U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Kenyans must work together
to hold free and fair elections and be a role model for Africa and the
world, and she urged their leaders avoid the post-election bloodshed
that Kenya suffered five years ago.
A general election next March will be the first since a disputed 2007
poll set off a politically based ethnic slaughter in which more than
1,200 people were killed.
Clinton told reporters in Nairobi Saturday that "the United States has
pledged to assist the government of Kenya in ensuring that the upcoming
elections are free, fair and transparent.''
Clinton met President Mwai Kibaki, who is barred by law from seeking a
third term, and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who leads in opinion polls
in the race to replace him.
The two were the main rivals in the disputed presidential poll, when
then opposition leader Odinga accused Mr. Kibaki of stealing the vote.
will also meet with leaders of neighboring Somalia to urge them to
complete a political transition to a new government on schedule. The
transitional government is set to end August 20 when the U.N. mandate
for it expires.
On Thursday, following Somalia's adoption of a new provisional
constitution, Clinton urged Somali leaders to complete the remaining
tasks “quickly and transparently.” Somali leaders must still select
members of the next parliament and elect a new president.
In Juba Friday, Clinton called on South Sudan and its neighbor, Sudan,
to resolve bitter disputes that pushed the two countries to the brink of
war earlier this year.
Clinton also met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala
Friday. She encouraged Uganda to continue its effort to hunt down Lord's
Resistance Army fighters in central Africa and to fight Islamist
militants in Somalia.
Following her stop in Kenya, Clinton is due to visit Malawi and South