Kenya Disassociates Itself from Congolese Opposition Figure’s Alliance with Rebels, Causing Diplomatic Tensions

Kenya Disassociates Itself From Congolese Opposition Figure's Alliance With Rebels, Causing Diplomatic Tensions

Kenya has declared its strong disassociation from a Congolese opposition figure who formed an alliance with rebels in Nairobi, leading to a diplomatic dispute with Kinshasa. The Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Sunday that it would conduct an investigation into the political-military alliance, prompting the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to recall its ambassador in protest.

The alliance, known as the Congo River Alliance, was launched on Friday and includes various DRC politicians and groups, including the M23 rebels who have seized territory in the eastern part of the country, as well as Corneille Nangaa, a former DRC election commission chief.

In response to this development, the DRC recalled its ambassadors to Kenya and Tanzania for consultations on Saturday. The recall of the envoy to Tanzania was due to Tanzania hosting the headquarters of the East African Community bloc, to which the DRC also belongs.

Kenya’s Foreign Minister, Musalia Mudavadi, issued a statement stating that Kenya was aware that some DRC nationals had made statements during a press conference in Kenya that were “inimical to the constitutional order of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” He emphasized that Kenya strongly distances itself from any activities or statements that could harm the peace and security of the friendly nation of the DRC and that an investigation has been initiated.

The investigation aims to identify the individuals responsible for the statements and assess the extent to which their remarks fall outside the realm of constitutionally protected speech, according to the minister.

The formation of the Congo River Alliance, as described by Nangaa, aims to unite various Congolese armed groups, militias, and social and political organizations. This development raises concerns in a region plagued by long-standing insecurity fuelled by ethnic rivalries and resource conflicts.

The diplomatic tensions come at a time of escalating security concerns ahead of the DRC’s presidential elections scheduled for December 20. The country has been grappling with civil strife for decades. M23 rebels, which had been dormant for several years, resurfaced in late 2021 and seized control of large parts of the eastern province of North Kivu. The conflict has resulted in the displacement of approximately seven million Congolese within their own country.

Human Rights Watch estimates that over 1.5 million Congolese in conflict-affected areas will be unable to vote in the upcoming elections, while millions of internally displaced people will face similar challenges.

Nangaa justified the formation of the new alliance by stating that the state is too weak to ensure order in the impoverished and war-torn country, emphasizing the need for a new movement to fill the void.

The government’s spokesman, Patrick Muyaya, accused Nangaa of being “unpatriotic” and engaging in “subversive activities.”

Expressing extreme concern, Bintou Keita, the head of the UN’s peacekeeping mission in the DRC, called on all political actors to operate within the framework of the Constitution, respect human rights, and uphold the rule of law.

As the diplomatic row unfolds and tensions escalate, it remains to be seen how the situation will impact the fragile stability of the region and the upcoming elections in the DRC.


Source: Aljazeera

Kenyan Government Implements Measures to Boost Diaspora Investment and Employment Opportunities

Kenyan Government Implements Measures To Boost Diaspora Investment And Employment Opportunities

President William Ruto has announced the implementation of robust measures aimed at promoting local investment by the Kenyan Diaspora. Recognising the significant role that Kenyans living abroad play in the country’s development, President Ruto highlighted their contributions, particularly through remittances, which have surpassed the performance of major exports.

During the Diaspora Investment Conference held in Nairobi on Wednesday, President Ruto expressed the government’s commitment to creating a seamless network that facilitates, promotes, and supports Diaspora investment in Kenya. Emphasising the importance of harnessing the potential of Kenyans abroad, he outlined plans to leverage their knowledge, skills, and technology transfer for the benefit of the nation.

The government is implementing the Global Labour Market Strategy, aiming to facilitate employment opportunities for Kenyan youth abroad. This strategy seeks to connect skilled Kenyan workers with international job markets, enabling them to contribute to the economy while gaining valuable experience. President Ruto highlighted that this initiative would not only benefit individuals but also promote the transfer of knowledge and technology upon their return to Kenya.

In addition to fostering employment opportunities, President Ruto announced the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to attract foreign direct investments and expand job prospects within the country. The government has allocated funds for infrastructure development in six SEZs, aiming to create an environment that offers incentives to investors while enhancing Kenya’s manufacturing and export capacities.

“Our goal is to expand job opportunities both locally and abroad for our youth,” President Ruto affirmed. By promoting Diaspora investment and establishing SEZs, the government aims to stimulate economic growth, create employment opportunities, and strengthen Kenya’s position as a favourable investment destination.

The measures announced by President Ruto underscore the government’s commitment to leveraging the potential of the Kenyan Diaspora for the country’s development. By fostering collaboration and creating supportive frameworks, the government aims to harness the skills, knowledge, and financial resources of Kenyans abroad to drive economic progress and empower the nation’s youth.


Source: Kenya Presidency

Kenya Sends Farm Workers to Israel to Address Labour Shortage

Kenya Sends Farm Workers To Israel To Address Labour Shortage

Kenya’s labour ministry has announced that it will send 1,500 farm workers to Israel, following in the footsteps of Malawi, which sent 221 young people to work on Israeli farms recently. The workers will be deployed on renewable three-year contracts with a guaranteed net monthly income of $1,500. Israel has turned to Africa to fill the labour gap on its farms after the departure of over 10,000 foreign workers, primarily from Thailand, due to the war with Hamas. The country has also restricted the entry of Palestinian workers, who formerly comprised nearly 20% of the agricultural labour force. Israel’s ambassador in Kenya stated that plans are underway to recruit farm workers from Uganda, while recruitment in Tanzania has already begun. Concerns have been raised about the workers’ safety and the working conditions they may face in Israel, given previous reports of unsafe practices and poor living conditions for migrant farm workers. However, Israel has implemented additional measures to ensure fair treatment of foreign workers and has stated that they enjoy the same employment rights as Israeli citizens. The move has received mixed reactions in Kenya, with some viewing it as an opportunity for much-needed jobs, while others express concerns about workers’ welfare in a conflict-prone region.


Source: BBC

Kenyan Government Issues Warning and Evacuation Orders as Floods Claim Over 150 Lives

Kenyan Government Issues Warning And Evacuation Orders As Floods Claim Over 150 Lives

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has issued a stern warning to residents near Masinga, Kamburu, Kindaruma, Gitaru, and Kiambere Dams along the Tana River in Kenya, urging them to relocate to safer areas due to the escalating risk of floods. The floods have already claimed the lives of over 150 people since last month, and the situation remains critical.

According to official records, more than 100,000 households, comprising approximately 462,160 individuals, have been displaced by the floods. The rising water levels in the dams, coupled with the continuous heavy rainfall, pose a significant threat of devastating floods that could disproportionately affect communities residing near these dams.

“To safeguard lives and ensure the well-being of all residents residing in close proximity to Masinga, Kamburu, Kindaruma, Gitaru, and Kiambere Dams, the government is taking measures to evacuate all individuals to secure locations,” warned Kindiki in a statement on Sunday.

Kindiki emphasised the importance of citizens heeding safety directives issued by relevant authorities, including the Meteorological Department. Remaining vigilant and following the guidance provided can help prevent further loss of life.

The government has pledged to inform individuals who are likely to be affected by the flooding. Their data and information have been gathered to facilitate a smooth evacuation process, should the need arise. Suitable relocation sites have been identified where evacuated residents will be accommodated until the rains subside. The government will ensure the availability of essential supplies, including food, non-food items, medicines, and other necessities.

Local leaders and administration officials from the national government will work together to execute the evacuation plan, prioritising the safety and well-being of those affected. The government remains committed to closely monitoring the situation brought about by the El Niño rains across various regions of the country. Swift and efficient responses to any emergencies that may arise will be a top priority.

During this challenging period, the safety and welfare of Kenyan citizens are of utmost importance. The government urges everyone to stay informed, remain cautious, and cooperate with authorities to mitigate the impact of the floods and protect lives.

Kenya Celebrates Impressive Strides in HIV/AIDS Fight, Acknowledges Partnership with PEPFAR

Kenya Celebrates Impressive Strides In Hivaids Fight, Acknowledges Partnership With Pepfar

President Ruto of Kenya expressed gratitude for the United States’ support through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), highlighting the remarkable progress made in the country’s battle against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Speaking at the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) 20th Anniversary Celebration in Kenya, President Ruto emphasised the transformative impact of the partnership between the two nations.

“We are highly grateful to the US government for this partnership that has changed the fortunes of our nation. Such a strong show of solidarity is highly appreciated, and we do not take the friendship and support for granted,” said President Ruto, acknowledging the rare nature of the collaboration.

President Ruto reflected on the devastating toll HIV/AIDS had taken on Kenyan households and communities just two decades ago, leaving behind a trail of death, illness, orphaned children, and socioeconomic devastation. However, he praised the significant strides made since then, attributing them to the support received from PEPFAR.

Over the past two years, President Ruto’s administration has increased financial investment in the HIV commodity pipeline by Sh 1 billion to prevent disruptions in the supply of essential resources. Furthermore, the government is committed to ending AIDS in children by 2027, in alignment with the goals set by the Global Alliance.

“The time is now to take a strong stand and make up for lost ground for the sake of Kenya’s children,” emphasised President Ruto, highlighting the universal healthcare coverage pillar of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda as a crucial opportunity to address the domestic financing gap related to HIV/AIDS effectively.

President Ruto expressed his gratitude to PEPFAR, which has channelled over US dollars 6.5 billion into Kenya’s fight against the disease since 2004. The impact of this support has resulted in a 68.5 percent reduction in new HIV infections and a 53 percent reduction in HIV-related mortality. The quality of life for individuals living with HIV has also significantly improved.

Currently, 1.4 million people in Kenya are living with HIV, with 1.3 million receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART) through more than 3,000 health facilities nationwide. Among the recipients are over 48,000 children and 55,000 breastfeeding mothers.

US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman, emphasised the importance of partnership between the government and the private sector in the fight against HIV/AIDS. She called for continued collaboration with the private sector to raise awareness about the disease and contain its spread.

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha expressed satisfaction with the progress made in Kenya’s efforts against HIV/AIDS, highlighting that 95 percent of those afflicted with the disease are receiving treatment. Kenya is determined to end HIV/AIDS in children by 2027, aiming to achieve this milestone ahead of the global target of 2030.

Joyce Ouma, a representative from the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, extended gratitude to the government and PEPFAR for their support in providing life-saving medications to individuals affected by the disease.

The celebration of Kenya’s achievements in combating HIV/AIDS serves as a testament to the power of international partnerships and collective efforts in overcoming significant health challenges. As the country continues its fight against the pandemic, the commitment to ending AIDS and ensuring the well-being of its citizens remains at the forefront of Kenya’s agenda.


Source: Capital FM Kenya

President Ruto Explores Employment Opportunities for Kenyans in Germany, Strengthening International Labour Agreements

President Ruto Explores Employment Opportunities For Kenyans In Germany, Strengthening International Labour Agreements

President William Ruto is currently in Germany on a mission to explore employment opportunities for Kenyan citizens in the European nation. This initiative comes in response to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Kenya in May, where he unveiled plans to welcome 250,000 Kenyan professionals, skilled laborers, and semi-skilled workers to address Germany’s significant labour needs.

Speaking to a congregation in Sotik, Bomet County, President Ruto highlighted the importance of international labour agreements and their role in combating the rising cost of living. He emphasized that youth employment is a crucial factor in achieving this goal and pledged to continue pursuing such agreements with various countries around the world.

President Ruto revealed that he is actively working with Labour Cabinet Secretary Florence Bore to establish bilateral labour agreements that would enable Kenya to send 3,000 workers abroad every week. The objective is to generate income for the country’s transformation and provide opportunities for Kenyan citizens.

While the president did not provide a specific timeline for the deployment of Kenyan workers under these agreements, he expressed his commitment to the cause. Addressing critics who questioned his frequent foreign trips, President Ruto stated that his travels are not for tourism but rather to work tirelessly for the welfare of Kenyans. He reiterated his understanding of the reasons he was elected to office.

In addition to his efforts in Germany, President Ruto recently announced that he had secured agreements with prominent American tech giants, including Amazon, Intel, and Google, during his US-Kenya roadshow in September. These agreements are expected to create thousands of digital job opportunities for Kenyan youth, contributing to the country’s economic growth. However, specific details regarding the number of jobs pledged by each corporation were not disclosed.

President Ruto’s initiatives to explore employment opportunities in Germany and forge international labour agreements demonstrate his commitment to addressing unemployment and improving the livelihoods of Kenyan citizens. These efforts are expected to create avenues for Kenyans to showcase their skills and contribute to the economies of both Germany and Kenya.


Source: Capital News

Global Summit in Nairobi Concludes with Divisions on Plastic Pollution Treaty

Global Summit In Nairobi Concludes With Divisions On Plastic Pollution Treaty

A week-long summit held at the United Nations Environment headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, focused on addressing the urgent issue of global plastic pollution, concluded on Sunday. With over 2,000 delegates in attendance, the discussions aimed to draft a binding treaty to combat the escalating problem of plastic pollution.

Last year, 175 countries committed to reaching a binding agreement by 2024 to address plastic pollution. The Nairobi meetings marked the third of five sessions planned to be completed by next year, with the goal of adopting the treaty in 2025.

However, as the summit came to a close, delegates remained divided on the substance of the treaty. Plastic pollution has become pervasive, affecting ecosystems from oceans to mountaintops, with production projected to triple by 2060. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) emphasized the need to focus on reducing plastic production rather than relying solely on recycling. They called for a 75% reduction in production by 2040. On the other hand, oil-producing countries and plastic industry lobbies, also represented at the summit, advocated for recycling and improved waste management.

UNEP executive director Inger Andersen stressed the importance of addressing the entire life cycle of plastics, from production to final disposal. She stated, “We cannot recycle our way out of this mess.” Nonetheless, a “low ambition coalition” composed of oil-producing nations such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain faced accusations from environmental groups of impeding progress in the negotiations.

Kenya, one of the 60 “high ambition” nations, called for binding rules to reduce plastic use and production. President William Ruto urged negotiators to make significant progress in the discussions, emphasizing the limited time remaining until the 2024 deadline and the importance of the upcoming meetings.

Following the conclusion of the Nairobi negotiations, the discussions will continue in April 2024 in Canada and conclude in South Korea later that year. The timing of these negotiations aligns with the upcoming COP 28 climate conference in the United Arab Emirates, which aims to address greenhouse gas emissions and support developing countries in dealing with the consequences of climate change.

The global summit in Nairobi highlighted the pressing need for a comprehensive and effective treaty to combat plastic pollution. While divisions remained on the approach to tackling the issue, the discussions served as a crucial platform for raising awareness and fostering international cooperation in finding solutions.


Source: Africa News

Kenya’s Deployment of International Force to Restore Peace in Haiti Faces Judicial Setback

Kenya's Deployment Of International Force To Restore Peace In Haiti Faces Judicial Setback

In a blow to Kenya’s plans to lead a multinational international force in Haiti, the country’s High Court has issued an extension on a temporary order, preventing the government from deploying hundreds of police officers to the French-speaking Caribbean Community (Caricom) nation. The United Nations Security Council had previously authorised the deployment through a resolution co-drafted by the United States and Ecuador, granting a one-year mandate with a review after nine months.

The Kenyan National Assembly has yet to schedule a debate regarding the motion to deploy the contingent, which is expected to consist of approximately 1,000 police officers. Despite this, several Caribbean Community countries have expressed their willingness to participate in the initiative.

However, the court order, initiated by former presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot on October 9, temporarily halted the deployment plan. Aukot argued that the law permitting the president to deploy Kenyan forces conflicted with constitutional articles. The Kenyan government has affirmed its commitment to seek parliamentary approval before the officers are dispatched.

“The court has extended the interim orders stopping the deployment of Kenya police to Haiti until the petition is determined,” stated Aukot, noting that the original order expired on Tuesday. The case is set to continue on November 9.

Highlighting the urgency of the situation, the United Nations Special Representative in Haiti, María Isabel Salvador, addressed the Security Council on Monday, emphasizing the deteriorating security conditions in the country due to escalating gang violence. She stressed the significance of holding elections as a means to establish sustainable rule of law and restore democratic institutions in Haiti.

Salvador underlined, “Elections are the only path and the only imperative to restore democratic institutions in Haiti. Only democracy and the rule of law can form the basis from which Haiti can progress towards development and growth.”

The prevalence of rampant gang violence, predominantly concentrated in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, exacerbates the already dire situation in Haiti, where nearly half of the population is dependent on humanitarian aid. Additionally, the country has endured a series of challenges in recent years, including a cholera epidemic, earthquakes, cyclones, and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021.

Source: VOA Africa

Kenya Raises Passenger Fares on Chinese-Built Railway Amid Debt Repayment Challenges and Fuel Price Hike

Kenya Raises Passenger Fares On Chinese Built Railway Amid Debt Repayment Challenges And Fuel Price Hike

In response to mounting debt obligations to Beijing and other lenders, as well as the surge in fuel prices, Kenya has announced a significant increase in passenger fares for the Chinese-built Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). The state-owned Kenya Railways revealed that the journey between Mombasa and Nairobi, spanning 470 kilometers (290 miles), will now cost $30 in first class, a rise from $19, while economy class fares will increase to $10 from $6.

Kenya Railways justified the fare hike by attributing it to the global escalation in fuel prices, which has impacted their operational costs. The decision comes shortly after Kenya’s central bank governor, Kamau Thugge, acknowledged that the Kenyan shilling had been overvalued by 25% for years, resulting in an artificially strong exchange rate.

President William Ruto’s recent visit to China, where he sought a $1 billion loan for unfinished infrastructure projects, raised eyebrows since Kenya’s total debt has reached a record $70 billion. Despite the financial challenges, Ruto pursued further funding. The revised train fares are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2024, affecting not only the popular commuter rail service in Nairobi but also the Kisumu and Nanyuki safari trains, known for attracting numerous tourists annually.

The SGR, constructed at a cost of $4.7 billion financed by Chinese banks, commenced operations in 2017. However, it has encountered difficulties in generating sufficient cargo service demand. According to economist Aly-Khan Satchu, the viability of the Kenya SGR hinges on expanding its cross-border reach to ensure financial sustainability. Satchu suggested that connecting Uganda’s oil resources to the sea and facilitating transportation of minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could enhance the project’s prospects.

Kenya’s escalating public debt has prompted President Ruto to implement stringent austerity measures, including travel restrictions and budget cuts exceeding 10% for all government ministries. Nevertheless, Ruto has faced criticism from Kenyans due to his extensive foreign trips, numbering 38 since assuming office in September 2022, surpassing the travel records of his four predecessors during their initial year in power.


Source: AP

Kenyan MP Sparks Controversy for Wearing Palestinian Scarf in Parliament

Kenyan Mp Sparks Controversy For Wearing Palestinian Scarf In Parliament

A Kenyan Member of Parliament (MP) has stirred controversy after being instructed to remove a traditional Palestinian scarf he was wearing during a parliamentary sitting. Farah Maalim, the MP in question, donned the scarf as a symbol of solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza, who were caught in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Mr. Maalim expressed his belief that Palestine needed the support of all Kenyans during these challenging times. However, his gesture faced opposition from the Speaker of the National Assembly, who deemed the scarf a violation of parliamentary regulations.

Fellow MPs also joined in the criticism, accusing the legislator of showing disrespect towards the rules of the House. The incident highlights the ongoing debate surrounding the balance between individual expressions of solidarity and adherence to parliamentary decorum.

This incident follows the recent detention of three individuals by Kenyan authorities for their involvement in a pro-Palestinian gathering in Nairobi, the capital city. The brief detention of the individuals underscores the sensitive nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the varying perspectives surrounding it.

Mr. Maalim’s decision to wear the Palestinian scarf in Parliament has ignited discussions about the appropriate boundaries of political expression within the legislative chamber. Supporters argue that MPs should be allowed to express their solidarity with international causes, while opponents stress the importance of adhering to parliamentary rules and maintaining the decorum of the House.

The issue raises broader questions about the role of personal beliefs and political activism within the context of parliamentary proceedings. As the controversy unfolds, it remains to be seen whether this incident will lead to a revision of parliamentary regulations regarding symbolic displays by MPs or further ignite discussions on the delicate balance between personal expression and adherence to established rules and protocols.

The MP’s act of solidarity through wearing the Palestinian scarf has sparked a national conversation about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the role of Kenyan lawmakers in international affairs. It serves as a reminder that political gestures can have far-reaching implications, even within the confines of a parliamentary setting.


Source: Africa News