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 Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid