Kenya: Uhuru Kenyatta approves regional action on Mozambican crisis
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has endorsed a regional initiative to counter the insurgency in Mozambique, in what could effectively mean block-to-block support to end the scourge of violence in the southern African country.
In a meeting with his Malawian counterpart Lazarus Chakwera in Nairobi, Kenyatta said the situation in Mozambique is of global concern to the continent, and pledged to support regional efforts to counter violence.
Dr Chakwera, the current president of the southern African bloc, SADC, was this week on a three-day state visit to Nairobi, his first official trip to Nairobi since taking power in 2020. But it was important because his bloc recently sent troops. in Mozambique to defeat the insurgency fueled by a group known as Al-Shabaab, but not linked to the Somali terrorist group of the same name.
Incidentally, President Kenyatta is the president of the East African Community, of which Rwanda, a member, has already sent troops to Mozambique under a bilateral agreement with Maputo.
“Kenya is concerned about the current situation in Mozambique. In this regard, Kenya welcomes and supports the steps taken by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), under your able chairmanship, to work with Mozambique in the neutralizing terrorist threats in this country, ”Kenyatta told his guest, during a bilateral meeting at State House Thursday.
“As friends of Mozambique, we are ready to support your efforts.”
Kenya, the October president of the UN Security Council, said it would continue to voice the continent’s problems “by addressing the stubborn challenges facing our world,” Kenyatta told his guest.
Even if this was only the first public indication of support, it could also give a boost to regional cooperation between EAC and SADC, as the fight against insecurity goes.
In Nairobi, leaders pledged to support Africa’s “strategic partnerships”, identifying insecurity and targeted expansion of regional trade as key.
“It is in this context that Kenya remains committed to working with Malawi in the realization of the EAC-Comesa-SADC free trade areas as well as the African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA)”, added Kenyatta, referring to trading blocks in Africa.
In a speech on Wednesday in Mwea, Kirinyaga County, Dr Chakwera said the two countries were linked by a common enemy, similar struggles and identical visions.
He spoke at a rally to mark this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations.
“For me, visiting Kenya is a proof of our brotherhood and our unity,” he said in a speech prepared in Kiswahili. “It is my prayer that Kenyans and Malawians maintain their unity, to build the economies of our countries, to support each other, to maintain peace in our countries and in Africa.”
Dr Chakwera, a religious before joining politics, then ventured into his pulpit poetry, claiming that the ties between the two countries were not just born out of nowhere, but were a vision of their respective ancestors.
“Today the joy of Kenya is the joy of Malawi. For us, the struggle for independence in Kenya and Malawi is one of the things that unites us. The struggle for independence in Kenya and Malawi was led by patriots who sacrificed their freedoms to safeguard ours. “
The two sides have signed a number of collaborative agreements designed to cement what their respective leaders have called “complex brotherly bonds” and ensure prosperity.
And after a 3rd Joint Kenya-Malawi Standing Commission (JPCC-3), the two parties signed memoranda of understanding on defense, political and diplomatic consultations, health, tourism, cooperatives, training, development. fishing as well as aquaculture.
The JPCC has been an arena where diplomats from both countries negotiate, meet or discuss matters of mutual interest.
The two sides pledged to finalize agreements on forest management, ICT, training of police services, investment protection and avoidance of double taxation, urban development and youth development “in order to fully unleash the potential of our bilateral relations for the benefit of the citizens of our two republics. “
The eight instruments will not be specific at this time and the two sides will have to negotiate other bilateral agreements that will provide time, cost, scale and routine. But this marks an important step towards a framework of cooperation, diplomats told the Nation on Thursday.
One area of cooperation the two leaders are targeting is the prevention of cross-border crime and the export of violent extremism, which is currently partly blamed as the cause of the insurgency in Mozambique, Malawi’s neighbor.