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US Revokes Visa for Top Kenyan Official


US Revokes Visa for Top Kenyan Official

US Revokes Visa for Top Kenyan Official

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The United States has revoked the visa of a top Kenyan official it accuses of blocking political reforms.

The top U.S. diplomat for Africa, Johnnie Carson, announced the move to reporters in Nairobi Monday. Carson would not reveal the official's name, saying only that the person is a "senior government official of influence."

Carson said the individual has obstructed efforts to fight corruption, to implement reforms, and to stop the cycle of impunity in Kenya.

He also said the United States is considering similar action against three other Kenyan government officials.

The U.S. has put increasing pressure on Kenya to follow through on political reforms agreed to after last year's post-election violence, in which some 1,300 people were killed.

In September, the U.S. sent letters to 15 prominent Kenyans, threatening them with travel bans for allegedly obstructing the reforms.

U.S. officials did not name those leaders but U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger said they included government ministers, members of parliament, and other officials.

The United States has said it wants Kenya to make greater efforts to stamp out corruption, overhaul the police force and judiciary, create a permanent electoral commission, and bring to justice the organizers of last year's violence.

The reforms were a core part of the power-sharing agreement that helped end the violence.

In a October 5 statement, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga said government committees on the reforms are all making progress. The Kenyan leaders characterized the overall progress of the reform program as "impressive."

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