What Trump is likely to do should Kenya's elections turn violent

With less than a month to the polls,a group of analysts give their thoughts on Trump's likely response should the elections turn violent

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A group of analysts have expressed uncertainty regarding Trump administration’s potential response should Kenya’s elections turn violent.

Mark Bellamy, a former US ambassador to Kenya, said that the US wants to help prevent a repeat of the 2007-2008 election violence.

He however said that it is not clear if they are “willing to do that at the expense of sanctifying what could be a seriously fraudulent election.”

The country experienced the worst electoral violence after the 2007 general elections and Bellamy said that unlike then when the Bush administration intervened, the same might not happen with the Trump government.

Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state at that time, flew to Nairobi to urge Kenyan leaders to stop the violence. Jendayi Frazer, then the assistant secretary of state for Africa, also travelled to Kenya and denounced killings that amounted what she termed “ethnic cleansing.”

“There is no cavalry riding to the rescue — no Kofi Annan,” Mr Bellamy said in reference to the 2008 mediation effort led by the former United Nations secretary general.

There has been growing concern over Donald Trump’s silent relationship with Africa given that top Africa posts in the State Department and White House still remain vacant nearly six months after Mr Trump's inauguration.

There is also no indication that Trump is concerned with the country’s affairs.

Lauren Ploch Blanchard, a researcher for the US Congress, noted that the international community is unlikely to act as effectively in 2017 as it did in 2008.

Ms. Blanchard however said that US Ambassador Robert Godec “is working tirelessly” to ensure international support for a credible and peaceful election on August 8.

A number of US agencies are also working towards ensuring a free, fair and credible election.

The panel discussion took place at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a prominent international-affairs research institute based in Washington.

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