Thursday, February 07, 2008

Optimism from the U.S. State Dept. - Still a lot of Work

The Political Crisis in Kenya: A Call for Justice and Peaceful Resolution

The State Department released a report on Feb. 6 about the state of affairs in Kenya. If you are interested in a good summary, which reads like a bureaucratic paper that it is, this relatively short, but boring article is a must read.
Although I don't write much about the geo-political significance of Kenya very often, I do include it in my presentations. Read carefully how the U.S. views the importance of Kenya not only for the continent of Africa, but for the general stability around the world,

"The United States has long had a close and productive relationship with Kenya, and we value this partnership highly. Our core interests in Kenya include promoting democracy, human rights, and good governance; supporting Kenya’s economic development; maintaining its role as a stable partner and contributor to peace and security; and expanding regional counterterrorism cooperation. Kenya functions as a regional platform for U.S. programs elsewhere in the region (for example, it hosts USAID’s regional program in East and Central Africa, which covers 16 countries). Food aid for seven other countries transits Kenya. It is also a regional center for trade, investment, and tourism."

Kenya is somewhat a line in the sand for stability and the importance of the gospel on the continent.

Their optimism is well ballanced with the reality of the circumstances.

"As we observe the Annan negotiations unfold and remain optimistic that they will bear fruit, we are also looking at a range of options to pressure individuals, particularly those who incite or support violence, as well as those who might prove obstructive to the negotiations. The decision to act will depend on events on the ground and how certain key individuals contribute or fail to contribute to devising a political solution to the crisis. The negotiations remain an African-led effort, but with strong U.S. support and leadership in the international community. We continue to work closely with our partners in the international community, including the UK, EU, and individual EU member states, to support Annan’s efforts and to consult on the way forward."