It has emerged that a group of about 25 US activists and analysts who are well versed with Kenyan politics are seeking to brief Donald Trump administration of the importance and possible dangers of the next month’s election.
Dubbed as Kenya Working Group, the team is said to have been holding regular meetings in Washington, DC in recent weeks. The team has been sharing information as well as crafting strategies on how the US can influence actions in the run-up to the voting.
Sources said that the group will be briefing the State Department officials on the potential risks linked with the Kenyan polls and to deliberate possible US responses inc ase violence erupts.
The group’s co-chairs Sarah Margon of Human Rights Watch and former US ambassador to Kenya Mark Bellamy have expressed concerns about their ability to help shape US policy on Kenya, given that the White House and State Department have delayed in filling Africa related posts.
Margon said that the Kenya Working Group has been in constant touch with Trump administration officials; although no much response has been given to them on their recommendations on how the US can aid Kenya hold a credible and peaceful voting process.
Margon further commended former US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec who has “has been very strong” in coordinating moves by foreign diplomats in Nairobi with an aim to boost democracy in Kenya.
Bellamy said his group will be meeting US Secretary of State John Kerry who is the co-leader of the Carter Centre Observation Mission to Kenya together with Aminata Touré, a former prime minister of Senegal to underscore “the risks of the election being problematic.
“The Trump administration should now be pressing the Kenyan government to “enhance the credibility of the IEBC,” the former envoy emphasized. “It's vital that the commission be seen as impartial and effective,” Bellamy said.