Envoy says Obama to avoid Kenya

July 4, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 4 – Visiting U.S Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson has confirmed that President Barack Obama has overlooked Kenya in his first trip to Africa as the country has not done enough towards ensuring political stability.

Mr Carson told a press briefing in Nairobi on Saturday that

President Obama would instead visit Ghana to show his administration’s support towards democratic governance that has been demonstrated by the West African government.

"We have seen the opposition party twice defeat the ruling party and takeover in successful election. This visit is meant to demonstrate the support that the United States has towards the support for the success of rule of law and that of the Ghanaian people in strengthening and deepening their democracy," he said.

Speculation has been rife that by snubbing Kenya, which is his father’s birth place, President Obama was sending a message to the coalition leaders that they need to get their act together and get the country back on the democratic path.

President Obama is expected to visit Ghana next week at the end of a trip to Russia and Italy.

Mr Carson said the US government hopes that many African states will learn a lesson from this visit and expedite the democratic and good governance practices in their countries.

"He believes strongly in the rule of law, democratic constitutional rule and the principles that underpin it. We hope that his support for democracy in Ghana will be a catalyst for others to also adopt democratic norms that are equally as strong," he added.

Mr Carson however declined to comment on why President Obama had visited Egypt, which many consider undemocratic and repressive.

"Egypt is part of the Middle East Bureau and I didn’t come to talk about Egypt today," he said.


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