U.S. Embassy Statement on U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto’s visit to Kenya

U.S. Embassy Statement on U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto’s visit to Kenya

December 6, 2017

U.S. acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto visited Kenya December 4 – 6, and, along with Ambassador Robert F. Godec, met with Kenyan government officials, civil society representatives, and opposition leaders.  They were joined by National Security Council Director for Africa Jonathan Howard.   The delegation built on the dialogue begun at the recent U.S.-Africa ministerial meeting hosted in Washington, DC, focusing on the importance of advancing security, economic, and political reforms as well as trade and economic development, good governance, and protecting human rights.  Yamamoto underscored that Kenya is a critical partner for United States and a leader in Africa.

In this spirit, we look forward to Kenya continuing to uphold its 2010 Constitution, to include respecting an independent judiciary, protecting the democratic space for a vibrant civil society and media, and ensuring all citizens have the right to express their views.  We remain deeply concerned by the recent outbreaks of violence.  The security services have a responsibility to show maximum restraint at all times and to protect the right of citizens to assemble.  We urge the quick and independent investigation of reports of excessive use of force by the security services, and that officials responsible for abuses be held accountable.  Protesters who are exercising their constitutional rights have an obligation to do so peacefully.

The United States also urges opposition leaders to work within Kenya’s laws to pursue the reforms they seek and to avoid extra-constitutional actions such as the proposed “inauguration ceremony” on December 12.  We again call for an immediate, sustained, open, and transparent national conversation involving all Kenyans to build national unity, address long-standing issues, and resolve the deep divisions that the electoral process has exacerbated.

As President Kenyatta begins his second term, the United States will work to deepen our partnership with Kenya of over 50 years.  We are committed to working closely with the Kenyan government and people to strengthen further our excellent ties and to enhance security, democracy, and prosperity for everyone.