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article imageU.S. Threatens Travel Ban on Senior Kenyan Officials

By Chris Dade     Sep 24, 2009 in World
The United States, angry at what it says is the blocking of reform, has written to 15 senior officials in Kenya warning them that they face the imposition of travel bans if they do not support the reform agenda.
Details of the letters written to the officials, signed by the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jonnie Carson, were revealed on Thursday by Michael Ranneberger, the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya.
Kenya currently has a coalition government, formed after the highly contentious presidential poll in 2007 which led to the deaths of 1,300 people in post-election violence, many allegedly died at the hands of the Kenyan police, and the displacement of 350,000 more, and Mr Ranneberger has confirmed that both sides of the government have received the letters as the U.S. considers them equally responsible for failing to implement the various reforms agreed under what is known as Agenda Four.
Whilst the names of the recipients of the letters were not disclosed Mr Ranneberger, who was speaking from his residence in Kenya's capital Nairobi, did say that Ministers, Members of Parliament, Permanent Secretaries were amongst those who had been warned about their failure to help bring about reform.
The Daily Nation reports that part of the letter reads:President Obama and Secretary Clinton have made clear their deep concerns that key elements of the reform agenda have not been implemented. They have made clear that as a friend and partner of Kenya, we want to help, but that you will not you will not do business as usual with those who do not support reform or who support violence
According to the BBC Mr Ranneberger has also warned that his country will "more closely scrutinise any proposals for Kenya in international financial institutions".
The current President of Kenya is Mwai Kibaki, who has held the office since 2002, and it was the declaration by the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), a body since disbanded, that he had been reelected following the 2007 election which began the violence that led to the loss of so many lives.
Raila Odinga is Kenya's Prime Minister, a position he assumed after former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan helped negotiate a deal to end the post-election violence. Mr Odinga, who claimed victory in the Presidential election, was joined in the coalition government by several members of his Orange Democratic Movement.
A parliamentary election was also held in Kenya in 2007 and the Orange Democratic Movement and an affiliated party together won more seats than the Party of National Unity, of which President Kibaki is the leader, and its affiliated parties.
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