WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on Africa, released the following statement on the political situation in Kenya:

“We are deeply concerned about the continued deterioration of the political situation in Kenya.  Respect for the rule of law and fundamental freedoms are critical and necessary pillars of Kenya's democracy.  Shutting down independent media and failing to comply with court orders threaten the hard-fought democratic progress of one of the United States' closest allies in Africa.

“We are very troubled by the recent actions of the Government of Kenya, which has restricted and sought to intimidate independent media voices. We are also following with concern the recent arrests of opposition figures.  We strongly urge the Government of Kenya to comply with court orders in a timely fashion and to restore all television broadcasts of the media outlets shut down last week.  Likewise, any arrests and prosecutions should be made in full accordance with the rule of law and due process.

“We call on all parties to refrain from the use of inflammatory rhetoric, which is fueling tensions and fears among communities, and we call on the opposition not to take provocative actions that may endanger its supporters.  Instead of stoking tensions and exacerbating divisions, we encourage both the Government of Kenya and opposition leaders to engage with one another and focus on unifying the country.  All parties should make a mutual commitment to demonstrate respect for Kenya's Constitution and its independent judiciary.”