The battle for political supremacy in Kenya is now being played out on the diplomatic turf as Raila Odinga and the ruling Jubilee party respond to a joint statement by 11 ambassadors including that of the United States and the United Kingdom, on the prevailing tensions in the country.
Over the weekend, the ambassadors of Finland, Norway, Denmark, Australia, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States issued a joint statement urging the Uhuru Kenyatta led government and the opposition led by Odinga to uphold democratic values.
They urged the government to ‘comply fully with court orders and protect all democratic institutions’, while the opposition ‘must accept the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the election of October 26’ and accept ‘Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto as the legitimate President and Deputy President of Kenya’.
Odinga responded to the statement on Sunday while addressing residents in the capital Nairobi whose houses were razed by a fire last month.
Odinga accused the international community of serving self-interests when they endorsed the August 8 and October 26 elections last year.
He advised the ambassadors to allow Kenyans solve their problems and stick to their role as ‘observers’.
“We want to tell them in clear terms that Kenya is an independent country and the problems of Kenya will be solved by Kenyans themselves. They can only be, but observers,” said Odinga.
Leaders from the ruling Jubilee party however welcomed the concerns of the foreign envoys that emphasised ‘recognition of Uhuru Kenyatta as the legitimately elected president of Kenya’.
The government of Kenya and the opposition have been at loggerheads since the January 30 symbolic inauguration of Odinga as the ‘people’s president’.