From Volume 36, Issue 38 of EIR Online, Published Oct. 2, 2009
Africa News Digest

Obama Makes Outrageous Move for the British and ICC in Kenya

Sept. 28 (EIRNS)—President Obama has done harm to the United States and to Kenya, on behalf of the British and the International Criminal Court (ICC), by causing letters to be sent to 15 high officials of the Kenyan government, threatening sanctions against them personally and against their government, if British-designed reforms are not speedily put into place. The 15 recipients are believed to overlap the secret list given to the ICC by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, which includes 6 cabinet ministers and 5 MPs suspected of promoting violence after the 2007 presidential election.

U.S. Ambassador Michael Ranneberger announced the sending of the letters at a press conference Sept. 24. He made it clear that, although the letters were signed by Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson, they were inspired by "the highest" level of the U.S. government. The letters state in part: "President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have made clear their deep concerns that the key elements of the reform agenda have not been implemented," according to the Kenyan press. The recipients include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries, the head of the civil service, MPs, and others. Ranneberger said the U.S. would also scrutinize Kenya's funding proposals to the IMF, World Bank, and African Development Bank.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki responded by writing directly to Obama, expressing his "displeasure and concern" that the United States was issuing private threats to members of his government over matters of Kenyan government policy.

Even before the letters were sent, the Obama Administration had demanded the removal of the Kenyan Attorney General and Chief Justice.

Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula today announced that he is summoning Ambassador Ranneberger for an explanation, and that the government is considering its options in response to the Obama letters, which he called "an act of intimidation."

Yesterday, an unnamed senior government minister told The Standard, a Kenyan daily, that President Kibaki has asked Obama to recall Ranneberger.

Meanwhile, ultra-British figures in the Kenyan government, led by Prime Minister Raila Odinga, are supporting Obama's action. Odinga himself, responding to a question at a Harvard University forum on Sept. 24, said that the U.S. government was "totally entitled" to take such action against Kenyan officials.

Does Obama have the same attitude toward Kenyans that he has toward Americans?

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