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)
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Parents of Disaster Ferry Passengers Lash Out at Authorities

Twenty-nine bodies recovered from water but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

US congressional delegation initiates $84 million Agent Orange cleanup project More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid