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After IMF Ignores Kenya Question for 3 Days, It Says Doesn't Deal with Individuals

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 26 -- Hours after the International Criminal Court in the Hague on January 23 confirmed charges against four of six Kenyan officials for crimes against humanity during the post-election violence, Inner City Press formally asked several International Monetary Fund spokespeople to "state how this ICC indictment changes the ways in which the ICC will engage with this finance minister," Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.

  Given past IMF stonewalling, on questions ranging from IMF financing of Dominique Strauss Kahn's forays to the place of human rights if any in its decision-making, after submitting the Kenya question to the IMF, Inner City Press made the question public, here and on Twitter.

  Three full days went by without the IMF stating its position. On Thursday, Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki e-mailed out a statement that "the president has accepted the decision by Uhuru Kenyatta to step aside as the minister for finance."

  Kenyatta is, however, remaining on as deputy prime minister. While this was a post created in the 2008 deal, the partial resignation impacting only the Finance post implies that Kibaki felt that someone -- the IMF? -- would not have dealt with the country through Kenyatta.

  Inner City Press on Thursday morning reiterated its question of Monday, by e-mail before the IMF's biweekly online briefing and through the Fund's "Media Center" during the briefing.

  While not having acknowledged Inner City Press' formal and public question on January 23, on January 26 IMF deputy spokesman David Hawley took the question from another publication -- and dodged it.

  Hawley said the IMF has no comment, it has relations with "governments, not individuals."

  This is a dodge. The IMF is ostensibly part of the UN system; while the UN could say it deals with governments not individuals, it has a stated policy that it will deal with ICC-indictees only "as necessary."

How can the IMF deal with governments except through people? And what is its policy?

IMF's DSK, rocket and Kenyatta: IMF doesn't deal with individuals?

  Inner City Press before the embargo expired asked the IMF:

a follow up for deadline on your Kenya answer: what is the IMF's policy on dealing with government officials who have been indicted for war crimes or genocide when they have not, as here, resigned? please explain why the question when I submitted it on Monday was never answered or even acknowledged. And the Sri Lanka questions, and the ones of last briefing:

On Sri Lanka, what is the IMF's response to Central Bank Governor Ajit Nivad Cabraal statement on January 3 that Sri Lanka will seek a fresh “follow up or surveillance program” with the IMF as the $2.6 billion loan obtained in 2009 is reportedly due to expire early this year? What is the IMF's thinking on Sri Lanka's failure to fully meet the budget deficit targets and its refusal to devalue the rupee?

On Ukraine, what if the relation between that country's negotiations with Russia on gas prices and the IMF resuming talks, after Ukraine passed the bankruptcy legislation it said the IMF wanted? Etc.

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Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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