Ambassador Robert F. Godec Statement On the Recent Violence on the Kenyan Coast

The United States deplores the recent violence on the Kenyan coast, including the murder of Muslim cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, known as Makaburi, and a second individual yesterday, as well as the attack at a church in Likoni on March 23.

We join Kenyan community, civil society, and religious leaders in calling for calm and restraint on the coast, and underscore the need to prevent the spread of violence and respect Kenya’s cultural and religious diversity.

We call on the Kenyan government to undertake full investigations of the murders and the terrorist attack and to hold those responsible accountable through the Kenyan justice system.

We also encourage ongoing efforts to strengthen the dialogue between government officials and community, political, and religious leaders, especially in the coastal area, to address the underlying causes of tensions and to help counter the danger presented by violent extremist groups.