Kenya Feels Betrayed by 'Brother Barack'

US practices diplomatic tough love
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2009 2:52 PM CDT
Kenyans gather in Kisumu, Kenya, Tuesday Jan. 20, 2009, to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States.   (AP Photo/Riccardo Gangale)
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(Newser) – Kenyans adore Barack Obama, affectionately calling him “Brother Barack,” but they’re starting to get the feeling he doesn’t love them back. The Obama administration has been far harder on Kenya diplomatically than its predecessor, Time reports. Last week Washington threatened to keep 15 senior officials from entering the US and even warned that it would scrutinize Nairobi's IMF requests—treatment normally reserved for the likes of Sudan and Zimbabwe.

If Obama does love his father's native land, it seems to be as a scolding parent; the US is annoyed that Kenya’s coalition government hasn’t done anything to clean up its act after corruption led to widespread election violence last year. “I sometimes think Obama’s roots in Kenya can actually be a problem,” says PM Raila Odinga. “Kenya is always being held to different standards." (Read more Barack Obama stories.)