- The Washington Times - Friday, September 14, 2007

Reinforcing Kenya

The delivery of Humvee military vehicles to Kenya this week was the latest demonstration of U.S. efforts to help the East African nation deal with terrorism, according to U.S. Ambassador Michael E. Ranneberger.

The ambassador on Wednesday donated 41 Humvees in a ceremony in Nairobi, attended by Defense Minister Njenga Karume. The vehicles will help Kenya “combat terrorism,” Mr. Ranneberger said.

Terrorist attacks linked to al Qaeda include the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy and the 2002 bombing of an Israeli-owned resort hotel in the predominately Muslim seaside city of Mombasa, where Mr. Ranneberger on Sunday called on Islamic moderates to denounce extremists.

“America’s experience with extremist groups highlights the fact that no one should take seriously the deranged justifications of terrorists and that the moderate mainstream must unite to repudiate them,” the ambassador said.

He referred to the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City as the worst terrorist attack on American soil before September 11, 2001. The Oklahoma attack, which killed 168 persons, was instigated by Timothy McVeigh, who was later executed.

McVeigh claimed to be acting on behalf of “white Christian America,” but “white Christians, just like other Americans, were outraged by this atrocity,” Mr. Ranneberger said.

The ambassador called on Muslims in Mombasa to “speak out unequivocally against those radicals and extremists who reject Islamic teachings on peaceful and just conduct.”

He urged Muslims to get more involved in the political and economic arenas in Kenya and cautioned the government against tolerating discrimination against its Islamic citizens, who make up about 10 percent of Kenya’s 32 million people.

Mr. Ranneberger also noted that Kenyans of all backgrounds are increasingly concerned about corruption and ethnic divisions in politics.

He said, “The questions they are asking … include:

• ”In order to enhance their own power and influence, are Kenyan politicians tempted to, or do they in fact, encourage tribal, regional and religious communities to feel resentment and alienation from their fellow Kenyans?

• ”Is there a direct correlation between the exploitation of tribal divisions and the seemingly endemic corruption that plagues Kenyan society on so many levels?

• ”And would that corruption end if all people felt that they had an equal share in the government, society, education, income, commerce and institutions of the country?”

Wanted in Bolivia

Bolivian Ambassador Mario Gustavo Guzman Saldana is expected soon to request the extradition of the former president of the South American country, who fled to the United States in 2003 after bloody street clashes between police and protesters angered by his economic policies.

Bolivia’s Supreme Court this week cleared the way for President Evo Morales to seek the extradition of

Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, who is living in self-imposed exile in a Maryland suburb of Washington.

Mr. Sanchez de Lozada fled Bolivia after stepping down during his second term as president. He is accused of authorizing police to use violence to break up the protests.

Police are accused of killing 80 demonstrators and injuring 400 others in protests in October 2003 over Mr. Sanchez de Lozada’s decision to sell natural gas to U.S. oil companies.

The high court also urged the government to ask the Bush administration to prevent the former president from fleeing to a third country to avoid extradition.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@ washingtontimes.com.

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