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US bans official for aiding 'corruption'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-10-26

The United States announced on Monday that it is taking away the visa of a senior Kenyan official whom Washington claims is hindering the fight against corruption.

AFP - The United States has revoked the visa of a senior Kenyan official for obstructing key reforms, US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson announced Monday.

"Highlighting our seriousness on the need for reforms in Kenya, I am announcing today that the US government has taken the decision to revoke the visa of a senior Kenyan government official," he told reporters in Nairobi.

He did not reveal the official's name, describing him only as a "senior government official of influence."

Carson charged the individual "has obstructed the reform process, failed to end the cycle of impunity and has been an obstacle in the fight against corruption."

He also said the United States is "actively considering similar action against three other senior officials in government."

The measure was Washington's most tangible expression of anger so far at its top regional partner's failure to make good on the reform agenda agreed in the aftermath of last year's deadly post-election violence.

On September 24, US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger announced that letters had been sent to 15 senior officials expressing Washington's displeasure and could be followed by travel bans.

At least 1,500 people died in violence that broke out after the December 2007 polls, which pre-election frontrunner Raila Odinga charged were rigged by incumbent President Mwai Kibaki.

The world rushed to mediate for an end to the violence in a country that has long been the West's mainstay in east Africa, with former UN chief Kofi Annan brokering a deal that saw Odinga named prime minister and Kibaki keep his job.

The coalition has since failed to deliver promised reforms and been widely criticised at home and abroad for perpetuating impunity.

Date created : 2009-10-26

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