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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid