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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

EU, US and AU urge respect of the constitution and rule of law
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The United States, the European Union (EU) and the Africa Union (AU) have expressed concern about the political developments in Kenya in particular the swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday, terming it unconstitutional.

In separate statements issued on Friday, the United States, the EU and the AU called on Kenyan leaders to respect the constitution and rule of law.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said President Uhuru Kenyatta was validly re-elected in the Oct. 26, 2017 repeat presidential poll that was upheld by the Supreme Court.

"Grievances must be resolved through appropriate legal mechanisms.

"We reject actions that undermine Kenya’s constitution and the rule of law," Nauert said in a statement.

The United States also commended security forces for the restraint shown during the "oathing" of the opposition leader, urging Kenyans to resolve grievances through appropriate legal mechanisms.

The EU called on political leaders to recognize the outcome of the elections and the re-election of President Kenyatta.

"Kenya’s election year is over, and the challenges laid bare by the electoral process will have to be addressed.

"All actors should contribute to calm," the EU said.

"The Kenyan people now have the opportunity to take the country forward and work together on their historical path towards democracy and development," it added.

The African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat on his part rejected all actions that undermine constitutional order and the rule of law.

Mahamat urged all concerned parties to desist from any such actions, which also put the political stability of Kenya at risk, and urged all stakeholders to act in strict compliance with the Constitution of Kenya and other relevant texts.

"The Chairperson of the Commission urges the people of Kenya to earnestly continue on the path of the rule of law and consolidation of their democratic institutions, and to eschew any acts that could undermine the stability of their country and its socio-economic development," Mahamat said.

He expressed the readiness of the African Union to assist in any way deemed appropriate in defusing the current tension on the basis of the fundamental principle of the respect of constitutional order and the rule of law.

Odinga took oath on Tuesday as the "People’s President" on at ceremony attended by thousands of his supporters in Nairobi, action that the government had termed illegal.

Initially, there were fears of chaos due to confrontation between the police and opposition supporters after the government banned the event.

However, police officers who had been sent to guard Uhuru Park, the venue of the ceremony, withdrew allowing thousands of opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) supporters to attend the fete.

Meanwhile, the United States also expressed concern over the move to shut down TV stations, urging the government’s to respect freedom of expression and implement court orders calling for the restoration of television broadcasts.

Stressing on the need to have dialogue, Washington also called on the government to build cohesion and address longstanding issues.

The EU also called on the government to restore transmission of KTN, NTV, Citizen and Inooro stations which were shut down by the government on Tuesday.

"It also means the respect of freedoms of assembly, media and speech and implies lifting any ban on media operating within the law," the EU said.

The High Court on Thursday directed the country’s communications industry regulator to allow four privately owned television stations to resume broadcasting.

The four media houses were still off-air on Friday.

KTN News, NTV and Citizen Television stations were shut down by the Communication Authority of Kenya early Tuesday minutes after they had started airing the event.

Kenyans had expected the stations would be back on air Tuesday evening after Odinga’s inauguration event, but three days later, none of the channels has been reinstated.
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EARLIER REPORT:

African Union expresses concern over Kenya’s current political condition

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat, expressed concern regarding Kenya’s current political condition.

Kenya’s main opposition party, National Super Alliance (NASA), on Tuesday "swore in" its leader Raila Odinga as "People’s President" amid jubilation from thousands of supporters who witnessed the ceremony at a public park in the capital Nairobi.

The pan African bloc said in a statement issued on Friday that the Chairperson is closely following the evolution of the political situation in Kenya.

"Against this backdrop, and in line with its relevant instruments, notably the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the AU rejects all actions that undermine constitutional order and the rule of law," the statement said.

"The Chairperson urges all concerned to desist from any such actions, which also put the political stability of Kenya at risk," the statement said.

Mahamat also urged the people of Kenya towards consolidation of their democratic institutions and "to eschew any acts that could undermine the stability of their country and its socio-economic development."

Mahamat also expressed the pan African bloc’s readiness to assist "in any way deemed appropriate in defusing the current tension on the basis of the fundamental principle of the respect of constitutional order and the rule of law."

             

 

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