Nairobi — The United States Department of State Bureau of African Affairs has lauded the appointment of former President Uhuru Kenyatta as the peace envoy for the conflict in Northern Ethiopia and in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In a statement on its social media accounts Friday, the Bureau noted that the announcement comes at a critical time for both conflicts.
“We welcome the appointment of Uhuru Kenyatta as peace envoy for the conflict in Northern Ethiopia and in Eastern DRC. A critical time for both conflicts – his work will be crucial,” Bureau of African Affairs said.
The statement comes four days after President William Ruto announced that his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta will continue to lead peace initiatives across the region on behalf of the government of Kenya.
During his inaugural speech as the 5th President of Kenya on Tuesday, Ruto cited the Ethiopian and Great Lakes conflicts further stating that Kenya is committed to partnering with other countries in enhancing peace, security, and prosperity of the East African Region.
“I commit on the peace initiatives in our regions including both in Ethiopia and 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 discussions on behalf of the people of Kenya,” President Ruto said.
President William Ruto predecessor has been at the forefront of the efforts to broker peace between the Federal government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which began in November 2020.
On November 15, 2021, the immediate former President of Kenya made a surprise visit to Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, in which he held a meeting with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Officials said the meeting was centered on the need to end hostilities and hasten peace by ending a long-running conflict with Tigray rebels.
Two months ago on June 16, while commenting on the security situation in the DRC, Kenyatta called for the deployment of a regional force to restore security in the war-ravaged country situated at the Central Africa region.
“I call for the activation of the East African Regional Force under the auspices of the East African Community (EAC),” Kenyatta said on June 16.
Last Month, the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) deployed personnel to the DRC as part of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission.
The Quick Reaction Force comprising over 200 KDF personnel was flagged off by Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lieutenant General Francis Ogolla at Embakasi Garrison.
The team had undertaken a five-month rigorous pre-deployment training that was geared towards making them mission ready ahead of the deployment.
The team shall continue with the implementation of the MONUSCO mandate to neutralize armed belligerents in the Eastern DRC.
In his remarks, the Chief lieutenant urged the team to uphold and surpass the exemplary performance registered by the first QRF.
He encouraged them to hoist the Kenyan flag high by upholding a high sense of integrity, professionalism and discipline.
“Over the years, Kenya has sent troops in various peacekeeping missions and have been commended for their courage and professionalism. As you go there, protect the face of Kenya since you’re not only representing KDF but the entire country,” said the VCDF as he urged them to be good ambassadors with the assurance of support from the rest of KDF.