News / USA

Obama to Skip Kenya on Africa Tour

Obama to Skip Kenya on Africa Touri
X
June 21, 2013 10:30 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama begins his much-anticipated tour of Africa on June 27th, with one glaring omission: the president will not be visiting Kenya, the birthplace of his father. East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow reports a sticky political situation may be the reason.
Obama to Skip Kenya on Africa Tour
Gabe Joselow
U.S. President Barack Obama begins his much-anticipated tour of Africa on June 27 with one glaring omission: the president will not be visiting Kenya, the birthplace of his father. 

Obama's ancestral home is a tiny town called Kogelo in western Kenya. His name adorns schools and restaurants there and members of his family still live in the area.

And while many hoped he might visit the area on his tour of Africa, Obama will not be calling on Kogelo or any other place in Kenya. His only East African stop will be in neighboring Tanzania.

The president’s uncle, said the family will always welcome him home but has come to understand that the president has to represent American interests first.

“Many people thought that a lot of things will be coming around, which has not been the case. But I wouldn’t blame it on the president, it’s the American foreign policy, and we just have to accept that that’s the way it works,” stated Said Obama.

President Obama's trip to AfricaPresident Obama's trip to Africa
x
President Obama's trip to Africa
President Obama's trip to Africa
Obama last visited Kenya in 2006 when he was still a U.S. Senator. And while he is certainly under no obligation to visit the country again as a sitting president, his decision not to does raise questions about the strength of U.S.-Kenyan relations.

One challenge was the election in March of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is facing crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC).   The U.S. supports the ICC process, though it is not a signatory.

Adams Oloo, Political Science Chair at the University of Nairobi, said the U.S. president is likely trying to avoid a potentially embarrassing situation. “I think it will look a little bit crude if he were to step into Kenya, it would be like endorsing their leadership. And I think, rather than be viewed that way, he’d rather skip Kenya and go to Tanzania instead.”

U.S. officials cautioned Kenyan voters ahead of the election that “choices have consequences” - a veiled warning that electing ICC indictees could compromise relations.

Government spokesman, Muthui Kariuki, said, despite the warning, relations with the U.S. are still good.  And there are no hurt feelings about Obama’s itinerary. “This is not the first time an American president is coming to Africa and has not visited Kenya. We have no reason to worry and no, we are not disappointed," he said. "We continue with our business as usual.”

So for now, sleepy Kogelo will be spared the glitz and glamor of a presidential visit.
But it is still early in president Obama’s second term, and many here say “maybe next time.”

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
June 24, 2013 5:04 AM
It looks a wise choice for Obama to have skipped Kenya in this trip. Unnecessary impact on an awaiting election would be avoided.


by: Jacob
June 23, 2013 12:08 AM
And the tour to Zimbabwe ? mmmmm


by: Grace from: South Africa
June 21, 2013 12:37 PM
President Obama is under no obligation to visit Kenya. He is on an oficial visit, business of which have nothing to do with Kenya. I do not think there is any gain whatsover by his visit, it really is a blessing that he skips Kenya. The security detail that follow him everywhere is not worth the pain of hosting him. So thank you President Obama for saving Kenya the trouble

In Response

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
June 24, 2013 3:14 PM
The reason for Obama not to visit Kenya is not to safe Kenyans the trouble and pain of hosting him. Obama does not want Americans to see him shaking hands with current Kenyan president, Kenyatta, whom the world accused him of "tribal war criminal".

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid