EU warns of sanctions if talks fail
Published on February 15, 2008, 12:00 am
By Robert Nyasato And Morton Saulo
The European Union (EU) has warned that it could sever trade and bilateral links with Kenya if political leaders do not move fast to resolve the political crisis.
The union’s head of political and trade section in the country, Mr Harvey Rouse, said investors and tourists’ confidence had greatly been eroded by the post-election crisis.
“The electoral process had a negative impact on the country. Until there is a willingness in the two opposing factions to work things out together, it will not be business as usual as regards EU member countries,” Rouse warned.
He acknowledged that Kenya was a fast growing economic powerhouse in Africa that had just begun finding its footing in the global economic equation.
But he regretted that the post-election chaos had watered down the economic achievements.
Rouse’s remarks come in the wake of last month’s comments by United States Ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, who also stated that it would no longer be business as usual between USA and Kenya. British High Commissioner to Kenya, Mr Adam Wood, was quoted as saying that his government did not recognise President Kibaki.
Rouse was speaking on Thursday when he paid the Kisii DC, Mr Njoroge Ndirangu, a courtesy call in his office.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Government has said it will not change its policy on Kenya.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Zhang Ming, said his country preferred not to interference in the internal affairs of sovereign countries.
“My country has a non-interference foreign policy, which means we do not interfere with foreign countries’ activities,” Ming said. He said his Government would continue to undertake projects it had initiated with the Government and the people of Kenya.
He made the statement at a time the US, Canada, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are exerting pressure on the Government and the Opposition to reach a settlement out of the political stalemate.
Ming expressed concern over the derailment of road construction projects as a result of post-election violence.
The envoy, however, clarified that his country was concerned about the current state of the country.
“My people are concerned with what has happened to Kenyans and hope a solution will be found,” he said.
He added, “Kenyans deserve peace and stability for development and economic growth.”
The ambassador was speaking to the Press on Thursday upon donating Sh1.7 million for the construction of bio centre project for Huruma village on the fringes of Karura forest.
The project is aimed at producing biogas, which will serve as energy for the locals.