Obama to skip Kenya again in Africa June visit

Obama will meet officials, businessmen, and civil society leaders, including young people, on the trip between June 26 - July 3/AFP
Obama will meet officials, businessmen, and civil society leaders, including young people, on the trip between June 26 – July 3/AFP
WASHINGTON, May 21 – President Barack Obama will leave on a first African tour next month, visiting Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa, but his itinerary released on Monday bypasses Kenya, an ancestral homeland.

Obama disappointed many Africans by spending only a few hours in sub-Saharan Africa – in Ghana – during his first term, but is keen to implement a sweeping new regional strategy, prioritizing democracy and economic reform.

Speculation will center on whether America’s first black president will see ailing 94-year-old South African anti-Apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, on a trip on which he will be accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama.

The White House said the long-awaited visit was intended to underscore Obama’s “commitment to broadening and deepening cooperation between the United States and the people of sub-Saharan Africa” to advance peace and prosperity.

Obama will meet officials, businessmen, and civil society leaders, including young people, on the trip between June 26 – July 3 – an unusually long journey for a president who normally dashes across timezones on trips abroad.

But early scrutiny will concentrate as much on where he will not go in Africa, as his planned stops, with Kenya, the land of Obama’s late father, where he still has living relatives, a glaring omission.

Obama frequently uses his past and background to connect with foreigners, remembering his childhood stays while in Indonesia, his Irish heritage in Ireland, and as a Hawaii native, posing as America’s “first Pacific president.”

But politics appears to have scuppered hopes for Obama to reconnect with his roots in Kenya.

It would likely be seen as unseemly for Obama to appear with Uhuru Kenyatta, elected president in March, who is due to go on trial in July at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity in post-election violence in 2007-08.

An administration official said on condition of anonymity that Kenyatta’s election had been a complicating factor in setting Obama’s schedule in Africa.

Obama did visit Kenya in 2006, shortly after he was elected to the Senate, but before he announced his 2008 run for the White House.

  • Honest Kenyan

    He will also skip 40 something other African Countries, he never came here since he became president, and his visit will not suddenly make the countries he visits more prosperous.

    • Gabby

      But NOT a country that has KDF guys ‘dying’ for ‘him’ to make headway against Al-Shaabab…… What a stub in the face…..

      • Honest Kenyan

        KDF guys are dying for Kenya. Kenya needs security within its borders, less refugees from Somalia, and safe seas for optimal trading in Kenyan ports. That’s their primary mission. US interests etc are collateral to that, and the US pays KDF handsomely for that.

        • Gabby

          …….’US pays KDF handsomely for that’….. A squadron. platoon for hire you contend. This is a proxy war, you just confirmed.. Somali’s have been brothers maybe you can never tell them apart from guys from Mandera and the like who we went to school with…..

          • Honest Kenyan

            We were clever enough to convince the US that it was a problem they and their western friends needed to pay for – that’s a clever strategy on our part – thus subsidizing our war effort. However, piracy on ships destined to and from our ports, kidnapping our tourists, terror in our cities, making North Eastern Kenya ungovernable, radical islamization, secessionist designs, smuggling undermining our traders, proliferation of small arms in the hands of crooks, piracy money distorting our economy, more than a million refugees…those were very much Kenyan problems KDF is sorting out.

          • Gabby

            You are barely the ‘clever; you purport in the ‘we’. How much does the US pay ‘handsomely’ to a mum, brother, sister, son, daughter, uncle, auntie, niece, nephew, in-law….you get the drift for the ‘convince’ part in all this cleverness for an empty slot in the bereaved home???

  • Mkenya

    Obama…. please, please, please do not come to Kenya… we have God… we don’t need American Dollars…. watch this space…..You will need to get a visa to come to Kenya in the very, very near future!

  • lopez

    fellow kenyans,can you stop being captives of tribalism and start living again Obama is not a kenyan but a world leader he lives and acts American.

    • Gabby

      Oh really? Not when every office, home, car, wallet and space imaginable of some guys are bedecked in his image(s)………..

  • ann kimemia

    WHO CARES

  • Thuku WairimÅ©

    That’s good news indeed. Actually, if he tagged along, I would be forced to take leave against my wishes because you just can’t move around. I need to work for Kenya to create strong institutions, not to stare at some president

  • Gabby

    A ‘cousin’ may fly to Dar to meet him there instead. The tears must be dry from the loss on 4th March…….

    • Bolingo

      Gabby…………..nobody has refused any of your tribe from being a US hero, chieth!

      • Gabby

        …..’any of your tribe from being a US hero’…..

        Confirmed! Obama is YOUR tribesman and a hero to YOU! Oh my……. Maybe you could do with a little less ‘hero-worship’…. That’d do for the next 2 years before your ‘hero’ is impeached for Benghazi after the mid-terms in 2014 when the repubz take over the Senate!……..

  • Bonk3

    Obama has been in office close to 5 yrs, what has he done for Africa? Any tangible increase of trade between the USA and Kenya or Uganda for the last 5 yrs? Atleast the British are funding the education sector and Kenyans flower sector is well represented in EU, but which sector is Obama funding? Activism? Kenya is not in need of empty talk so please let him keep off.

    • Okwonkwo

      Do I detect a bit of colonial mentality? All this talk of British funding schools etc….Does your country live on charity and donations ? Where is your pride as an African??. Is this how Kenyans think? Hand outs?, Charity? And hero worshiping westerners?

    • OlePasiany

      wait a minute. Do you have any clue of what you are talking about? Do you know how many Kenyans are working for the US defense forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, earning tax free USD? Shame on you.

      • Bonk3

        Kenyans have been working in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Japan, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Korea etc long time before Obama became the president of the USA.

  • Bigbomb!

    Kuna watu wa jamii fulani wanaumwaaa!!!pwahahahaha, tafuteni wenu pia akuwe president wa hiyi nchi. Gabby akiwa mmoja wao. No wonder hataki kupata jiggers

    • Gabby

      Enda ukawe mkaaji wa ikulu ya jumba la White House. Unaweza pata kazi ya kuosha sufuria…….

  • R.Deezy

    A visit to Kenya would mean him being met at the airport by Indicted suspects of crimes against humanity. That would be a major diplomatic blunder. Let the two clear their names first at the Hague then they can host a world leader…Just Saying!

  • Guest

    Jaluo ni jaluo tu, ata ikikaa ndani ya state house!

  • OlePasiany

    Jaluo ni jaluo tu, hata akikaa ndani ya white house!

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