The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Envoy Urges Citizens to Respect Poll Result

The Burundi government has asked its counterpart the Kenyan government and the electoral body, IEBC to ensure March 4 general election is peaceful.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony of 19 Burundian diplomats in Mombasa at the weekend, Burundian ambassador Ezechiel Nibigira called on Kenyans to accept the election results.

"Allow me to convey my government's and the people of Burundi wishes to Kenyans that March 4 will not be a doomsday, but a day of celebrations," said Nibigira.

"Our wish is that the forthcoming elections will be credible, free, fair and peaceful. We pray that the outcome will be accepted by all -- those who will have lost and those who will have won."

The envoy expressed confidence that Kenya has learnt from the 2007/2008 post-election violence and there will not be any violence this time round. He praised the government, IEBC and the civil society groups for working hard to ensure peace during the campaign period.

Meanwhile, the completion of the Burundian training is marked another step in the cementing of the Kenya-Burundi Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation.

The JPCC was signed on May 14, 2008 and is meant to improve bilateral relations between the two countries through cooperation in agriculture, air transport, defence, higher education and investments.

President Kibaki made a commitment to provide training for the diplomats on full scholarship at the Foreign Service Institute in July 2012.

The diplomats were trained on economic diplomacy, legal aspects of the East Africa Community integration, bilateral and multilateral negotiations.

Foreign Affairs assistant minister Moses ole Sakuda said through mutual relations between the two countries, Kenyan investors have invested in Burundi. This has increased commerce and trade between the two countries and has addressed youth unemployment in Kenya.

"Today, we have Kenya Airways flying to Burundi four times a day," said Sakuda in a speech read on his behalf by Kenya's ambassador to Burundi Benjamin Mweri. "Kenol-Kobil, Pembe Millers, KCB, Jubilee Insurance, DTB, pharmaceutical companies are in Bujumbura, Burundi's capital." Burundi's said the two week training has served a lot in strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries.

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