The UK Minister for Africa, Rory Stewart OBE MP, has released a statement in which he expresses British government’s concern about the “increasingly unstable political situation” in Kenya.
Calling for a peaceful and non-violent election period, he urged Kenya’s security services to exercise restraint and for any abuses of force to be investigated independently.
Referring to threats to boycott the this month’s re-run of the presidential election as unhelpful, called on both sides to work with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) which continues to be supported by the UK.
You can read his full statement in full below:
“The UK is concerned by the increasingly unstable political situation in Kenya in advance of the new presidential election on 26 October. An open, peaceful and credible poll is the only constitutional way Kenyans can choose their next President.
“Along with international partners, the UK is continuing to provide support to Kenya’s institutions, including the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). We welcome steps the IEBC is taking to rectify flaws in the August election, as well as recent efforts by the IEBC and political parties to engage in dialogue.
“Neither threats to boycott the election nor changes to the electoral legislation at this stage are helpful. Both sides need to work with the IEBC cooperatively and in a spirit of dialogue as it sets out arrangements for the new elections.
“We encourage a peaceful and non-violent election period. Security services should use the utmost restraint in handling demonstrations, and any response must be proportionate and measured. We urge independent investigations into all allegations of abuse of force.
“This election is an important moment for Kenyan and African democracy. We stand together with all Kenyans at this critical time.”
Following the original polling day, Mr Stewart congratulated the Kenyan people for turning out in such high numbers.