, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 – Deputy President William Ruto has expressed the government’s respect for the decision by US President Barrack Obama not to visit Kenya.
Ruto said it is within his right but emphasised that this will not halt the running of government.
The Deputy President said that there are other friendly nations that Kenya can partner up with.
“We respect America but Obama’s failure to visit the country does not stop us running the government. We have other friendly nations we will partner with,” Ruto said.
Speaking during an interactive session with youths from Africa on Saturday, Obama had said that the “timing was not right” for him to travel to Kenya, his father’s homeland, during his current Africa tour, but he expected to visit many times in the future.
“I was very proud to see the restraint with which the election was held. We did not see a repeat of the violence that we saw in the last election. With the new administration that is also having to manage some of the international issues around the issues of the ICC, I did not think it was the optimal time for me to visit Kenya,” Obama had said.
He stated that the new government of President Uhuru Kenyatta was still finding its feet after an election in March, and was “still working out issues with the international community”.
He was referring to a looming trial for President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court for their alleged roles in deadly violence that killed more than 1,000 people after 2007 polls.
“The timing was not right for me as president of the United States to be visiting Kenya when those issues need to be worked on,” Obama said.
But the US leader said he had visited Kenya multiple times before he was president and expected to return.
“My personal ties to the people of Kenya, by definition are going to be strong and will stay strong,” he said.
His Africa tour started in Senegal, then South Africa and he is expected to wrap up his week-long journey in Tanzania.