Freeze aid to army, says Kiai
Story by KEVIN J KELLEY
13. Feb. 2008
NATION Correspondent, NEW YORK
US military assistance to Kenya should be suspended, pending a
resolution of the post-election crisis, two Kenyan human rights
leaders write in Tuesday’s edition of The New York Times.
“Some of the security forces benefiting from this aid and
equipment have been killing Kenyan civilians with impunity,” Maina
Kiai and L Muthoni Wanyeki charge.
US military aid to Kenya has risen 800 per cent since the 2001
terror attacks, totalling about $50 million (Sh 3.5 billion) for
the years 2002 to 2006, according to a Washington-based monitoring
Mr Kiai and Ms Wanyeki also urge Washington to trace and freeze
the personal assets of “the hard-liners and the leaders of the
Mr Kiai, chairman of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights,
and Ms Wanyeki, director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission, add
in their published commentary that the recent threat to bar
hardliners from the US may have been “a decisive factor in
prompting the parties to finally sit at the table.”
The two also indirectly criticise Jendayi Frazer, the State
Department’s top Africa official, for suggesting that some of the
violence amounted to “ethnic cleansing.”
The Kenyans further urge the US Congress to pressure the
International Republican Institute (IRI) to release results of an
exit poll conducted during the elections.
“Suspicions that the institute has suppressed its results not
because they were flawed but because they showed that Mr Odinga
won have fuelled mistrust,” Mr Kiai and Ms Wanyeki write.
The IRI, which sent a team to monitor the voting, said last week
it will not publish the exit poll’s findings because of what it
describes as major technical flaws in conducting and processing
Meanwhile, US President George W Bush and United Nations
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will discuss Kenya’s post-election
crisis in talks scheduled to take place in Washington on Friday.
The two leaders are expected to consider “important regional
issues such as Darfur, Kenya, the Middle East, Iraq and
Afghanistan,” UN spokeswoman Michele Montas said in New York on
Other issues affecting Kenya, which include human rights,
counter-terrorism and the UN’s millennium development goals are
also on the agenda for the White House meeting.