Kenya urged to maintain peace after elections

The chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat, has urged Kenyans to maintain peace after the General Elections on Monday.

The chairperson has expressed deep concern over the immediate post-election day developments, including the rejection of the results by some politicians and the outbreak of violence in some counties, which have reportedly claimed lives. 

Mahamat said he fully supports the preliminary statement issued by the AU Observer Mission and urged the people of Kenya to maintain calm as they wait for the announcement of final results by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Mahamat called on politicians, parties and their supporters to exercise restraint in their pronouncements and refrain from all acts of violence while awaiting the completion of the tallying process.

The political actors and parties, Mahamat said, must scrupulously abide by the electoral laws and, where disputes arise, seek redress through peaceful and lawful channels.

He urged the IEBC to conduct the tallying process in an effective and transparent manner within the legally stipulated timeframe and, where necessary, engage in dialogue with political actors before the official announcement of results.

Mahamat said security agencies must continue to remain professional and respectful of human rights in the maintenance of law and order and to ensure that lives and properties are protected throughout the process.

Media, Mahamat said, must maintain balanced and conflict-sensitive coverage on the electoral process.

Mahamat is in contact with regional leaders and other members of the international community to ensure a coordinated and effective support to efforts aimed at preserving peace, security and stability in Kenya and upholding the principles of the rule of law and democracy.

Mahamat said he is ready to take any initiative that may be called for by the circumstances to facilitate the peaceful conclusion of the electoral process.

Mahamat visited Kenya ahead of the polls from 18 to 20 July, where he called for peaceful and credible elections. He reiterated the AU’s unequivocal commitment to support the government and people of Kenya to ensure a peaceful and credible conclusion of the electoral process, in line with the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and other relevant African instruments.

He congratulated the people of Kenya for holding peaceful General Elections, saying the massive participation of Kenyan voters demonstrated their resolve to fulfil their democratic aspirations and consolidate peace and the rule of law in that country.

The elections were observed by an AU Election Observer Mission led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki. – SAnews.gov.za