Obama Renews Pledge To Visit Kenya


buy more about geneva; font-size: small;”>“First of all, case let me just say that I’m going to be President for another three and a half years. hospital geneva; font-size: small;”>One of the things that you learn as President is not only do people want you to fulfill your promises, but they want you to fulfill your promises yesterday,” said Obama at Young African Leaders Initiative Town Hall at University of Johannesburg-Soweto in South Africa on Saturday.

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Obama was responding to a question from a group of Kenyan young leaders via a video link from Nairobi.

The moderator of the Kenyan group had earlier told President Obama of the speculation in the Kenyan media and also in the social media for his reasons for not visiting the East African country on his second tour of Africa which included the ICC indictment of recently-elected President, Uhuru Kenyatta.

Obama was further reminded that in an interview with a Kenyan media house on June 1, 2010, he did promise that during his tenure as President of the United States of America, he would be touring Kenya.

The moderator asked if Obama would keep his word on the promise.

Obama said part of the reason that he wasn’t able to visit Kenya this time is because he has been there multiple times.

“And there hadn’t been a sustained visit by me in West Africa; and then South Africa, given the importance of the work that we’re doing together; Tanzania is a country I hadn’t visited before. So I was trying to spread the wealth a little bit in terms of my visit,” said Obama.

Regarding the ICC indictment of Uhuru as having dissuaded him from visiting Kenya, Obama noted:

“But what’s also true, I won’t deny, is that Kenya just had an election. I was very proud to see the restraint in which the election was held. We did not see a repeat of the violence that we saw in the last election. But with a new administration that’s also having to manage some of the international issues around the ICC, I did not think it was the optimal time for me to visit.”

He, however, noted that not all hope is lost.

“But as I said, I’m going to — I’ve got three and a half years. So if in three years and seven months I’m not in Kenya, then you can fault me for not following through on my promise,” he said.

Uhuru, his deputy William Ruto are facing charges of crimes against humanity during the post 2007 presidential election violence, charges both officials deny.


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