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The US has threatened to impose travel bans on 15 senior Kenyan officials if they fail to support the country's "reform agenda".

Michael Ranneberger, the US ambassador in Nairobi, says letters have been sent to the officials urging them to back reforms and oppose the use of violence.

In recent months the US has criticised Kenya for failing to investigate deadly violence after the 2007 election.

Some 1,300 people died, but officials have resisted calls for a tribunal.

The letter sent to the officials stated that the US "would not do business as usual with those who do not support reform or who support violence".

In it, state department official Johnnie Carson urges Kenya to strengthen its institutions and eradicate corruption to avoid more violence after the next election in 2012.

Deadlines missed

Mr Ranneberger told reporters he would not be releasing the officials' names, but said they included ministers, MPs, permanent secretaries and other prominent officials.

He added that the US would "more closely scrutinise any proposals for Kenya in international financial institutions".

A power-sharing government was eventually set up after the 2007 election, but it has struggled to restore stability in the wake of the violence.

Rights groups blamed the police for many of the deaths in the riots, which raged for two months after the election.

International mediators have pressed the government to set up a tribunal to investigate the killings, but officials continue to miss every deadline they are set.

Kofi Annan has been given a sealed envelope with the names of those accused of orchestrating the violence and says he will pass it to the International Criminal Court unless they are tried in Kenya.

In recent weeks the US has also criticised President Mwai Kibaki's attempt to reappoint a much-criticised anti-corruption chief without parliament's approval.
Source: BBC/Africa

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