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

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid