin a national conversation to build cohesion and address long-standing issues. The United States continues to support efforts by religious, business, and civil society leaders to begin this conversation in the near future and calls on everyone to participate in this endeavor. The United States stands firmly with the people of Kenya; it is only Kenyans who can find a way to resolve their differences and chart the destiny of this great country.

Share

Comments

comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*