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Ambassadors unite to preach peace ahead of elections

The envoys from 13 countries have encouraged politicians to uphold democracy

Voters queue at a polling station at Mutomo primary school in Kiambu on October 26, 2017, as polls opened for presidential elections. (Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)

Heads of missions in Kenya have urged Kenyans to conduct a free, fair and credible General Election as well as a smooth transition of power.

The ambassadors and High Commissioners from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States emphasised on the need to have a democratic process.

In a joint statement, the ambassadors and High Commissioners specifically mentioned certain sectors such as security and media for constantly working hard to ensure the elections run smoothly.

"We commend the efforts made by all who have worked tirelessly to realise the elections, provide security and promote civic education, including religious leaders, civil society, media, and the private sector," read a statement in part.

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The envoys made the statement after political parties and candidates took part in the signing of Mkenya Daima’s Leadership and Peace Pledge, and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission’s Political Decency and Peace Charter.

"We call on all leaders – both in and out of elected offices – to work together after August 9 to ensure the democratic progress of the last decade is preserved. All actors play an important role in ensuring devotion to the principles of democracy, freedom and the rule of law," read the statement in part.

The diplomats further highlighted Kenya's stable macroeconomic environment in comparison to not only other countries in the region but also continent and globe.

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"Kenya is an anchor for stability, security, and democracy – not just in the region, or on this continent, but across the globe. It is in this spirit of partnership that we, like others across the world, look forward to a free, fair, and peaceful election on August 9," they said.

The statement comes a few days after the U.S. Embassy released a travel advisory on August 2, stating that they had imposed movement restrictions on personnel in Kisumu.

According to the embassy, Kenya has periodically experienced some pre-electoral violence during election cycles. Therefore, the State Department reminded her U.S. citizens of the continued need for sustained vigilance.

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However, Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o expressed his disagreement with the advisory, assuring potential visitors that the city is safe and urged all of them to visit the sunset city.

"I want to assure those traveling to Kisumu that our people are very peaceful and looking forward to welcome you. Enjoy our beautiful sunset city," he said.

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