KENYA SUMMONS ITS AMBASSSADOR TO THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF SOMALIA AND INSTRUCTS THE AMBASSADOR OF SOMALIA TO KENYA TO DEPART TO SOMALIA FOR CONSULTATIONS

  1. Kenya has summoned its Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Somalia, Ambassador Lt. General (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo. He has been summoned back to Nairobi for urgent consultations. The summons is a consequence of a most regretful and egregious decision by the Government of Somalia to auction off oil and gas blocks in Kenya’s maritime territorial area that borders Somalia.

 

  1. The auction took place in London, United Kingdom, on the 7th February, 2019.

 

  1. This unparalleled affront and illegal grab at the resources of Kenya will not go unanswered and is tantamount to an act of aggression against the people of Kenya and their resources. This outrageous and provocative auction deserves and will be met with a unanimous and resounding rejection by all Kenyans as well as all people of goodwill who believe in the maintenance of international law and order and the peaceful and legal resolution of disputes.

 

  1. Kenya, through multiple channels including direct diplomatic demarches at the highest of levels has sought to find an amicable and peaceful resolution of the maritime boundary and has severally and emphatically stated its unequivocal claim of the maritime area that is known to be historically Kenyan. Kenya has willingly and procedurally enjoined itself to the international legal processes of international boundary disputes, including but not limited to, bilateral negotiations and subservience to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) where this matter of the Kenya/Somalia boundary currently rests.

 

  1. By carelessly ignoring the internationally acceptable norms of boundary dispute resolution and or political and diplomatic disagreements, the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia has once again demonstrated that it has yet to attain and embrace the political maturity and diplomatic stance of a normal, well adjusted, and properly functioning modern government.

 

  1. It is tragic and most regretful that the Government of Somalia has chosen to take this action against a people and a State that has stood by the Somali people through incredible humanitarian and political hardships. Kenya has stood by Somalia without once flinching on its responsibility to its neighbour nor shirking its international responsibility to the people of Somalia.

 

  1. Kenya regrets that the action of the Government of Somalia has undermined and severely damaged the existing cordial and brotherly relations between the Governments of Kenya and Somalia and has compromised half a century’s worth of dedication and cooperation between the two countries.

 

  1. It is particularly egregious that the Government of Somalia has chosen to dismiss these years of commitment to the people of Somalia by seeking to auction Kenyan sovereign resources to the highest predatory bidders from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Kingdom of Norway among others.

 

  1. On 6th February, 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, alarmed at the incorrect display and characterization of Kenyan maritime territory as belonging to Somalia, during the London auction, summoned the Somali Ambassador to Kenya and formally demanded a withdrawal of the incorrect map displayed at the Conference and a cessation of the auction of the oil and gas blocks in Kenya’s territory.

 

  1. The Ambassador of Somalia received the protest (demarche) and confirmed on the same day that Kenya’s alarm and consternation at developments at the London Conference, had been registered at the highest level of the Somali Government. It was agreed that there would be a speedy and amicable response to Kenya’s objections.

 

  1. At the same time, Kenya’s Ambassador to Somalia received his instructions to formally deliver Kenya’s protest to the Government of Somalia which, again, Kenya’s Ambassador confirmed was received at the highest level of the Somali Government.

 

  1. It is therefore most regretful that the Government of Kenya has now arrived at the conclusion that its protest and demands that Kenya sovereignty and territorial integrity be respected, have been ignored. The Government of Kenya cannot and will not standby as its demarches are ignored and its territorial integrity is infringed upon and its sovereign resources are carved out and shared out by an ungracious and unbrotherly neighbour acting to satisfy the greed of commercial interests resident in foreign lands.

 

  1. Kenya would like to remind the Government of Somalia and by extension the international community that Kenya’s magnanimity towards its neighbours must never be taken for granted. Kenya has paid an unparalleled price for its generosity and hospitality without ever asking for anything in return. The lives of Kenyans lost owing to Kenya’s commitment to international peace and security remain a fresh memory in the minds of Kenyans and a painful remainder of the high cost of good neighbourliness and international corporate responsibility.

 

  1. Over the past 30 years, Kenya has hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees from many of its neighbours. Today, Kenya hosts over four hundred thousand Somali refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya despite the hijacking of these humanitarian spaces by terrorists and criminal elements who have used the camps to plan and launch terror attacks in Kenya. This situation cannot be allowed to continue. The patience of the people of Kenya is not infinite.

 

  1. Kenya is prepared and ready to defend its territorial integrity at any cost and considers all those directly or indirectly involved, whether Kenyan or non-Kenyan in encroachment of Kenya’s territory as enemies of the State and as adversaries of the Kenyan people.

PRESIDENT UHURU’S BIG 4 AGENDA TO BENEFIT FROM US-KENYA BUSINESS FORUM

Foreign Affairs CAS Hon Ababu-Terrah Namwamba, EGH today in Washington DC held talks with the President and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa, Ms Florizelle Liser. The two discussed Kenya-US trade ties, American investment interests in Kenya, the post-AGOA regime and the upcoming US-Africa Business Summit scheduled for the Mozambican capital Maputo in June 2019 where Kenya is expected to participate. The summit is a platform for US and Africa private sector and government representatives to engage on key sectorial issues, including Agribusiness, energy, Health, infrastructure, housing, ICT, and Finance. The summit will also provide opportunity for countries to showcase current and envisaged projects and investment opportunities.

Hon Ababu said Kenya is keen to work closely with the Council and continues to create conducive environment for businesses to thrive. “Kenya was on a very positive trajectory with all fundamentals just perfect for a robust and bullish business environment that has been injected with the impetus of the Big 4 Agenda championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta himself, focusing on Manufacturing, Affordable Housing, Universal Health and Food Security. The Big 4 is Kenya’s current development and growth compass in our engagement with investors and partners”, the CAS said.

He added that Kenya is looking for partners in areas of value addition in agri-industrial production to generate jobs for a “large pool of young well skilled workforce” and “deployment of appropriate technologies to provide modern affordable housing for its populace reflective of the country’s model status as the home of UN Habitat”. Hon Ababu-Terrah further said that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s historic “Building Bridges” initiative had raised Kenya’s political bar and democratic credentials to a whole new level, further smoothing the business atmosphere in the country.

CAS Ababu noted that Kenya continues to improve the business environment to encourage more investors not only to benefit Kenya but the whole of Africa, “given our country’s unique position both ideologically and geographically”. He urged the Council to maximise Kenya as the natural window into Africa, and take advantage of the momentum of integration exemplified by the new African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) that seeks to ease free movement of people, goods and services across the continent, transforming the 1.2 billion African population into a seamless investment and growth platform to promote shared prosperity benefiting even the smallest economies. He further hailed the fast growing African aviation industry as a key trigger for increased intra-Africa volumes of trade as well as connectivity with the world, the recent launch of direct Kenya Airways direct flights from Nairobi to New York being the latest big leap forward.

Ms Liser welcomed this recently launched direct flight saying the interconnectivity was key in supporting Inter-Africa trade improving a competitive aviation industry on the continent. She said she was looking forward to the progress of the US-Kenya Working Group proposed by H.E Uhuru Kenyatta on his last visit to Washington DC.

On Ms Liser’s concerns on security in Kenya following the recent Riverside 14 terrorist attack, Hon Ababu reiterated what he had emphasised in his address to the Conference of Ministerial of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, that terrorism is a global challenge to which no country was immune and could only be defeated through a global approach of concerted efforts by all. “Terror threats are not unique to Kenya. From New York to Nairobi, Madrid to Cairo, Manchester to Lebanon, and beyond, we have all suffered the brunt of terrorism. Though we may speak it in different dialects, we all understand the language of the pain, trauma and loss caused by these merchants of death and fear. We must stand together against this evil”. Saying this spirit of solidarity is the motivation for Kenya joining the anti-ISIS Global Coalition, Hon Ababu assured that Kenya had invested heavily in counter-terrorism measures, including intelligence and response mechanisms, which was demonstrated by the speed, efficiency and effectiveness with which the country’s security agencies handled the Riverside attack. He reiterated that issuing travel advisories was counterproductive and only played into the hands of the terrorists who thrive on spreading fear and disrupting normal activities. He said it was important to counter terrorism by swiftly returning to normalcy post attacks as happened in Nairobi, while deliberately investing in drying up the terror wells at source by stabilising countries like Somalia and Syria. He emphasised the need to support Amisom in Somalia neutralise Al Shabaab and other terrorist groups.

“Every cause needs a champion. We know you are a great friend of Kenya and Africa. Be a champion of a fair and objective narrative and beneficial engagement between USA and Africa,” CAS Ababu-Terrah implored.

Ms Liser assured the CAS of her commitment to help champion and advance progressive US-Kenya/Africa relations and added she was looking forward to the round table private sector business meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta on the sidelines of the 32nd AU Heads of State and Government Summit in Addis where further details of US-Africa engagement will be discussed. She urged Kenya to take full advantage of the forthcoming Maputo US-Africa Business Summit next June to expand American investment in the Big 4 Agenda and beyond.

KENYA JOINS GLOBAL ANTI-TERROR COALITION IN WASHINGTON DC AS CAS ABABU DISCOURAGES TRAVEL ADVISORIES AND URGES STRONG WORLD ACTION AGAINST AL SHABAB

Kenya was Wednesday officially welcomed into the 79-member Global Coalition Against ISIS at a conference of Foreign Ministers in Washington, DC hosted by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and attended by President Donald Trump. “I welcome our newest members, Kenya and Fiji to this family of nations committed to defeating ISIS and it’s affiliates. Let us do this together”, said Mr. Pompeo in his opening remarks at the conference he hosted at the US Department of State in the US capital. The Kenyan delegation is led by Foreign Affairs CAS Hon Ababu Namwamba, EGH representing CS Dr. Monica Juma.

The meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Coalition reviewed progress of the past year and discussed the next stage in the campaign to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS. The Global Coalition is committed to tackling ISIS on all fronts, to dismantle its networks, counter its global ambitions, degrade and ultimately defeat ISIS and its affiliates.

In his address to the high level conference, CAS Ababu used the opportunity to strongly discourage what he termed “the predictable pattern of travel advisories” in the aftermath of terror attacks. “Travel advisories only serve to play into the hands of these vile merchants of death to who fear and despondence are essential tools of trade. The advisories also compromise the standing of countries already reeling under effects of terror attacks. They are knee jerk, reactionary  and counterproductive. Let us commit to review this policy,” Hon Ababu urged.

CAS Ababu also pitched strongly for the Al Shabaab terror group to be officially classified as a terrorist group by the UN Security Council and the US, who currently categorise the group only as a militia. “Inconsistent with the current classification by the United Nations Security Council, Al Shabaab is no longer a militia but an organization that has metamorphosed into a hydra-headed monster. Its reach through Africa, in Somalia, eastern Congo, and northern Mozambique demonstrates the catastrophic dimension of its ambition and speaks to its potency as a raging terrorist group and makes it absolutely urgent that it be listed as such by the UNSC to halt its subtly distressing rise”, Ababu told the Washington conference.

He assured the global audience of Kenya’s commitment to the global  war on terror. “Kenya stands ready to continue cooperating with the USA and other countries of similar mind, especially those in this coalition. Because the terrorist networks in Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe or elsewhere are connected and draw from a borderless theatre, it is critical that we evolve a holistic approach dealing with all terrorist theatre – otherwise we run the risk of displacing terrorists from one theatre to another”, Hon Ababu said.

Kenya joined the 79 member coalition last year and hopes to rally global support against the threat of Al-Shabaab and mutants of other terror groups in the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes region which are linked to the global jihadist movement.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of the January 15 Riverside terrorist attack in Nairobi by the Al Shabaab, which CAS Ababu discussed in his address. “Kenya has been in the eye of the storm of the global jihad…We do appreciate the international cooperation and support in our fight against terror. But it must be noted that while the Riverside attack was done on Kenyan territory, it was nonetheless targeted at the world. Riverside 14 is a converging point for the world. It hosts international clientele, has several international establishments and on the material day was host to several international conferences. In its justification of this heinous crime, the Al Shabaab claimed that the attack was an avenging the USA relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” the CAS said.

Ababu added further “the appetite to attack Kenya is driven by what we have come to symbolize: a thriving democracy: embodying freedoms of movement association, worship, respect for diversity; a thriving economy; and a functioning society.  In other words, we are an embodiment of the values that we, in this room, share and protect.  For these same reasons, Kenya remains firmly on the side of vanguard states that are committed to the fight against terrorism. We have responded to this threat by improving our capabilities to detect, prevent and manage attacks”.

Beyond the military campaign in Iraq and Syria, the coalition seeks to tackle ISIS’s financing and economic infrastructure, prevent the flow of foreign terrorist fighters across borders, support stabilization and the restoration of essential public services to areas liberated from ISIS and countering the Group’s propaganda.

Addressing the Washington Conference, President Donald Trump reiterated sentiments expressed in his State of the Nation Address, acknowledging that as ISIS networks are liquidated in the core locations of Syria and Iraq, remnants and mutants of the group are spreading out to other parts of the world. The Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Regions are particularly vulnerable to this development, making Kenya’s regional leadership in the war against terrorism and violent extremism even more critical.

MINISTRY ENGAGES WITH THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a two days retreat with the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations of the National Assembly at Naivasha on January 31, 2019, to appraise and review areas of mutual collaboration.

Speaking on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Ababu Namwamba, the Chief Administrative Secretary, applauded the warm and cordial working relations and the unfettered support by the Committee on budget process, ratification of agreements, as well as the amendment to the 2018 Finance bill and for being a strong voice in Parliament for the Ministry.

Hon. Katoo ole Metito, Chairperson of the Committee, commended the Ministry for the cooperation with parliament in many areas including provision of briefs during their engagements, accompanying them to visits abroad and for the incisive reports from the inspection visits. He further applauded the ministry for the successful delivery of the Global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference.  He pledged the committee’s continued push for enhanced budgetary allocation.

In his presentation, the Principal Secretary, Amb. Macharia Kamau reported that the Ministry has aligned her activities towards realization of the Big Four Agenda in an effort to ensure optimal service delivery through Diplomatic Missions.

The PS highlighted the key achievements by the Ministry in 2018/19 which included: strengthening of bilateral relations characterised by outbound and inbound high level visits; convening of the first Global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference; negotiated, signed and ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area; participated at the 108th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers; participated at the COMESA Policy Organs in Lusaka; and IORA Council of Ministers in Durban.

In order to deliver and secure Kenya’s national interests, the PS outlined the following tools for efficient and effective service delivery: well trained and motivated human capital; increased budgetary allocation; growing of Kenya’s foot print; acquisition and planned maintenance of assets abroad; strengthen Kenya’s membership, profile and influence in International organization membership to key organs and regional, continental and global institutions.

The retreat provided a clear understanding of Kenya’s global outlook and the role the Ministry plays to give effect to national development priorities.