President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday urged the international community to respect decisions made by Kenya in pulling out of international missions and agreements that no longer worked in its interests.
The President regretted the replacement of the Lt-Gen Johnson Ondieki as commander of the UN Mission in South Sudan, and defended the country’s decision to withdraw a contingent of the Kenya Defence Forces on a peace mission in the youngest nation.
“Kenya will not agree to be scapegoated by a mission that has failed to execute its mandate. Pulling out troops will, however, not affect Kenya’s position in regional peace”, the President said in Kampala, Uganda.
Although speaking broadly about the unequal treatment of Africa in the international order, President Kenyatta appeared to set the stage for the country’s withdrawal from other treaties currently not serving its agenda.
Kenya, which has introduced a Bill in Parliament for withdrawing from the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court, is expected to follow South Africa, Burundi and the Gambia that have formally submitted proposals to pull out of the treaty.
DEMAND EQUAL TREATMENT
In the wake of Kenya pulling its troops out of South Sudan, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the US, criticised the decision asking the country to reconsider its position.
Speaking during the 2nd annual Diplomatic Forum organised by the Diplomatic corps in Uganda, President Kenyatta said Africans should demand equal treatment when engaging with other countries on the illegitimate and the unfair international order.
The President said since African countries accepted the sovereign decisions of other States, their rights to the same should be respected.
“I can’t think of any African I know who did not accept that the United Kingdom had the right to choose to leave the European Union. But if Africans attempt to exercise their sovereign will, we hear a barrage of voices which tell us we can’t,” the President said.
He said global peace and stability will be realised when countries engage as partners. “Even in the face of an international order stacked against us, built on our backs, Africans have made painful progress. For our partners from around the world, let it be clear that we are partners. Mutual respect is what we seek”, he said.
He told African countries to open borders, connect people, increase trade, support innovation and promote African knowledge in their quest to compete equally with the rest of the world. “As we seek to make the most of our potential now, we will need to drive the Pan-African agenda as a tremendous ideological wave that will lift all the boats of African socioeconomic transformation,” he added.
He said rapid sustainable development was the last agenda of Africa’s freedom struggle and called on Africans to speak with one voice.
The President said rapid sustainable development, was the last agenda of Africa’s freedom struggle, and called on Africans to unite and to speak with one voice.
“Let us therefore strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and solidarity throughout Africa. At the same time, let us engage abroad to ensure that our voice is heard and interests secured,” he said.
President Kenyatta underscored the important role African diplomats’ play in the vanguard of Africa’s modern iteration of the freedom struggle.