News / Africa

US Citizens in Kenya Told to Be Cautious During Vote Ruling

Election clerks go through the re-tallying of votes after the Kenya Supreme Court issued an order in the ongoing presidential poll petition in Kenya's capital Nairobi March 26, 2013.
Election clerks go through the re-tallying of votes after the Kenya Supreme Court issued an order in the ongoing presidential poll petition in Kenya's capital Nairobi March 26, 2013.
Reuters
The U.S. Embassy in Kenya has warned its citizens of possible unrest this weekend when the Supreme Court is due to rule on a legal challenge to the outcome of the presidential election by losing candidate Raila Odinga.

Odinga alleged "rampant illegality" in the first-round victory this month of rival Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's founding president, who has said the voting was free and fair.

The case is another test of Kenyan democracy five years after a disputed vote ignited tribal violence.

Americans form a large part of the expatriate community in a country that is a hub for trade, multinational firms and the regional headquarters for U.N. agencies and other humanitarian organizations.

Analysts say a swift, transparent resolution of the petition will be critical to restoring Kenya's reputation as a stable democracy following post-election violence in early 2008 in which more than 1,200 people were killed.

The six Supreme Court judges are expected to deliver a ruling by Saturday in line with a strict legal deadline. The U.S. Embassy warned its citizens to stay clear of any demonstrations, even if they appear peaceful.

"There could be a strong public reaction to the announcement; therefore, the U.S. Embassy strongly urges all U.S. citizens to avoid gatherings, demonstrations, downtown business areas, slums, and large crowds of any kind," an embassy statement said.

The Supreme Court's verdict on the case is final, and both Odinga and Kenyatta have said they will abide by its decision.

Should Odinga win his challenge, it would mean a new presidential race that would further unnerve markets and prolong uncertainty in the region's trade gateway.

Kenyatta, 51, can be sworn in only if the court upholds his victory. The president-elect also faces trial at The Hague in July on charges of playing a leading role in the killings that followed the 2007 election. Kenyatta denies the charges.

Police warning

Kenya's police inspector general, David Kimaiyo, said in a statement that a ban on rallies and demonstrations was still in place as part of efforts to avoid violence

Kimaiyo defended his stance which has been criticized by rights groups who say it violates Kenyans' rights and freedoms.

"No individuals should enjoy rights, whose enjoyment may imperil other individuals' rights as well," Kimaiyo said.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga repeatedly has said the Supreme Court would handle the dispute fairly, and urged Kenyans to trust his court to deliver a verdict that they should accept.

On Monday, the court ordered a partial recount of ballots from the largely peaceful March 4 presidential election. Odinga alleged there were more votes cast at some polling stations than there were registered voters.

On June 23, 2012, the U.S. Embassy warned of a threat of an attack on the Kenyan port city of Mombasa. A blast at a night club the following day killed one person.

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