News / Africa

Annan Praises Kenya Reforms Ahead of Election

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (R) attends a news conference with former President of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa in Nairobi, Kenya, October 11, 2012.Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (R) attends a news conference with former President of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa in Nairobi, Kenya, October 11, 2012.
x
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (R) attends a news conference with former President of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa in Nairobi, Kenya, October 11, 2012.
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (R) attends a news conference with former President of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa in Nairobi, Kenya, October 11, 2012.
Gabe Joselow
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrapped up his four-day trip Thursday to Kenya with a call for the country’s institutions to ensure free and fair elections next year. Annan also urged Kenya to assist the International Criminal Court in its case against two top presidential contenders.

Annan traveled to Kenya this week to assess the country’s preparations for next year’s election.

He and former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa are representing the African Union Panel of Eminent African Personalities in Kenya. The two dignitaries met with key stakeholders in the election process, including Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Kenya's chief justice and members of the electoral board.

Lauding progress

Speaking to reporters in Nairobi on Thursday, Annan was positive about Kenya’s progress, particularly judicial reforms establishing a mechanism for settling electoral disputes and implementation of a new constitution.

He called this “one of the most important times" in Kenya's recent history.

“Let us not forget the significant journey Kenya has traveled in the last five years. Through its new constitution, Kenya has a clear and agreed framework for a peaceful and prosperous future,” said Annan.

The new election, scheduled for March 4, will bring an end to the coalition government that Annan had helped to establish to resolve the leadership battle after the disputed election in 2007.

Aiding ICC proceedings

More than 1,000 people were killed and 600,000 were displaced by post-election violence the last time around, after results of the contest between Odinga and current President Mwai Kibaki were called into question.

The International Criminal Court has indicted four Kenyans for crimes related to the violence, including two top presidential contenders - Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and parliamentary member William Ruto.

Annan said the ICC issue was brought up in every one of his meetings. He urged Kenyans to cooperate with the proceedings.

"With respect to these cases, there is only one way ahead. These cases are against individuals and not against any tribe or group. Justice must be done, and Kenya is obliged to assist the court in accordance with the Rome Statute,” said Annan.

The ICC trial has loomed over next year’s vote, raising a question about whether the politicians on trial can still serve in office if found guilty.

Annan and Mkapa declined to comment on that aspect of the case.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid