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Continued: Obama to skip stop in Kenya; concerns over political situation trump family ties

  • Article by: JULIE PACE , AP White House Correspondent
  • Last update: June 24, 2013 - 2:20 AM

Kenya is an important strategic partner for the U.S. in East Africa. But the recent election has complicated the relationship.

Johnnie Carson, who until April served as head of the State Department's Africa bureau, said in the lead-up to this year's election that "choices have consequences," a comment that was viewed as a warning against electing Kenyatta. His remarks were widely criticized as an inappropriate intrusion into a sovereign nation's elections.

Kenyatta, the son of the country's first president, has been charged by the ICC as an "indirect co-perpetrator" for the crimes of murder, deportation, rape, persecution and inhumane acts allegedly committed by his supporters in the aftermath of the 2007 elections. He insists he is innocent of any wrongdoing.

More than 1,000 people were killed in the ethnic violence that followed the flawed 2007 contest.

The ICC has pushed back the start of Kenyatta's trial until Nov. 12. Kenyan deputy president William Ruto will also face similar charges at the international court in September.

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