<!-- IMAGE -->
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
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
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
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."