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US Presidential Hopeful Barack Obama 'Deeply Troubled' by Kenyan Violence

  • Sarah Williams

Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama spoke with VOA's Sarah Williams Wednesday about post-election violence in Kenya.

Obama: "I've been deeply troubled by the recent news out of Kenya. The instability and tragic violence pose an urgent and dangerous threat to the people of Kenya and to Kenyan democracy.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all who have suffered and to the families of the victims.

The Kenyan people have a proud history of supporting the growth of democracy in their country. Their thirst for democracy was on display in this most recent election and they turned out to vote in record numbers in a peaceful and orderly way.

Despite irregularities in the vote tabulation, now is not the time to throw that strong democracy away, now is the time for President Kibaki and opposition leader Odinga and all of Kenya's political leaders to call for calm and come together to start the political process and to address peacefully the controversies that divide them. Now is the time for this terrible violence to end.

Kenya's long democratic journey has at times been difficult, but at critical moments Kenyans have chosen unity and progress over division and disaster.

The way forward is not through violence; it is through democracy and the rule of law. To all of Kenya's people I ask you to renew Kenya's democratic tradition and to seek your dreams in peace"

Williams: "You have such close family ties to Kenya, how do you feel about this personally?"

Obama: "It's tragic and troubling. It's important at this point for all the leaders involved to call for their supporters to stand down with violence, to restore sense of calm and order and to proceed in an orderly legal fashion to resolve these controversies."

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