20 February 2013

West begins to roll back from Kenya sanctions

Kenya goes to the polls a week on Monday and it looks like it will go down to the wire between Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta.  Kenyatta, of course, is due to defend himself sometime in April against charges of crimes against humanity at the ICC regarding post election violence in 2007. 

This has lead to the accusation that western powers won't do business with ICC indictees - which has unleashed a whole variety of diplomatic issues as well as, crucially, being seen by many Kenyans as the old colonial forces trying to tell them how to run their country.  It also goes against the principle of being assumed innocent until proven guilty.

But this morning a letter signed by 21 western ambassadors and high commissioners - including the UK, US and EU appeared in the Kenyan Daily Nation - but sadly not in their online version - to the effect that their previous discussion of what would happen if Kenyatta were to win was wrong.

Danish Ambassador, Geert Andersen, wrote 'The choice of Kenya's leaders in the election is up to the Kenyan people alone. We do not endorse any candidate over another.'

Today's opinion polls show the race to be a statistical deadheat,  Back in January Odinga had a 12 point lead.

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