Rus­sia ac­cused of try­ing to strain Uk-nairobi ties

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY PAUL RED­FERN Na­tion cor­re­spon­dent, Lon­don

A lead­ing Bri­tish news­pa­per has claimed that Rus­sia is be­ing ac­cused by el­e­ments within Bri­tain’s For­eign Of­fice of be­ing be­hind at­tempts to desta­bilise re­la­tions be­tween Lon­don and Nairobi.

The Times news­pa­per said con­cerns had been grow­ing in the UK’S For­eign of­fice about a ‘Rus­sian con­nec­tion’ to the in­creas­ingly stri­dent anti-bri­tish tone of news on so­cial me­dia and what it termed ‘fake news web­sites’.

But the news­pa­per said that other Bri­tish gov­ern­ment sources be­lieve that the “dis­in­for­ma­tion orig­i­nates solely from Kenyan cam­paign sources.”

The Times says that three key or­gan­i­sa­tions were fu­elling this so­cial me­dia storm, Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica, BTP Ad­vis­ers and Aris­to­tle.

The first two com­pa­nies were hired by Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta’s elec­tion team while the lat­ter was con­tracted by Mr Odinga’s side.

The Times noted that BTP has been ac­cused of “stok­ing anti Bri­tish sen­ti­ment” in the last Kenyan elec­tions in 2013.

But the re­port also ac­knowl­edged that anti-uk and US opin­ion had risen af­ter Western ob­servers had given a clean bill of health to Au­gust polls.

It then reached a peak af­ter the UK High Com­mis­sioner Nic Hai­ley “made a state­ment with other am­bas­sadors call­ing for the fresh pres­i­den­tial elec­tion to go ahead.”

The re­port said that “fears about the po­ten­tial in­volve­ment of Rus­sia in spread­ing anti-uk sen­ti­ment abroad comes as the Bri­tish Elec­toral Com­mis­sion has launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into whether Moscow in­ter­fered in the Brexit cam­paign’ in Bri­tain last June.

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