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Kenya Slams US Visa Ban

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Kenya's foreign minister has denounced the U.S. government's decision to revoke the visa of a top Kenyan official it accuses of blocking reforms.

On Monday, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson told reporters in Nairobi that the U.S. had revoked the visa of an unnamed "senior government official of influence."

On Wednesday, Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula said that Kenya has options in diplomacy and may take reciprocal actions.

He also criticized Carson's behavior, saying Carson entered the country uninvited, made what he termed "fairly reckless and unacceptable statements," then left.

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. government 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 include 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.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.