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Vol 50 No 17

Published 28th August 2009


Mixed messages and sanction threats

Western governments responded swiftly when last month Kenya failed to set up a special tribunal to try those responsible for the 2007 post-election violence and suggested it might use the new Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission instead (AC Vol 50 No 16). Both the European Union, in a statement supported by 20 diplomatic missions in Kenya, and the United Kingdom declared they would not fund the TJRC if this happened. Britain also said it might bar Kenyans involved in the violence from travelling to the UK. United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US also had sanctions up its sleeve, although only as a last resort. This followed earlier warnings from Sweden that if Kenya did not form a special tribunal, it might reconsider its hefty aid package. It is unclear how much clout the West has. Past aid and travel bans have not yielded much by way of policy reform.

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