Rule of Law

Obama Congratulates Kenyan Election Victor Who Bankrolled Death Squads

President Obama has sent hearty congratulations to the winner of the recent Presidential elections in Kenya – Uhuru Kenyatta.  This month, Kenya’s reconstituted Supreme Court held that Kenyatta was the victor despite widespread allegations of voter fraud an a margin of only 8,000 votes out of nearly 12,000,000 cast. 

The loser, Raila Odinga had asked for the election to be nullfied because of widespread allegations of voter fraud.  The Supreme Court of Kenya denied the request last week and declared Kenyatta the victor.

President Obama sent Kenyatta congratulations.  From the Star of Kenya (few U.S. outlets reported Obama’s statement):

President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto today received a congratulatory message from America’s President Barrack Obama on their election in last month’s general elections. . . . President Obama said the electoral process and the peaceful adjudication of disputes that ensued are testaments to the progress Kenya has made in strengthening its democratic institutions. Mr Obama said, ‘Now that your election has been confirmed, you have the opportunity to build on the promise of Kenya’s Constitution and solidify its place as a vibrant and prosperous democracy centered on the rule of law.’

The New York Times, however, reports some disturbing information about the beneficiary of Obama’s congratulations, President Uhuru Kenyatta:

Mr. Kenyatta has been charged by the International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity, accused of using his vast family fortune to bankroll death squads during the election chaos of 2007 and early 2008.

Kenyatta and Odinga squared off in the 2007 election.  As in 2013, Kenyatta narrowly defeated Odinga in an election marred by allegations of voter fraud.  It was then that Odinga’s supporters took to the street to protest the outcome that Kenyatta unleashed the death squads.  About 1,000 people died in the post-election violence.