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Statement on Kenya's New Constitution

August 27, 2010

I congratulate Kenya on the promulgation of the new Constitution, which was approved by a majority of voters on August 4, 2010. This historic approval and signing of the Constitution is an important step forward and demonstrates the commitment of Kenya's leaders and people to a future of unity, democracy, and equal justice for all, even the powerful. With this Constitution, the people of Kenya have set a positive example for all of Africa and the world.

Today represents a moment of promise for Kenya similar to the early days of independence, a new moment of promise that must be seized to usher in an era of progress for the Kenyan people. The United States looks forward to partnering with Kenya as it moves through the multiyear process of implementing the new Constitution. We share the expectations of the Kenyan people that this process will usher in an era of deepened democracy and expanded economic opportunity for all Kenyans.

I am disappointed that Kenya hosted Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir in defiance of International Criminal Court arrest warrants for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The Government of Kenya has committed itself to full cooperation with the ICC, and we consider it important that Kenya honor its commitments to the ICC and to international justice, along with all nations that share those responsibilities. In Kenya and beyond, justice is a critical ingredient for lasting peace.

Barack Obama, Statement on Kenya's New Constitution Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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