Obama to visit Kenya before his term ends


US President Barack Obama has promised to visit Kenya before the end of his presidency.

President Obama has bypassed Kenya, his father’s homeland, in his three-nation tour of Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.

“I am going to be president for another three-and-a-half years.

“If in three years and seven months I am not in Kenya, then you can fault me for not keeping my promise,” President Obama told a gathering of young African leaders at the University of Johannesburg, Soweto Saturday.

President Obama said he was happy with the “restraint” shown by Kenyans during the March General Election and that there was no recurrence of post election violence.

Earlier Saturday, President Obama had said the “timing was not right” for him to travel to Kenya.

He said the government of President Kenyatta was still finding its feet after an election in March, and that Nairobi was “still working out issues with the international community”.

He was referring to a looming trial for President Kenyatta and his deputy 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,” President 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.-nation.co.ke

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