Kenya: Clinton: Well slap ban on corrupt leaders

hillary_clinton3The United States plans to impose sanctions on individual Kenyans who have been implicated in corruption to help end the vice and fight impunity, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (pictured) said on Thursday.

Speaking at the University of Nairobi during an open forum, Mrs Clinton said blanket sanction would not apply as President Obamas administration would continue to give aid to the civil society and non-govenmental organisation.

She, at the same time, insisted that US would not interfere with the running of Kenyas coalition government.

Apart from piling pressure on the coalition government, Mrs Clinton said there was very little the US could do to influence the political situation.

The US cannot solve Kenyas problems we cannot dictate to you how to run this government. It is not up to Kenyans, she said

While responding to questions from the audience, Ms Clinton avoided direct reprimands to the coalition government, instead, pledging to help the civil society to change the regime.

She seemed to have bought into the governments decision to go for the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, despite calls by many Kenyans to press for the fight against impunity.

But even though the US is not a signatory to the Rome Statute that formed the International Criminal Court (ICC), she told Kenya not to allow the post-election violence matter to get out of hand.

Fighting impunity is like a rite of passage… the only road forward.

Mrs Clinton said the call for accountability was much harder to implement than the police and judicial reforms proposed by the government.

However, as she conceded Americas near-helplessness, Mrs Clinton urged the civil society to keep pushing for reforms.

I work for a President who believes in hope, she said.

One participant, Mr Joshua Nyamori, had asked the US Secretary of State about her impression of the political will regarding the implementation of the reform agenda.

There are people within the leadership who understand the necessity of these reforms. Whether theyll be successful or not is still up in the air, she replied.

But, Mrs Clinton avoided mentioning names, perhaps understanding the political impact such a move could have on the fragile coalition arrangement.

Terming Kenya as a very political country where everybody has a political opinion, Mrs Clinton asked those in the civil society to join politics and try to change the system from within.

Her call against corruption in government continued, though this time she asked the youths to use new platforms like Twitter and Facebook to protest against corruption, as opposed to the often bloody street demonstrations.

The open forum that lasted 90 minutes was moderated by journalists Fareed Zakaria (News Week columnist) and Beatrice Marshal (KTN).

Meanwhile, Mrs Clinton said the US would impose sanctions on the countries funding terrorist organisations in Somalia.

She termed as a tragedy, the many refugees holed up in camps in Northern Kenya and Nairobi.

There is a lot that Kenyans have to worry about, she said.

Daily Nation

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