The US ambassador to Kenya has resigned citing ‘differences’ with Washington DC, but reports from Africa have suggested a link between the decision and a gay pride event hosted at the embassy in Nairobi this week.
Former air force general Scott Gration said there had been disagreements on his “leadership style and certain priorities” and announced his resignation today, saying he had written to the US president on Monday.
Reports from Kenya suggest the decision may have been influenced by an LGBT pride reception held at the embassy on Tuesday of this week.
It was the first of its kind in the African state, where homosexuality is illegal, and came as part of the Obama administration’s renewed commitment to gay people’s human rights globally.
Reports from Kenya suggest the event may have played a part in precipitating the ambassador’s departure.
In an exclusive report, the Kenyan Daily Post said there were rumours the ambassador “has been associating too much with the gay and lesbian community from the day president Obama supported the same sex marriage”.
It reported that the Kenyan government had complained the embassy was “promoting bad culture to the African people”.
Capital FM Nairobi reports today that the ambassador was not present at the pride event. It added that the LGBT reception had “ruffled feathers in local religious ranks”.
However, the outlet also reported a travel advisory sent by the embassy advising against travel to Mombasa due to the threat of a terrorist attack. A handgrade attack occurred on a bar the following day, but the US was reportedly accused of “economic sabotage” by the tourism minister.
Officials were not able to explain the reasons for the ambassador’s decision further today.
Major General (rtd) Gration, who was appointed to the position last year, said he would “deeply miss Kenya, the Kenyan people, our partners in the diplomatic corps, and our colleagues in the US Mission.”