Peace Corps/Kenya Program Temporarily Suspended

from: Press Office, Peace Corps/Washington
Phone 202.692.2230
Fax: 202.692.1379
Email: pressoffice@peacecorps.gov            

Volunteers remain safe and hope to return to Kenya soon

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 5, 2008 - Peace Corps operations in Kenya will be temporarily suspended to ensure the safety of the 58 remaining Peace Corps Volunteers serving in Kenya. With growing instability in Kenya, and following the unrest associated with the recent elections on December 27, 2007, these Volunteers who remained working at their sites in the eastern, central and coastal regions of Kenya, will now be transitioning out of service.

Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter said, "Our first priority is the safety and security of our Volunteers. Over 5,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Kenya in the last 42 years, building deep friendships with the people there. The Peace Corps has become an integral and positive element of the U.S. partnership with Kenya and the Kenyan people."

The 58 Volunteers from the eastern region of Kenya will be granted close of service in good standing, or offered an opportunity to transfer to another Peace Corps country. The ultimate goal of Peace Corps/Kenya is to return Volunteers to their communities in Kenya when the security situation improves. The Peace Corps staff will remain in Kenya and maintain the program during the temporary suspension.

Peace Corps/Kenya had a total of 144 Volunteers serving at the time of the recent elections. During the initial post-election unrest, Volunteers were consolidated in a variety of safe locations. On January 4, Volunteers in the western region of Kenya were moved from their sites and began transitioning out of the country, due to the growing security concerns. Some of the western Kenya Peace Corps Volunteers were transferred to volunteer assignments in other Peace Corps countries; others ended their service in good standing and returned to the U.S.; and some have opted to temporarily suspend their service in hopes of returning to Kenya soon.