Gration denies threatening embassy staff

July 4, 2012 3:53 pm
Gration said that he respected the right for people to hold opinions and hoped that the truth will one time come out/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 4 – Outgoing US ambassador Scott Gration has denied allegations that he threatened to shoot an embassy staff, which reportedly led to disagreements with Washington.

Gration, a retired air force general and former US special envoy to Sudan said that he respected the right for people to hold opinions and hoped that the truth will one time come out and will set him free.

“For 32 years of my life I was ready to die; I spent that time in my career defending people so that they may have their freedom of speech and to express their opinion. Some people have done that and we will live with it until the truth comes out,” said the envoy who leaves office on July 28.

He remained guarded on the specific reasons for his resignation maintaining that it had come to a time he needed to move on, decision he said he made in respect of his reputation and dignity.

He wrote a resignation letter to Washington on Monday citing “differences” with Washington over his leadership style and priorities, just over a year since he was appointed.

Foreign Policy Magazine claimed that Gration resigned following the impending release of a highly critical report by the State Department’s Inspector General’s office quoting administration and congressional sources.

The report was described to The Cable (a publication of Foreign Policy) by multiple people briefed on its contents as one of the worst reviews of an ambassador’s performance written by the IG’s staff in several years.

The bulk of the criticisms focused on Gration’s terrible relationship with embassy staff since he took over as ambassador last year following a controversial two-year stint as President Barack Obama’s special envoy for Sudan.

Gration who spoke after the US Independence Day celebrations in Nairobi also revealed that the travel advisory issued on Mombasa has been lifted but that travelers should exercise extra vigilance.

“US government officials and our temporary staff are back to work in Mombasa, but that does not mean that the threats are diminished but we want people to travel with extra care,” he said in an interview at his residence in Muthaiga.

He insisted that it was the prerogative of the Kenyan government to decide on the actions it will take on the two Iranians arrested last week in Nairobi and Mombasa and who were charged on Monday with being in possession of dangerous explosives.

Charges for Ahmed Mohamud and Said Mausud, read that they were found with 15 kilograms of RDX explosives in circumstances which indicated that they were armed with intent to commit a felony otherwise known as grievous harm.


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