01/16/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Kenya Slaps Sanctions On Somalia

Kenya is starting to flex some muscle on Somalia.

Today the Kenyan government slapped sanctions on Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf, accusing him of being an obstacle to peace. They imposed a travel ban on him and his family and froze his assets in Kenya - a potentially significant rap because Yusuf, like many Somali politicians, is believed to have extensive property and business investments in Kenya.

Kenyan officials and Western diplomats have grudgingly supported Yusuf's interim government as perhaps Somalia's best chance at a normal government, but it's become difficult to argue that the elderly president isn't an impediment to peace. While Islamist militias gobble up territory and pirates wreak havoc offshore, Yusuf spent this week trying to fire his rival, Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein - a blatantly illegal move under Somalia's charter - and appointing a new one over the objections of the rest of the country.

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