News / USA

WikiLeaks Prompts Kenyan Leaders' Push for Recall of US Envoy

US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger speaks during an American Chamber of Commerce quarterly luncheon, in Nairobi, Kenya, Jan 26, 2010 (file photo)
US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger speaks during an American Chamber of Commerce quarterly luncheon, in Nairobi, Kenya, Jan 26, 2010 (file photo)
Michael Onyiego

One week after WikiLeaks exposed several classified assessments of Kenya's leaders, United States Ambassador Michael Ranneberger is being accused by prominent politicians of meddling in Kenya's affairs, with many calling for the envoy's removal.

Since the release of classified cables by WikiLeaks on December 8 and 9, Michael Ranneberger has been called a rogue ambassador and many politicians are demanding his recall to Washington.

Kenya celebrates its most important national holiday every December 12 to mark the country's independence from Britain in 1963, as well as its foundation of a constitutional republic in 1964.

But on Sunday, the day also was marked with harsh words for the U.S. ambassador to Kenya. Speaking at a celebration in Nairobi, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki criticized Ranneberger for his alleged attempts to influence national affairs.

The president said Ranneberger was using money to influence Kenyan youth and destabilize the country. Kibaki assured the crowd, however, that the ambassador's efforts were made in vain.

Ranneberger is widely known for his youth outreach efforts in Kenya. Recently, politicians have accused him of using U.S. aid programs to incite the nation's youth and foment change in the country's leadership. Last week, Prime Minister Raila Odinga asked Ranneberger to end his outreach campaigns.

The Prime Minister called Sunday for Kenya's international partners to respect its people as well as its sovereignty.

In the WikiLeaks exposed communiqués to Washington, Rannenberger cited Kenya's "rampant, high-level corruption" - as well as its "culture of impunity" - as the two main obstacles in the path of reform. He included the president and prime minister as part of an "old guard" with vested interests in the culture of impunity.  

Many in the upper echelons of Kenyan Government have denounced Ranneberger, comparing him to former U.S. Envoy Smith Hempstone, who was a vocal critic of Kenya's one-party state under former President Daniel Moi, and who openly campaigned for democratic elections during his tenure from 1989-1993.

But some in Kenya have defended Ranneberger's cables. Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission Director Patrick Lumumba said Monday the cables reflect the true state of corruption in Kenya. He called for Kenya's leaders to fight graft and save Kenya's economy.

Nairobi University School of Diplomacy and International Relations Professor Gerrishon Ikiara said the damage done to the Ambassador's credibility likely will prompt his recall to Washington.

"You cannot effectively serve as an ambassador if you serve in a situation, which is very poisoned in terms of mistrust between you and the principals in that country and the public," said Ikiara. "He has touched on so many people and sometimes not in flattering terms. And also sometimes not in exact terms."

Neither the ambassador nor the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi has issued a statement regarding the cables.

In addition to his assessment of Kenyan leaders, the envoy's cables also have highlighted Kenya's role in smuggling arms into southern Sudan, its growing importance in international narcotics trafficking, and China's growing influence in Kenya.

Ranneberger has served as U.S. Ambassador to Kenya since July 2006.


You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid