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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008, 13:24 GMT
Odinga says Obama is his cousin
Split picture Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga (l) and US presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama (r)
Mr Obama (r) is descended from the same Luo tribe as Mr Odinga (l)

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has said he is a cousin of US presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Mr Odinga told the BBC's The World Today that Senator Obama's father was his maternal uncle.

Mr Obama's father - a Kenyan also called Barack - met and married his American mother when they were students at the university of Hawaii.

Mr Obama has previously been identified as a distant cousin of Vice-President Dick Cheney.

Mr Obama's father came from the same Luo community as Mr Odinga.

The Kenyan leader made the statement in an interview in which he discussed foreign interest in the political turmoil in his country.

He said Mr Obama had on Monday taken time out of campaigning for the New Hampshire primary to call him twice, to express his concern, and to say that he would also be calling Mr Kibaki.

Mr Obama's parents separated when he was two and later divorced.

His mother subsequently married an Indonesian, and the young Barack lived in Jakarta for some years before returning to the United States.

He saw almost nothing of his birth father, who moved back to Kenya and later died in a car crash.

But he entitled his autobiography Dreams from my Father.

SEE ALSO
Cheney, Obama 'distant cousins'
17 Oct 07 |  Americas

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