Friday, October 9, 2020 -The United States Government has threatened to issue travel restrictions against African leaders who are suppressing freedom of assembly and association in their countries.

In Kenya for example, Deputy President William Ruto has been banned by the Government from holding political rallies and gatherings unless they are approved by the police.

In a statement on Friday, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said any government that will suppress the right to assemble will be blacklisted by the US government.

Pompeo also said all political sides should participate peacefully in the democratic process.

“The right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and association are at the heart of a functioning democracy. Adherence to these democratic norms and to the rule of law allows all citizens to engage in political dialogue and support their choice of candidates, parties, and platforms,” Pompeo said.

The top diplomat said the US would closely monitor political events in the continent and would not delay in issuing visa restrictions to anyone who curtailed the democratic process or promoted violence.

“We will watch closely the actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process and will not hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for those responsible for election-related violence. As long-time partners to the nations of Africa, we care about the region’s democratic trajectory and are committed to working constructively with international and regional partners,” he said.

In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta is using his Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiangi to suppress freedom of speech and assembly.


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