News / USA

US Ambassador to Kenya Announces Resignation

USU Ambassador to Kenya, Scott GrationUSU Ambassador to Kenya, Scott Gration
USU Ambassador to Kenya, Scott Gration
USU Ambassador to Kenya, Scott Gration
Gabe Joselow
NAIROBI, KENYA The U.S. ambassador to Kenya, Scott Gration, has announced his resignation, citing differences with Washington. The sudden decision leaves many questions unanswered.

In a statement Friday, Ambassador Scott Gration said he will resign from his post on July 28, after just over 14 months in office.

Gration said differences with Washington regarding his “leadership style and certain priorities” lead him to believe that it is the time to leave.

He said he submitted his resignation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama earlier this week.

The statement led to speculation in the Kenyan media that Gration differed with Washington on policy issues, and that a recent gay pride event hosted by the embassy may have been a source of tension.

Information Officer Katya Thomas at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi says that is not the case.

“That's absolutely untrue, the LGBT Pride is an American month of June awareness event and its part of our foreign policy agenda and we had that event,” said Thomas. "We're very happy to get that message across to the Kenyan public. Ambassador Gration's resignation has nothing to do with that event or with our advocacy of LGBT rights.”

Thomas said Gration will elaborate on his decision when he can, but that his statement stands for the time being.

Gration was appointed to the position in 2010 after spending two years as the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan.

Gration spent part of his childhood in Kenya, and served a two-year assignment in the country during a long career with the U.S. Air Force.

But the ambassador kept a low-profile in Kenya, rarely wading into the country's politics, unlike his predecessor Michael Rannenberger - a staunch and outspoken advocate of political reform and anti-corruption initiatives in Kenya.

The chief executive of the Law Society of Kenya, Apollo Mboya, says people in Kenya knew little about Gration.

“He has the alternative voice of the civil society, what needs to happen with regard to reforms in Kenya, what needs to happen before the next generation and he has been missing in action,” said Mboya.

Mboya said the next ambassador should be more vocal and ready to “pull punches.”

The next ambassador to Kenya will inherit some pressing issues, including a volatile security situation and the upcoming Kenyan elections.

Kenyan officials complained about a U.S. Embassy warning issued last week pulling its U.S. citizens out of the coastal city of Mombasa, because of an imminent terror threat, saying such warnings damage the economy.

A day later a grenade attack killed three people at a Mombasa bar.

You May Like

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

Indian PM Calls for Unity Amid Tense Climate Over Beef Attacks

Recent series of beef-related incidents seen as signs of rising intolerance toward Muslims and other religious minorities More

Why These Are New York City's Most Treasured Spaces

Under threat of jail time and fines, some New York property owners are not allowed to renovate their spaces without prior approval More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs