I am glad to have hosted the Somali PM Hassan Ali Khaire at State House, who delivered a message of goodwill and condolence from President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed following the Riverside Drive terrorist attack.

Our two countries will continue to work together in the fight against terrorism. I am happy that Somalia is on a positive trajectory- economically, socially, and in its relations with global partners. This
is proof that Kenya’s efforts to restore peace in the country are bearing fruits. Kenya remains steadfast in supporting the reconstruction of Somalia.” -His Excellency, President Uhuru Kenyatta.


Kenya has called on the United Nations to accord equal support and prominence to Peace Missions in Africa as it does to those in other parts of the world, noting that the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) suffers perennial insufficient and unpredictable funding and lacks the necessary force multipliers.

While appreciating the support and cooperation of the European Union in tackling the worrying peace and security threats such as terrorism and violent extremism, radicalization, piracy and organized crime in Africa, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Ababu Namwamba urged the EU and other partners to foster even stronger partnerships and bridge existing gaps through investment in development projects in tandem with support for effective security infrastructure.
CAS Ababu was addressing the inaugural African Union-European Union Ministerial meeting in Brussels, Belgium on 21-22 January 2019, where he is leading the Kenyan delegation. The two day consultations brought together Ministers from Africa and Europe to review progress made since the Abidjan Summit in 2017 and deliberated on peace, security and governance; Trade, investment and economic integration; and Multilateralism.
Hon. Ababu stressed that with strong AU-EU partnership, Africa would be able to sustain the positive trajectory it is currently taking in the progressive actualization of the respective African Peace and Security Governance Architectures. “This trajectory is exemplified by the peaceful transitions in Angola, South Africa, Ethiopia and Madagascar; the conclusion of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan; the resolution of the Eritrea-Ethiopia conflict as well as the restoration of friendly ties between Eritrea and Somalia” Ababu noted and added, “I welcome the steps taken to further institutionalise our cooperation within the existing frameworks and through the conclusion of the Memorandum of Understanding on Peace, Security and Governance.” Hon Ababu said and affirmed that “Africa has the will and the capacity to stop the vicious cycles of political crisis and conflict and set itself on the path to political stability and economic prosperity”. He lauded the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) as a key platform towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.
CAS Ababu conveyed appreciation of the Government of Kenya and His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta for the outpouring of global support and messages of solidarity following the recent act of terrorism in Kenya.  He assured the world that Kenya is safe and secure and remains a beacon of stability and symbol of economic vitality in the region. “The despicable attack on peace loving and innocent Kenyans and other nationalities has not dampened but in fact strengthened our resolve in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations in Kenya, the region and beyond,” CAS Ababu said.
On trade, investment and economic integration, Hon Ababu re-affirmed Kenya’s commitment to investing in people and mobilizing investments for sustainable development and called for partnership with EU and other development and trade partners in the implementation of Kenya’s ‘Big four’ Agenda championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s that is focussed on manufacturing, universal healthcare, affordable housing and food security.
At Multilateral front, Ababu drew attention to the challenge of migration and noted: “as follow up to Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact on Migration, we must appreciate that migration is a shared responsibility of the sending, receiving and transit countries and no one country can purport to address it solo. Kenya will continue to support the initiative of migration to ensure safe and orderly migration since it is a shared responsibility globally.”
In conclusion, Hon Ababu implored both the African Union and the European Union to support Kenya’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the year 2021-2022 stressing that Kenya will bring rich experience to the council owing to its track record in conflict resolution and prevention as well as stabilization and resilience. “Kenya is committed to the pursuance of global peace and security. Our track record in conflict resolution and prevention as well as stabilisation and resilience is well known. We are therefore offering ourselves for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council for the year 2021-2022 to bring this rich experience to the Council. We hope to find favour within the African Union and the European Union in this bid,” CAS Ababu urged and concluded by highlighting the peace building credentials of President Uhuru Kenyatta “whose handshake and building bridges initiative for political stability and economic prosperity has become a regional and global reference phenomenon”.

On the sidelines of the meeting, CAS Ababu held several bilateral meetings with foreign ministers from Greece, UK, Czech Republic, Romania and Spain as well as the European Director General for External Affairs.  Discussions focused on matters of mutual interests between Kenya and the respective countries as well as Kenya’s role in regional and African peace, security and development initiatives. The CAS also contributed to consultations between the EU Vice President and High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Morgherini and the IGAD Ministers.

Others in the Kenyan Delegation were Amb. Catherine Muigai, Amb. Jean Kimani, Amb. Johnstone Weru and Amb. Jacob Kaimenyi.


Distinguished Cabinet Colleagues, Dr. Fred Matiangi & Hon. Najib Balala

Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners;

Members of the Diplomatic Corps;

Colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

Good morning and Best wishes for the New Year;


  1. I thank you all for honouring our invitation for this briefing despite the short notice. This unfortunate briefing comes in the wake of the heinous and cowardly terror attack against innocent civilians in Dusit D2 complex in Nairobi, on the afternoon of Tuesday, 15 January 2019. May I therefore ask that we all observe a Minute of silence in honour of the innocent lives lost during the criminal act.


  1. As you may have noted, I am accompanied this morning by my colleagues, who are well known to yourselves, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government, and Hon. Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, whom I will shortly invite to address you on matters concerning their dockets.


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. The last Diplomatic briefing held on 11th December 2018 was designed to provide an overview of the progress-made during the year 2018 and to wish each of us an enjoyable and restful Christmas and festive season. It is now my hope that we have ushered the New Year having been fully rejuvenated and ready to embark on our core task of strengthening our collaboration at bilateral and multilateral levels for the mutual benefit of our peoples. I had hoped that in keeping with our commitment for routine briefings, I would have this briefing later in the month to outline the direction we would be taking as a country in collaboration with each of your countries.


  1. I have always emphasized in each of my briefings the threats we face as members of the global family, the volatility of our region and the complexity and intricacies around the Horn of Africa. The events that daily unfold underscore the need for all of us to intensify our efforts to combat terrorism wherever it manifests and in all its forms. I therefore wish to take this opportunity to register the sincere and heartfelt appreciation of the people and the Government of the Republic of to all your friendly Governments, particularly those that are working and standing with us to keep our country, the region and the rest of the world safe from the scourge of International terrorism.


  1. Your Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On Tuesday 15th January, 2019 at around 3.30 pm, our security agencies responded swiftly to reports of a terrorist attack. Having arrived at the scene within minutes, our Special Forces took effective control and launched a professional, well-calibrated and coordinated operation. 18 hours later, all the terrorists had successfully been neutralized. On the morning of January 16, 2019, His Excellency President, Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the nation and announced the successful conclusion of the operation. His Excellency the President assured the Kenyan people and all people within Kenyan territory of their security. He thanked the international community for their continued partnership in combating trans-national crime, especially terrorism. He also reaffirmed Kenya’s firm commitment to continue enjoying our way of life and our undying resolve to the fight terrorism in all its forms.  His Excellency also exhorted our nation and friends to remain eternally vigilant. (A copy of President Kenyatta’s statement is available for circulation).


  1. During the operation, security services evacuated close to 1000 civilians from the complex. Sadly, by the end of the operation in the morning of 16th January, 14 innocent lives had been lost. Sadly, the follow-up operations found another 7 bodies, bringing the total to 21. However, by the end of the operation, the five terrorists had been killed, while 18 civilians were injured and are in hospital. CS Matiang’i will speak more on this.


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Characteristic of our Kenyan society, we witnessed immense and remarkable sense of brotherhood and patriotism throughout out this period. All Kenyans came out to condemn the attack, while others went out to assist in the rescue operation, including with bare hands, despite the lucking danger, because they were driven by their patriotic spirit as if to say an attack against one is an attack against all of us. The police and other security agencies had a difficult time keeping them at bay. We all saw licensed gun holders holding fort, fighting alongside our specialized units, people bringing in food, water, blankets, strangers sending airtime and bundles to the trapped to keep communication alive. Cab hailing mobile applications, such as Uber offering free rides to blood donation centers, hospitals opening their facilities to receive and attend to the injured, immeasurable blood donation until some centers could receive no more, families and friends keeping vigil, and so much more. This is what Kenya’s fabric is and the citizens have repeatedly demonstrated this whenever tragedy visits.



  1. These acts of valour, courage and compassion were complemented by the international community. Many of you stayed in touch with us throughout this period. We have received many messages of solidarity and support from across the world; all condemning the attack and offering condolences to the bereaved; including from the UN Secretary- General, the African Union, the G77 and China, individual countries, leaders and individuals These messages of encouragement and support confirm the value of international cooperation, and reaffirm our commitment to the same.


  1. They are a demonstration of humanity and resolve from across the international community to strengthen counter terrorism efforts and cooperation with Kenya as well as numerous pledges, in various formations, to track and bring to justice all those who may have played a role in the execution of the attack. Kenya remains unbowed and will play her part in support of stronger international cooperation and efforts to detect, deter, disrupt and defeat all forms of terrorism.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Kenya remains united and resilient. The business community has not been shaken. Instead, we are receiving very encouraging responses and news from the bourse that the Nairobi Stock Exchange gained Ksh.19 billion in a day.


  1. The reprehensible act will not change our way of life. On the contrary, it has and will continue to strengthen our resolve to strengthen our institutions and to promote regional security and global peace. As stated by H.E. President Kenyatta, normalcy has resumed, people are back to their businesses even as operations continue. Around the area of attack, consultations and deep reflections will continue aware of the pain endured by the many families caught-up in the tragedy.


  1. At this juncture, let me pay special tribute to the media houses and practitioners for their professionalism during this sensitive time and for remaining true to the calling, that is to inform and educate.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. While this attack on the Dusit Complex was on the Kenyan territory, it was targeted at the world. The complex hosts a range international establishments and interests. The attack is a clear reminder that the terrorist objective to change the way of life of other societies is alive. It is a reminder that no country is immune to international terrorism.


  1. We sincerely extend our gratitude to each and every country for your demonstrated support during this time. Our friendship is a strong message to the terrorists that an attack against one is an attack against all of us and that there is exists no opportunity to draw a wedge between us. I thank all who have received our envoys at short notice to deliver a message on the incident, we appreciate this and look forward to strengthening our relations at both bilateral and multilateral levels.


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Before I invite my colleagues to address you, let me reiterate that Kenya, like the rest of the world is working for the prosperity, safety and peace of her citizens. His Excellency the President continues to urge not only Kenyans but also our friends to actively engage with Kenya to further our collaboration which should provide Kenya and all of us the requisite opportunities and benefits of the Big Four Agenda.



Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. In her continuing efforts to deal with the challenges of health care for all Kenyans, Her Excellency the First Lady will shortly host the Beyond Zero Half Marathon in Nairobi on 10th March 2019. Her Excellency the First Lady has extended a very warm invitation to all Heads of Diplomatic Mission and their families based in Nairobi to participate in the Marathon cognisant and grateful for your continued support to the Beyond Zero Programme. The theme ‘Run for Each Other’ resonates well with our overwhelming resilience. I therefore look forward to your active participation and support as well as your continued support towards this noble cause. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will provide details in writing on the registration procedures through the usual diplomatic channels.


  1. Thank you for your attention.


  1. May I now invite my Colleague, Fred Matiangi, and Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government to address us.





My fellow citizens, Kenya was struck yesterday by a gang of criminals who hoped to terrorize our people by committing acts of murder and mayhem. I can now confirm that at as about one hour ago, the security operation at Dusit complex is over and all the terrorists eliminated. As of this moment, we have confirmation that fourteen innocent lives were lost by the terrorists, with others injured. We are grieving as a country this morning; my heart, and that of every Kenyan, goes out to the innocent men and women violated by senseless violence.
We wish the injured quick recovery, and will continue to pray for them.

We are a country governed by laws, rules and regulations, and that embraces peaceful co-existence. We believe in these principles and values even in the face of adversity. We are also a nation that never forgets those who hurt its children.

Even as we regret yesterday’s incident, as Commander-in-Chief, I want to commend the quick and effective response by our elite fighting teams for neutralizing all the terrorists involved in the attacks. We have dealt with the threat decisively, and shown our enemies and the world that we are ready to deal with any threat to our nation.

I also commend the civilians who looked after one another. For every act of evil that led to injury yesterday, there were a dozen acts of compassion, overflowing patriotism and individual courage. Over seven-hundred civilians were evacuated to safety from the compound since the start of the attack through the early hours of this morning.
The operational priority of the security services was to safeguard civilians. They acted swiftly to contain the attackers and methodically evacuated those who were at risk.

Emergency crews on site and in hospitals have worked round the clock; we commend them and their reflection of our compassionate, resilient character as a people.

I also take note of the Kenyans who took to social media to encourage one another, to spread hope and hold those distorting information to account. Kenyans showed the world the best part of us: brave, patriotic, loving and unbowed.

Fellow citizens, for the last few years you have invested in our building a strong security system. It showed to great credit yesterday, but we also learnt that we can never take anything for granted.

In the coming days and weeks, we shall continue the never-ending work of strengthening our systems. From the means available to the security services, and judicial arms, we will continue taking every step to making our nation inhospitable to terrorist groups and network.

I thank our international partners who are showing solidarity in standing with us at this moment, as they always have.

Even as we think of our own injuries, we must remember that dozens of countries are also under attack and that we too must show solidarity in standing with them.

This morning I convened and chaired a meeting of our National Security Council and I want to say this: we will seek out every single person that was involved in the funding, planning and execution of the heinous act.

We will pursue relentlessly wherever they will be until they are held to account.

Throughout the breadth of Kenya and in our immediate neighbourhood multiple security efforts are underway to detect, deter, disrupt and defeat any terrorist operative or group. We are on the highest alert, and shall remain so. I assure every Kenyan and foreign visitor that you are safe.

Fellow citizens, we all have a duty in securing our country. Security is a joint responsibility between citizens and Government. We secure our families, communities and our nation by building a seamless partnership. We should not allow these people any shelter among us. I urge you to make sure that you inform the police and authorities of any suspicious individuals or actions you have noticed.

I thank the leaders who have stood up and stated their strong support for our nation at this moment. I urge all other leaders, in every part of the country, to condemn in no uncertain terms this evil and make sure to emphasize that it belongs outside our human community. Our leaders should speak out strongly, as we pursue the owners, facilitators and sympathizers of these groups knowing that they are an enemy that we will pursue and offer no relief.

My Fellow Kenyans, we are in the process of building a new Kenya that is prosperous, secure, and inclusive, and in which every Kenyan has an opportunity to thrive. We will allow no one to derail or frustrate our progress. No one in Kenya today, or at any time, should doubt our resolve to maintain security in our country, our determination is unswerving.

We have prevailed and shall always prevail over evil. Let us now go to work without fear and continue with our work of building our nation.

God bless Kenya. God bless each and every one of you.


Good Evening my fellow Kenyans.

An eventful year for our Nation, and, indeed, for our families and communities, has drawn to a close. We thank God for his Grace, which he gives without limit even when we do not merit it.

I am as thankful, as is every Kenyan, for the care and consideration extended to us by our relatives, friends, good Samaritans; and even by those we may previously not have expected to come through for us.

On behalf of the Government, and my family, I send to you the best wishes for a happy, secure and prosperous 2019.

Fellow Kenyans,
Never again should Kenyans fear for their lives because of politics. Last year, following a divisive and drawn out election period, we had fully developed a politics of division and discord. Kenyan lives were lost and millions of livelihoods were negatively affected as businesses suffered from the unrest.

We demonstrated our greatness as a people when we came together, three months into 2018, to shake hands as leaders, as communities and as citizens.

The world watched us, initially with concern for our stability but gradually in admiration of our pragmatism and patriotism. What we did to unite Kenyans is now turning into a lesson for many countries, both rich and poor, whose politics is dangerously dividing their citizens. I am proud to have personally shaken hands; and I am even more proud of the millions of Kenyans, who ensured that the act of a few leaders was mirrored in millions of handshakes and smiles for each other.

The resulting peace and calm is helping our economy return to stronger growth and has returned the focus to development for the sake of Kenyans. It is a clear demonstration that our dreams of prosperity as individuals, families, and as a Nation, are inseparable from our unity.

I, therefore, urge every Kenyan citizen, every business enterprise, every NGO, SACCO, Church and Mosque to commit to take, in Year 2019, concrete and practical steps to solidify the foundation of our unity. I urge you to reach out to one another, initiate social and cultural programmes that bring all Kenyans together irrespective of their ethnic, colour, religion place of origin.

Fellow Kenyans,
In 2018, we learnt, yet again, that Kenya is highly regarded by the International Community. Here we initiate ideas with the power to change the world. Our hosting of the first ever “Global Conference on the Sustainable Blue Economy” was one such instance. At this unique meeting, virtually all governments in the world were represented alongside thousands of scientists, investors and researchers, all drawn to Nairobi to chart a new path of global opportunity and prosperity. It will lead to millions of new jobs all over the world, with many of them being created here in Kenya through the surge of interest in investment and engagement caused by our hosting of the conference.

Our building of bridges of reconciliation and social harmony here at home is mirrored by our foreign policy and shared purpose abroad. We are building strong and productive relationships with America, China, Japan, the European Union and our neighbours; all who recognise that our value as a partner is based on our enduring ability to unite and overcome our internal differences.

Even though we have far to go in achieving our potential, we are proud that Kenya is a force for good in the world. This capacity for being a pillar of goodness and generosity for the global community is also powerfully demonstrated by our brave and professional troops serving in peacekeeping and peace-building missions in other parts of the World.

We thank them for their sacrifices, which have made our country and the region safer, at great cost to the Nation and, indeed, to the individual soldiers. If you see a man or woman in uniform, take the time to thank them for their dedication and service to mankind.

In 2018, terrorists continued to target Kenya and Kenyans but with far less success due to the prevention and disruption of their plots. Our security services have continued working hard and intelligently. A big part of their success is coming from citizens stepping up to share information they have, while others take steps to completely delegitimise and de-glorify terrorism among its vulnerable targets for recruitment. As your President, I thank every man and woman who has played a role in our national campaign against violent extremism.

I urge every Kenyan in 2019 and beyond to remain vigilant. Let the authorities know if you see a suspicious person in your village or neighbourhood. Be aware of who is around you and do not allow terrorists or criminals to hide among us. Every citizen is required to protect our nation, our communities and our families.

Fellow Kenyans,
We have every reason to be proud of being Kenyans. In 2018, we continued to show the world that we are one of the most talented peoples on earth. We, and the world, watched in amazement as Eliud Kipchoge again extended the bounds of human effort in the marathon. Other Kenyan men and women broke world records. We celebrated the Harambee Stars’ success, qualifying for the African Cup of Nations in 2019 — the first time in fifteen years that Kenya will be participating in the competition. What all these sportsmen and women have in common is talent, and also discipline and perseverance.

Millions of us will never get to break a world record in athletics or play professional rugby and be in a boxing championship fight. But we can all display the discipline and perseverance that will allow our talents to flower. Let 2019 be your year of focus and doing the hard work to get closer to your goals. Every Kenyan who achieves a personal goal, whether in academics, in business or in family life, grows Kenya.

In 2018, the national government and county governments showed that we are gaining a stronger understanding of Devolution and its transformative potential. I congratulate every County Government that delivered on its promises to the people, and applaud those that made strong efforts to embrace the Big Four Agenda, and areas of need such as water access, sanitation, early education, and infant mortality.

Fellow Kenyans,
In the past year, we have learnt as a people that we can work together to fight corruption. Now people accused of serious economic crimes are no longer being able to claim that their personal challenge should be seen as representing their entire ethnic group. Thanks to our politics of unity, now alleged criminals have nowhere to hide and, as should be the case, have to carry their own cross.
Building on this momentum, we will in 2019 continue to work hard to investigate and prosecute cases. At the same time we will take steps to reform our policies and public financial management systems in order to remove any loopholes that wayward characters exploit.

In addition, my Administration will enhance the work of the Asset Recovery Agency to ensure that we aggressively seek court orders to freeze and confiscate assets such as bank accounts, vehicles, and real estate. Individuals charged with corruption offences will not be allowed to flaunt their ill-gotten wealth as court proceedings are ongoing. Once the suspects are convicted, the assets will be transferred to the Criminal Asset Recovery Fund, ready for use to finance projects and programmes that will improve the lives of Kenyans.

To win this war against corruption requires all of us to work together as a people, in appreciation of the fact that corruption is our common enemy. In this respect, I urge every Kenyan to reject bribery, and those who try and buy our favour through the use of monies gained from fraud. In the same spirit, all arms of government have to commit to work together against this enemy of development.

At this point, I must say how proud I am of the work of the multi-agency team, which has ensured that the scourge of examination cheating has almost been entirely eradicated from our education system. I also call upon colleges and universities to put in place stringent measures that will ensure that examination cheating does not take place in their institutions. We must eliminate all corrupt elements in our education system so as to ensure Kenya regains its recognition as country providing high quality globally competitive education.

Fellow Kenyans,
We have commenced the implementation of the Big Four Agenda, namely affordable and decent housing, affordable healthcare for all, food and nutritional security, and manufacturing to create employment particularly for our youth. In 2019 we will begin the roll-out of free and compulsory primary and secondary education with 100% transition. We shall ensure that every child completes secondary school.

When schools re-open on the 3rd of January, learners in Elementary and Grades 1 through 3 will begin learning through a dynamic competence-based curriculum. Preparations for this will be more organised in 2019, and I expect the officials charged with this noble responsibility to work harder, and communicate better as we try to build up the leaders of tomorrow.

I also call upon colleges and universities to offer courses that are carefully tailored to ensure that their graduates are employable in terms of skills, knowledge and work ethic. We want Kenyans to have the necessary competencies that position them to be globally competitive, and to quickly find employment when they graduate.

Fellow Kenyans,
I want to let every entrepreneur and person running a small business know that they are the backbone of our economy. We have not done as much as we should do to support you. In 2019, I promise you that my Administration will make every possible effort to take practical measures to make it easier for you to grow your business. We will explore policies across the range of government, including taxation, regulations, access to credit and measures to enable you adopt modern technology so as to enhance your productivity and competitiveness.

Combining the Big Four agenda with the empowering of the small business enterprises and educational reforms, plus the renewed politics of unity and combating corruption, we are putting our country on track to achieve the socio-economic goals in our National Vision 2030. As a people we seek nothing less than to eliminate poverty in all its forms.

My fellow citizens, let 2019 be a year of building bridges to one another, and bringing discipline and perseverance to our efforts. Let us respect and celebrate our differences, and use them to build a more vibrant citizenship. No Kenyan is an island, far removed and isolated from the needs and desires of the rest of the country.

As you plan to prosper as an individual, plan to do so in an honest way. Let your success not only bring benefit to you but to others around you as well.

Let 2019 be our Year for national revival and renewal; a year when we water the seeds planted in the preceding years so that they may sprout and grow into a strong and towering tree; a tree whose fruits are bountiful and enjoyed by each and every Kenyan.
It is my humble privilege, as the President of the Republic, to wish all Kenyans and our Brothers and Sisters across the World, a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Thank You and God Bless the Republic of Kenya.