Statement by U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec

Statement by U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec

October 30, 2017

The United States is profoundly concerned by the outbreaks of violence in Kenya following the October 26 election.  Leaders and politicians should clearly and publicly reject violence and work to keep the peace, and make every effort to ensure their supporters do so as well.  In this regard, we welcome the work being done by some governors, religious leaders, civil society representatives, the Kenya Red Cross, and others to help keep the peace and assist those affected by the violence.

The security services have a special responsibility to show maximum restraint in the use of force, and should use it only when there is no other choice to protect life and property.  We are deeply concerned by reports of excessive use of force by the police; we urge that all such allegations be fully investigated and any officers who have acted outside the law be held to account.  Protestors who are exercising their constitutional rights have an obligation to do so peacefully.

We appeal for calm in the coming days.  We call on all Kenyans to come together at this critical moment to reject the politics of hatred and division.  We again urge that there be an immediate, sustained, open, and transparent national dialogue involving all Kenyans to resolve the deep divisions that the electoral process has exacerbated.