Obama Tapes Message of Peace for Kenya

By Nitya

Jan 2, 2008 5:02pm

ABC News’ Terry Moran and Dana Hughes Report: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has taped a message to be broadcast by the Voice of America to Kenya, where a disputed election has sparked riots across the nation.

The message from the Illinois senator, whose father was a member of the Luo tribe and whose grandmother still lives in Kenya, calls for calm and an end to the violence that has erupted across the African nation since its election.

Over the weekend, President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the race, defeating opposition leader Raila Odinga by about 200,000 votes.

Obama spoke with Secretary Rice on the matter Tuesday.

The senator is hugely popular in Kenya. His father was an educated member of the Luo tribe, who much of the Luo elite — like Odinga, the president’s challenger — actually knew. Obama told ABC News that his father also knew President Kibaki personally.

He told ABC News that he hopes his popularity in the country can help stop the post-election violence.

Obama also made a point of saying his heritage in Africa and Asia would shape his presidency, giving him special insight and impact on "the next hot spots" around the globe.

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