The United States it is pleased with the progress made by Kenya in reforming its electoral commission and announced on Monday that it will give the East African nation $25 million to prepare for the polls.
“Let me just emphasize that holding a free and fair, peaceful credible election is a critical step in consolidating Kenya’s democracy,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at a news conference in Nairobi.
In May, police fired tear gas and water canons at protesters who demanded the resignation of electoral officials and for reforms to be introduced. Clashes between the police and opposition protesters saw many wounded. Kenya’s justice department opened an investigation into allegations of police brutality during the protests after images emerged online showing officers beating, kicking and stamping on protesters outside the electoral commission building.
Kenya is expected to hold presidential elections in 2017. Previous votes saw stream of violence across the country and Kerry urged for political difference to be settled peacefully. In late 2007 and early 2008, Kenya experienced ethnic violence triggered by electoral dispute. Though impunity is said to have continued years later, the country redeemed itself after a peaceful poll in 2013.
Kenya is faced by security challenges with Somali Al-Shabab militants staging attacks in the country.