US SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY LAUDS ELECTORAL REFORMS.

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US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hand with President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi.

BY SAM ALFAN.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has lauded electoral reforms proposed promising to support Kenya in 2017.

Together with President Uhuru Kenyatta they also expressed concerns over the slow implementation of the South Sudan peace agreement.

In a meeting at State House in Nairobi on Monday, President Kenyatta informed Mr Kerry that the recent violence in the neighbouring country has had serious implications on the peace agreement signed in August.

According to President Kenyatta, the process has been “sluggish and under severe threat due to lack of commitment by the parties involved.”

In a statement, President Kenyatta told Mr Kerry that the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) council of ministers had created a roadmap to end the fighting in South Sudan.

Consequently, Mr Kenyatta urged the US and the international community not to relent in their support for the region aimed at finding a long-lasting solution to the conflict in South Sudan.

President Kenyatta also urged continued engagement to also find a lasting solution to Somalia pegged on Vision 2016, which is in progress.

State House said the President hoped Somalia would stick to the election time frame that will lead to a presidential election on October 30.

This follows the endorsement of the electoral calendar by the country’s national leadership forum.

The African Union (AU) mission in Somalia, or Amisom, said the president, had made remarkable progress and that the AU has plans to “drawdown” the force by 2018.

Kenya’s efforts to find stability in the region won the support of Mr Kerry, who said the US looks to Kenya to secure the region and boost economic environment.

“President Kenyatta and Mr Kerry noted, with satisfaction, the strong bilateral ties between Kenya and the US. They also applauded the increasing investment in Kenya by US firms,” State House said in a statement by the Presidential Strategic and Communications Unit.

Cabinet Secretaries Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) and Judy Wakhungu (Environment and Natural Resources) attended the meeting at State House.

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