Obama to send top Africa diplomat for [email protected] celebration

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The Obama administration’s top Africa official will travel to Kenya as part of a US delegation attending celebrations of the 50th anniversary of independence, the State Department announced on Tuesday.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield “will also focus on furthering the important relationship between the US and Kenya on democracy, economic prosperity and security,” the State Department added.

Representation by such a high-ranking diplomat suggests that the Obama administration may be backing away from its veiled warning prior to the March election that a victory by Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto would have negative “consequences” for US-Kenya relations.

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The announcement of Ms Thomas-Greenfield’s attendance at the Golden Jubilee celebrations is the latest sign that little has changed in Washington-Nairobi ties during the past nine months.

President Obama called President Kenyatta to give condolences and offers of US assistance following both the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport terminal fire in August and the Westgate Mall terror attack in September.

The US may also be seeking to soothe Kenyan officials who expressed dismay at Washington’s recent refusal to support Kenya’s effort in the UN Security Council to win a deferral of the ICC cases against President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto.-nation.co.ke

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