Sen. Barack Obama with sister Auma Obama, left, and grandmother Sarah Obama at his late father’s Kenyan village (Courtesy Mshale)

Violent political unrest in Kenya has prevented the half-sister of Sen. Barack Obama from returning to her native African homeland after visiting the United States during the Iowa caucus campaign, WND has learned.

Auma Obama is now stranded in New Hampshire and indefinitely in the U.S., according to U.S. security officials involved with the presidential campaign.

Barack Obama’s protective detail recently was boosted to deal with overflow crowds the new Democratic frontrunner is attracting.

The State Department still views the situation in Kenya as too dangerous for Americans, as well as his sister, to return.

Auma Obama is from Nairobi, where rioters have killed hundreds after a contested presidential election between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Supporters of Odinga accused Kibaki of rigging the Dec. 27 vote. The charges rekindled tribal tensions, sparking mayhem that has left at least 250,000 people homeless. Ethnic factions have battled police and attacked each other with automatic weapons and even bows and arrows.

Barack Obama reached out to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to discuss the situation before taping a Voice of America statement urging normally peaceful Kenyans to stop the violence.

“Despite the irregularities in the vote tabulation, now is not the time to throw that strong democracy away,” Obama said. “Now is a time for President Kibaki, opposition leader Odinga, and all of Kenya’s leaders to call for calm, to come together, and to start a political process to address peacefully the controversies that divide them.”

Auma and Barack Obama share the same father – the late Barack Hussein Obama Sr., who had abandoned a pregnant wife and child when he met the Illinois senator’s mother Ann, a white woman from Kansas, while studying in Hawaii. Barack Obama Jr. was 2 when his father left his new family to study at Harvard.

His father, who at the time was a practicing Muslim, was a member of the Luo tribe in Kenya, one of some 45 tribes there.

It was Auma who reintroduced her younger brother, Barack, to his ancestral village in Kenya in 1995. Their 83-year-old grandmother, Sarah, still lives there. During a return trip to the village last year, Obama opened a school – the Senator Obama School.

Obama has another half-sister in Hawaii and five surviving half-brothers scattered across the globe, including older brother Abongo “Roy” Obama, a Muslim convert.

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