Barack Obama Calls for 'Peaceful and Credible' Kenyan Elections amid Fears of Violence

By DePiero, Leah | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, August 7, 2017 | Go to article overview

Barack Obama Calls for 'Peaceful and Credible' Kenyan Elections amid Fears of Violence


DePiero, Leah, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


Former President Barack Obama on Monday called for unity and peace during what he fears could be potentially violent elections on Tuesday in Kenya, his father's homeland.

"I urge Kenyan leaders to reject violence and incitement; respect the will of the people; urge security forces to act professionally and neutrally; and no matter the outcome," Obama said in a statement on Monday. "I urge all Kenyans to work for an election -- and aftermath -- that is peaceful and credible, reinforcing confidence in your new constitution and the future of your country."

Incumbent Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is running for a second term as president against opposition leader Raila Odinga as the two primary candidates out of eight running for election on Tuesday. Kenyans will also vote for the governors of 47 counties in Kenya.

In 2007, more than 1,000 people died as the result of violent clashes in the aftermath of the election after Odinga said the election had been rigged. The election in 2012 did not result in major violence, but people are still concerned about potential violence, and Kenyans have fled the capital of Nairobi in anticipation of the election, the BBC reported.

According to the Independent, Kenyan politics is often divided along ethnic lines and areas where these tensions could erupt into violence also concern Kenyans and election monitors. …

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