The U.S. Institute of Peace learned today that a forged letter, purportedly from the Institute, is circulating on social media, containing commentary about the forthcoming national elections in Kenya.

This fraudulent document is presented as a letter from former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson, who now serves as a senior advisor to USIP’s president. It misuses a copy of the USIP logo to give the appearance of having been written on the Institute’s letterhead.

USIP never endorses or opposes political candidates or parties in any country. USIP was founded—and continues to operate—as a strictly nonpartisan institution. Its only involvement in elections is to assist nations in keeping elections peaceful. (You can read a fact sheet about USIP’s election-related work here.)

USIP learned of the forged letter from news media inquiries, and thus also learned of recent coverage in prominent Kenyan news media of other forgeries circulating in connection with the coming Kenyan election. While the Institute cannot prevent such abuses, it of course opposes the use of forged documents that can only complicate the holding of credible, peaceful elections in any country.

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