News / USA

US Ambassador to Kenya Announces Resignation

USU Ambassador to Kenya, Scott GrationUSU Ambassador to Kenya, Scott Gration
x
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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs