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Salim Lone: The US has consistently mishandled the Kenya crisis

By Standard Reporter | Published Thu, December 7th 2017 at 15:29, Updated December 7th 2017 at 16:53 GMT +3
NASA Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga adviser Salim Lone addresses the media at OKOA Kenya offices in Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo/Standard]

NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s aide Salim Lone has dismissed pressure  by Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto on the opposition bloc  NASA to drop its plans for swearing in Nasa’s flag bearer Raila Odinga on 12th December.

In a statement, Mr Lone said that this was a clear interference into Kenya’s affairs by international institutions.

A section of the statement read, “the US recognizes that our country has been deeply polarized and divided since the rigged and subsequently annulled August election. To help overcome these dangerous divisions, our friends and partners should begin by looking at what caused the polarization and what is needed to rectify them. But instead of focusing on those causes and possible solutions, the US has decided that an event that has yet to take place, the “inauguration”, is the imminent danger Kenya faces.”

Mr Salim went on further to bash the U.S for saying that the planned swearing-in was unconstitutional despite not knowing the full details of the event.

Instead, he said that what the US statement should have focused on was building bridges between Kenyans and their two main parties, rather than taking partisan positions which disrespected and further angered more than half our population.

“The worst of the many crimes that the US statement did not touch on was the killing of scores of innocent, unarmed NASA supporters in a reign of terror designed to intimidate NASA-leaning communities. Basically, the international community averted its gaze,” it read.

Mr. Lone went on further to say that from their actions, it was clear that the US was only taking a very short-sighted and opportunistic approach which focused on security and business interests.

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“Its seemingly unaware that it is the unpopular and isolated Jubilee government which has brought Kenya to this grave moment, and threatens not only this country’s future but the future of others in the region and globally.”

The statement also mentioned the killing of IEBC’s ICT director Chris Musando and the constant urge from special envoys urging the opposition to respect the electoral body during the general election, as some of the evidence the US statement seemed to ignore, despite warnings of a rigged election.  

In the statement by the US embassy in Nairobi on Wednesday, it urged opposition leaders to seek dialogue and end the almost half-year long impasse to avoid extra-constitutional actions such as the proposed 'inauguration ceremony' on December 12.

Mr Salim however said that it was not too late for the US to reassess its approach.

Earlier on Thursday morning, opposition leader Raila Odinga said that they will not recognise President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime and strongly confirmed that he will still be sworn in as president come what may. 

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