President Obama said Saturday the “timing” wasn’t right for him to visit his father’s homeland of Kenya, where a new government is still in turbulent transition.
“My personal ties to the people of Kenya by definition are going to be strong and will stay strong,” Mr. Obama told reporters in South Africa, where he is in the midst of a week-long tour of the continent. But he said Nairobi is “still working out issues with the international community.”
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The government of President Uhuru Kenyatta was elected in March. There is a trial pending for Mr. Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court for their alleged roles in violence that killed more than 1,000 people after 2007 elections.
“The timing was not right for me as president of the United States to be visiting Kenya when those issues need to be worked on,” Mr. Obama said. “I have been to Kenya multiple times in the past, and I expect I will be in Kenya multiple times in the future, and will continue to be deeply concerned with the progress that’s made in that country.”