US threatens to impose travel ban on 10 Kenyan lawmakers

February 16th, 2008 - 1:35 am ICT by admin  

Nairobi, Feb 7 (Xinhua) The US said it will impose travel bans on 10 Kenyan political leaders considered to have fanned the country’s post-election violence in which more than 1,000 people have been killed and over 350,000 others displaced. US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger Wednesday confirmed the drastic step that the lawmakers are among prominent people facing an imminent travel ban to the US following the country’s post-election political crisis.

Ranneberger told a local television station that his country “decided to apply our travel restrictions on individuals who we believe participated in the instigation of violence, violation of human rights and breaking of democratic practices”.

The envoy said he had sent out letters to “10 individuals who we believe are involved in the activities that we have mentioned.

“The ban will affect their families, their children who are studying in the US and their spouses. The individuals will also be affected,” Ranneberger said.

Canada has said that it would also write demand letters to the same individuals with a view to blocking them from stepping on its soil.

Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya Ross Hynes said late Wednesday that leaders who fanned violence and hampered mediation talks would have their visas cancelled.

The envoy said his government would ban the politicians once the evidence was available. “We do not have a specific day when this will begin,” Hynes said.

“The message I want to pass to politicians is that the ban is real and will happen,” he said.

“The Canadian legal system provides that individuals who subvert democracy and do not respect human rights are denied entry,” he said.

Speaking to the television channel KTN, Ranneberger said 30 more people were being investigated by Washington. He said the letters dispatched to the 10 politicians were personally written to the individuals asking them to explain why they should not be blocked from travelling to the US in the wake of the violence and violations of human rights ever since the election results were announced on Dec 30.

He was silent on the identity of the lawmakers and prominent persons affected, only stating that it was an “individual issue” those affected have to handle.

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