As U.S. influence in Africa wanes, Kenya bucks the trend


NAIROBI — Kenyan President William Ruto’s state visit to Washington this week — the first by an African president since 2008 — highlights the deepening ties between Nairobi and Washington even as Russian mercenaries, Chinese loans, wars and coups are rolling back U.S. influence elsewhere on the continent.

Chad and Niger, formerly staunch U.S. allies, both asked American troops to leave their territory this year. Diplomatic heavyweight Ethiopia, once a key ally in Africa, is infuriated by U.S. allegations of gross human rights violations and ethnic cleansing during its recent two-year civil war. Washington’s fervent support for Israel has also put it at odds with continental players such as South Africa and Egypt, which have been vocal critics of the war in Gaza.

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