East Africa: Ruto Commits to Prioritise Regional Peace Efforts

William Ruto, Kenya’s new president has committed to support peace initiatives in the Great Lakes Region, and has asked his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta to continue playing a key role in the process.

He made the remarks during his inauguration ceremony that took place on Tuesday, September 13 at Nairobi’s 60,000-seat Kasarani Sports Centre.

The event was attended by President Paul Kagame among other heads of state from the East African region and beyond.

“I commit on the peace initiatives in our region including both in Ethiopia and the Great Lakes Region. I have asked my elder brother President Uhuru Kenyatta who has done commendable engagements with those regions and he has graciously agreed to continue chairing those discussions on behalf of the people of Kenya,” he said.

“I have committed that the government of Kenya and myself in particular will support those initiatives that will be chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he added.

The region is currently facing political instabilities in various countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Ethiopia, while in addition to this, there are misunderstandings between countries like the DRC and Rwanda.

Ruto’s predecessor Kenyatta had played a good role in working for peace in the region, for instance, mid this year, in his capacity as EAC chairperson, he hosted a high-profile regional summits that aimed at pacifying the eastern DR Congo.

Ruto stressed the importance of his government’s relations with neighbours, saying that “the success of the devolution depends on sound intergovernmental relations.”

“There is a template which incorporates lessons from successes as well as failures in past engagements, and we stand a stronger chance of making devolution work better. Kenya will continue, ladies and gentlemen, to be a dedicated partner to peace, security and prosperity of East Africa region,” he added.

The DR Congo is the newest member of the EAC that also comprises Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

He said his government was looking forward to deepening the EAC integration, and echoed his pleasure in regard to the DRC’s joining the bloc.

“We welcome our newest member the DRC whose entry now extends our region from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic,” he said.

“Kenya is fully committed to the implementation of the East African Community treaty and its protocols of free movement of people, goods and services,” he said.

He also pledged his commitment to the full actualization of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

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