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Page last updated at 17:07 GMT, Thursday, 24 September 2009 18:07 UK

US travel ban threat for Kenyans

Riots in 2007
Hundreds died in weeks of violence following the election in 2007

The US has threatened to impose travel bans on 15 senior Kenyan officials if they fail to support the country's "reform agenda".

Michael Ranneberger, the US ambassador in Nairobi, says letters have been sent to the officials urging them to back reforms and oppose the use of violence.

In recent months the US has criticised Kenya for failing to investigate deadly violence after the 2007 election.

Some 1,300 people died, but officials have resisted calls for a tribunal.

In the letter, state department official Johnnie Carson urges Kenya to strengthen its institutions and eradicate corruption to avoid more violence after the next election in 2012.

It stated that the US "would not do business as usual with those who do not support reform or who support violence".

The BBC's Peter Greste, in Nairobi, says the Americans were quick to point out that they were not accusing the 15 Kenyans of doing anything wrong - just of failing to act.

Deadlines missed

Mr Ranneberger told reporters he would not be releasing the officials' names, but said they included ministers, MPs, permanent secretaries and other prominent officials.

He added that the US would "more closely scrutinise any proposals for Kenya in international financial institutions".

A power-sharing government was eventually set up after the 2007 election, but it has struggled to restore stability in the wake of the violence.

Rights groups blamed the police for many of the deaths in the riots, which raged for two months after the election.

International mediators have pressed the government to set up a tribunal to investigate the killings, but officials continue to miss every deadline they are set.

In July, Kofi Annan passed the names of those accused of orchestrating the violence to the International Criminal Court.

The list, drawn up by a Kenyan judicial commission, has not been made public.

In recent weeks the US has also criticised President Mwai Kibaki's attempt to reappoint a much-criticised anti-corruption chief without parliament's approval.



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