The US has shaken up Kenyan politics by sending letters to prominent politicians on both sides of the nation’s national unity government, accusing them of blocking reform. Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki replied in a terse note to US President Barack Obama that the action is not in line with usual diplomatic protocols between friendly states. Perhaps he was hoping that because Obama’s father was a Kenyan, the US president would sweep issues of Kenyan democratic reform under the carpet. The letters, sent to some 15 ministers, MPs and civil servants, imply that they are continuing to condone human rights violations in post-election violence in 2008 that killed about 1,300 people and displaced hundreds of thousands. The fact that ordinary Kenyans believe the county’s police and judiciary are complicit in rampant corruption and human rights abuses has been compounded by the justice minister’s admission that Kenya will not meet a September deadline to set up a special tribunal to try those accused of being behind the violence.
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