News / Africa

US Vice President Biden Visiting Kenya

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is to discuss security issues and bilateral relations during a three-day visit to Kenya.  The Kenya visit is the second-leg of Biden's three-stop African tour. 

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is visiting at a time the strength of the U.S.-Kenya partnership is finding itself under increasing scrutiny.

Washington has been one of the foremost voices in urging Kenya to implement key political reforms promised after the country's 2008 post-election violence.

Vice President Biden is expected to speak at length with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga on the progress of the country's proposed new constitution.  Washington has urged Kenyans to participate in the forthcoming referendum on the document.

Experts say certain Kenyan politicians are unhappy at the amount of pressure Washington has placed on the government to deliver reforms.

Speaking to VOA, Nairobi political analyst Harun Ndubi says Mr. Biden's visit is a sign the White House believes at least some progress has been made.

"It has not quite an approval of the delivery on the new constitution, but its kind of a friendly nudge that we are making steps in the right direction in terms of the delivery of various items, and the constitution particularly," said Ndubi.

Political and economic reforms were part of the agreement signed by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga, which brought an end to the post election violence that killed more than 1,000 people following the 2007 presidential poll.

Ndubi says the apparent strain on political ties with Washington has the potential to push Kenya to seek closer relations with other countries.  By increasing commerce with China and other eastern states, analysts says Kenya could be reacting to political pressure from its ally.  Biden's visit, Ndubi says, could be a way of reassuring Kenyan leaders of America's support.

"The other day our president went to China and came back with $36 million [three billion shillings], if Kenya was left to feel like the relationship [with America] is so bad that even our own son cannot have a close relationship with us, we might look for new friends," he said.  "And that is why Biden's visit to Kenya might just be a reassurance that America is not disregarding Kenya irrespective of the delivery of the reform agenda," said Ndubi.

Kenya is a strategically important Western ally viewed as a nation of relative stability in the midst of increasingly troubled neighbors.  The Kenyan government is expected to seek more engagement with the United States on tackling the multitude of problems presented by neighboring Somalia.

Kenya says al-Shabab, the most powerful of the hard-line Islamic groups operating in Somalia, should not be given further opportunities to influence Muslim populations in Kenya and other parts of East Africa.

Kenya is one of two countries prosecuting pirates that operate off the coast of Somalia and further into the Indian Ocean.  Despite reassurances from the the European Union it would receive more international help in dealing with pirates, Nairobi is expected to ask Biden for further cooperation from the United States.

U.S. President Barack Obama says he plans to make his first official visit to Kenya, the country that sees him as a son, before his term ends.  Analysts say Biden's visit is a sign of the president's continuing commitment to the East African country, but that Mr. Obama wants to see the constitutional reform process completed before he visits.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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