UN lauds Kenya for conducting peaceful elections
The United Nations has hailed Kenya for maintaining peace before, during and after the August 9 polls.
This year's polls demonstrated Kenya’s democracy is maturing, said UN Kenya Resident Coordinator Stephen Jackson.
Speaking at Maasai Mara University in Narok on the International Day of Democracy on Thursday, September 15, Mr Jackson said Kenya is a model for other countries in Africa.
"I term this Kenyan election as a 'Kenyan miracle'. It is an extraordinary democracy that Kenya recently pulled through," he said.
Democracy, he said, is a fragile thing in Africa, European countries and across the world, marvelling at how 14 million Kenyans voted and witnessed a smooth transition.
"It should not be taken for granted that 14 million people vote and tens of thousands throng Kasarani stadium to witness the handing over of power/authority from one democratic leader to the other peacefully," he said.
He said his boss, UN Secretary-General Mr António Guterres, was deeply proud of Kenya for ensuring that peace remained even after hotly contested presidential polls.
"Part of the Kenyan miracle is that it can be peaceful when you lose and peaceful when you win,” he said.
“I have received calls from across the globe asking me, ‘How did Kenya do it’? How did Kenya pull off this miracle of ensuring a peaceful transition after the election?”
Mr Jackson said it was appropriate that as Kenya celebrated the International Day of Democracy, it once again provided a model of democracy in Africa and the world.
The event was organised by the Universities and Colleges Students Peace Association of Kenya (USCPAK) and brought together students from across Kenya to discuss post-election peace in the Rift Valley.
The meeting was the third since the elections were held, said USCPAK executive director Allan Chacha.
The series of talks started in the Nyanza region with an event at Kisii University.
Another meeting was held at Technical University of Kenya in Nairobi.
Mr Kevin Mutava, the Maasai Mara University Students Union (MMUSO) president, hailed 'comrades' for refusing to be used to cause violence during and after the elections.
"We had these peace meetings before the elections and we are glad they bore fruit and our members maintained peace," he added.
Mr Mohammed Adan, the dean of students at Maasai Mara University and chair of the Kenya University Dean of Students Association, lauded the peace initiative.
"Through these forums, our students demonstrated that Kenyan youth can vote for a candidate of their choice [and] then come and celebrate together regardless of the outcome," Mr Adan said.