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· thenairobidude
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Foreign relations


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Welcome to the Kenya's foreign relations thread.
This thread consists of news, developments and discussion relating to developments in the Kenya's foreign relations.



This thread will discuss foreign relations important to Kenya economically and/or nationally.

The foreign relations discussed here are issues that (don't fall in/aren't covered in) the other categories/threads.​
 

· thenairobidude
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Who will blink first in the Kenya, UK face-off over military agreement?

Daily Nation | 20 Feb 2015​

Kenya and the UK are going through a rocky relationship. They are playing mind games and hardball with each other over the renewal of an agreement that allows British soldiers to train in Kenya.

Souring of relations between the two can be traced to 2003 when the National Rainbow Coalition assumed power and started the so-called Look-East policy by opening up tenders to supply government equipment, vehicles and uniform. After British companies lost this business, the then High Commissioner Edward Clay accused Kenyan leaders of “gluttony that causes them to vomit all over our (donors) shoes.

It was later revealed that the outburst was motivated partly by the fact that government tenders that the British had monopolised since 1963 had been awarded to Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish firms. But the British insisted that corruption was the only explanation for Kenyans switching to Chinese-made Grand Tigers and Japanese Toyotas from Landrovers for police transport.

In the countdown to the March 2013 polls, and as opinion polls indicated the Uhuruto team to be slightly ahead, British High Commissioner Christian Turner warned that the UK would not “meet ICC indictees, except for essential business” if they won the election.

Over the past two years, the Uhuru administration has been miffed by repeated security alerts warning Britons to avoid coming to Kenya. With more than 200,000 Britons visiting Kenya annually, the advisories have had a big impact on tourism, causing massive job losses and revenue.

The UK also suspended a specialised training project to protect wildlife after President Kenyatta issued an order in June 2014 placing the Kenya Wildlife Service assets like aeroplanes and vehicles at the disposal of the Inspector-General of Police.

Since coming to power, the Jubilee coalition has tinkered with the idea of putting Kenya’s relations with the UK on ice, mainly due to the latter’s views on the ICC cases.

The Uhuru government is returning the favour by openly wooing China, as well as other Asian and Arab states. Chinese companies are increasingly winning tenders for mega projects.

DJIBOUTI AND TANZANIA

Among these projects are the Thika Superhighway and the standard gauge railway. This look-east policy is shaking the UK’s commercial, military and strategic interests in Kenya.

The drawn-out negotiations on renewal of the Defence Co-operation Agreement that will expire this April is straining relations between the two countries. While the UK wants to increase its benefits, the Kenya government wants to drastically change the terms under which the British army operates in Kenya.

In the past few months, a number of high-level British delegations have made a beeline to Nairobi. A mission comprising of 17 firms that manufacture security equipment has been around pitching sales of communications, forensics, border and airport security gadgets, and military vehicles. It held talks with officials in Defence and Interior Ministries.

The emergence of former PM Tony Blair as President Kenyatta’s adviser must be seen in this perspective. The British are telling Mr Kenyatta we can help clean your image in the West but you must also help us on this military training agreement business.

The 40-year-old agreement allows a British Battle Group or Batuk to annually train 10,000 soldiers in a harsh environment and to prepare them for High Intensity Operations. Its headquarters is at Kahawa Barracks. Batuk uses the Archers Post training area as its main operating base. Its air wing operates from Kenya Air Force’s Laikipia Air Base.

According to Lt-Col Nick Thornton, the Kenyan military facilities are “superb because they give us unparalleled opportunities for live firing”.

If Kenya does not renew this agreement, the UK will have to find another “superb” location to prepare its troops for action in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. In April 2014, the UK and Tanzania signed a pact that would allow British special forces to train there. There is also talk that the UK could move its soldiers to Djibouti.

There are a number of sticking issues that have bogged down negotiations to renew the DCA. The British are pushing for “better terms of engagement” that include a long-term extension instead of a few years so that they do not have to go through the same experience whenever the agreement is up for renewal. They also want the right to directly fly their planes to the Nanyuki Air Base without going through customs and immigration procedures.

The Uhuru government, on the other hand, is reluctant to renew the DCA for a number of reasons. First, it is aware that Batuk has left agony to residents of Laikipia and Samburu Counties.

The soldiers have been accused of raping more than 2,000 women and leaving unattended explosives in the field. The government is insisting that soldiers who engage in relationships with Kenyan women and get children with them must pay for the children’s upkeep.

Second, Kenya is opposed to giving British soldiers immunity from criminal accountability. The government is demanding that British soldiers should be liable for crimes they commit while in the country.

The Kenya government is rightly arguing that the soldiers are not diplomats and therefore do not enjoy immunity under the Vienna Convention.

Third, the Samburu community has complained that the British army conducts training on its grazing land instead of the designated area. The soldiers then leave unexploded explosives that have maimed and killed residents. In July 2002, a deal was negotiated for the payment of Sh630 million to 233 Kenyans injured by munitions left by the British.

EAVESDROPPING

Fourth, Kenya is concerned that the current arrangement is not mutually beneficial. In November 2014, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed told a parliamentary committee that Kenya wanted to ensure bilateral relations were based on the principle of equality and reciprocity.

Although the MoU does not allocate land to the British army, it allows it to use KDF land for training. Maj-Gen (Rtd) Joseph Nkaissery, the Deputy Defence Minister, shocked Parliament on November 4, 2010 when he said that “the government of Kenya does not get any direct monetary value for the land leased to the British army” since it is KDF land, and the training is on some occasions carried out jointly with the KDF.

The arrangement is supposed to be reciprocal in the sense that the KDF also trains in the UK “free of charge”. Most recently, Kenya had only five Canine Regiment officers training in the UK.

One wonders why it has not demanded reciprocity to access Carver Barracks, Wimbish, Essex, and the Sennybridge and Epynt Way training area to train its troops. It is illogical for Kenya to provide the UK with a “perfect opportunity for realistic training” of its soldiers before deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq for free.

In 2010, Laisamis MP Joseph Lekuton told Parliament that the British army had encroached on the land surrounding the gazetted KDF land and built permanent camps on private land.

Additionally, the British army trains on Mpala Ranch in Laikipia, which is privately owned by British citizens. Batuk is training in at least 11 private ranches in the county. It handsomely compensates these private landowners but not for using public land.

The British war games have had a terrible impact on society, wildlife conservation and tourism.

Batuk trains in the Ewaso ecosystem, which is home to half of Kenya’s black rhino, second largest population of the African elephant and the globally threatened Grevy’s zebra.

The British argue that Kenya benefits immensely by earning Sh8.6 billion annually through supply of services and goods to Batuk.

The presence of British soldiers on our soil is said to stimulate the economy, provide employment for local contractors and suppliers. Its supporters say it brings economic prosperity to communities by providing a market for their goods.

But these “benefits”, including the distribution of mosquito nets and provision of healthcare, are aimed at winning the hearts and minds of poor Kenyans.

There are also questions as to how stable and secure Kenya is with the presence of British troops on our soil. It is feared that Batuk exposes Kenya to terrorist attacks.

Perpetrators of several attacks in Kenya have openly confessed that they targeted the country because of our close links to the West, particularly their military presence.

These foreign troops pose a threat to Kenya’s national security in other ways. For instance, embedded in Batuk are Army Light Electronic Warfare Teams that can eavesdrop on phone calls and jam communications.

After intercepting and eavesdropping on communications, warnings are sent to the British Embassy, which then transmits the information to London. This is how information is generated to warn British citizens about imminent attacks.

The nature, timeliness and level of exchanging such information between British and Kenyan governments remain a contentious issue.

RESPECT KENYANS

Beyond intercepting Al-Shabaab communications, we should also wonder whether communication of our top government officials is being eavesdropped on.

The Kenyan government must bear in mind that it has a primary duty and responsibility of protecting Kenyans. This means that when the interests of locals are in conflict with those of the British, then the President must take the side of Kenyans.

The Kenyan government must have a policy on how Kenyans who are killed, injured or raped by foreign troops on our soil are compensated. Relevant constitutional agencies like the National Security Council and Parliament must assess and appraise this agreement and ensure it does not pose risks to the republic.

On its part, the British government has the moral responsibility and obligation to respect the interests of Kenyans and ensure citizens are not harmed by the presence of its troops in the country. It must also respect the principles of reciprocity, mutual respect and accountability.
 

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Fuk Em if they won't listen to our rules and pay for what the use they can go look for another "Superb Location". Sh!t I'm sure the Chinese army would be a nice sum to come and train its troops in Kenya for desert warfare.
 

· thenairobidude
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Fuk Em if they won't listen to our rules and pay for what the use they can go look for another "Superb Location". Sh!t I'm sure the Chinese army would be a nice sum to come and train its troops in Kenya for desert warfare.
Exactly what I thought, these guys have been feeding us the same BS since independence.

They want us to give all military contracts solely to them yet our taxpayers are paying for the stuff.

They also want us to keep letting them train in Kenya for free at the same time they don't even care about the safety of our people and children.

If they want to go train in tanzania so be it.....
 

· thenairobidude
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kenya endorses the South West State of Somalia

The Star | 20 Feb 2015​

Kenya has endorsed the latest regional state in Somalia....

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday hosted the President of the new South West State of Somalia, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan in his Karen home in Nairobi.

“Kenya would assist in stabilising individual states of the Federal Government of Somalia as prerequisite to bringing stability to the whole country and the region at large,” Ruto said.

Sharif Hassan is a former Finance minister and speaker of parliament. He was ousted in 2011 as speaker after he held "unauthorised" talks with the Union of Islamic Courts which later morphed into the al Shabaab militia group.

He has business interests in Nairobi as well.

The Interim South West State of Somalia which brings together the Bay, Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions has its capital in Baidoa and it borders Jubaland to the east.

It was inaugurated in November last year in a process supported by Intergovernmental Authority on Development and United Nations Operations in Somalia (Unisom).

Baidoa is the headquarters of African Union Mission to Somalia's Sector Three, manned by Kenyan and Ethiopian forces. It is considered an important town in the fight against al Shabaab.

The formation of the state in Last November was vehemently opposed by the Somalia’s parliament led by speaker Mohamed Osman Jawaari. There were also demonstrations in Baidoa opposing the new administration.

The South West state becomes the fourth semi-autonomous state of Somalia. Others are Puntland, Somaliland and Jubaland.

Somaliland cut links with Mogadishu years ago and is fighting for international recognition as an independent country. It has democratically elected its president and is largely considered a success story.

Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad, an analyst with Southlink Consultants and Horn of Africa political scientist at Kenyatta University said Somalia’s lack of a clear foreign policy towards Kenya has created fodder for former warlords to claim leadership within their ethnic base.

“While the central governmental of Somalia was aware and actually involved in formation of this state, the latest visit to Kenya by Shariff Hassan must leave Mogadishu uncomfortable as it considers it subordination by Hassan,” he said.

Analysts say Kenya and Ethiopia want local administrative units to support them against al Shabaab and to avoid any influx of refugees into their countries. The state is also considered a favourite destination of repatriated Somalia refugees from Kenya.

Kenya was instrumental in the formation of Jubaland, another self-declared autonomous region, which it sought to use as a buffer against al Shabaab. Jubaland is led by Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Madobe) who fought alongside the Kenya Defence Forces during Operation Linda Nchi in 2011.

He was the commander a militia called the Ras Kamboni brigade. Efforts to speak to speak to officials at Kenya’s Foreign Affairs ministry did not materialise as phones went unanswered.

Yesterday, Ruto said Kenya “has no other interest in Somalia other than bringing peace and stability to the country”.

“We do not want anybody to take advantage of the fragile situation in Somalia and incubate people to destabilise the country and the region,” he said.

Ruto said the government is ready to participate in the reconstruction of Somalia through the Joint Cooperation Commission established in 2013 to tackle development issues between the two countries.

“As African leaders, we should be in the front line in helping our brothers and sisters in Somalia,” he said.

“We can be limited in capacity but not in willingness to assist.”
On his part, President Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan thanked Kenya for its support against al Shabaab.

“We are happy with Kenya’s assistance in resolving the problems in Somalia, and we are urging that Kenyan troops be allowed to traverse the interior of the country which is still under the control of al Shabaab and help in liberating it,” he said.

He appealed to Kenya to assist in building the capacity of his government especially in police, the justice system and in intelligence gathering.
 

· thenairobidude
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Uhuru leaves for three-day state visit in Algeria

The Star | 24 Feb 2015​

President Uhuru Kenyatta has left for Algeria for a three-day state visit.

The plane carrying the President and his entourage departed from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after 9.00 a.m.

Kenyatta was seen off by senior government officials led by Deputy President William Ruto.

While in Algiers, the President is expected to hold talks with the country’s leadership to boost bilateral ties between the two nations.

Kenyatta is scheduled to hold talks with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and the People’s National Assembly Speaker Mohamed Larbi Ould Khelifa.
 

· thenairobidude
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
German Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Frank Walter Steinmeier in Nairobi

21 - 23 February 2015












Notes:
  • Kenya is the second largest recipient of German official development assistance in Africa.
  • Germany allocated/will allocate KES. 31.04 billion (EUR. 300 million) in support of Kenya’s Medium Term Plan II for the period 2014-2017.
  • Germany never issued travel advisories to Kenya and its Kenya's 3rd largest source of tourists.
  • Germany was the first country to recognise Kenya on independence.
 

· thenairobidude
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The United States 'truly regrets' impact of Kenya travel advisories, says Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Daily Nation | 28 February 2015​

The State Department's top Africa official has defended the US warning on travel to Kenya but added that "any impact this has had, we truly regret."

The comments by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Wednesday came two days after The New York Times quoted an unnamed US official in Nairobi as saying of the travel warning: "Our policy doesn't make much sense."

...

The region's tourism industry was subsequently hit by crippling losses, with some 20,000 workers laid off.

WEAKENING ECONOMY

The anonymous US embassy official suggested in The Times story that "the weakening of the coastal economy is aggravating the very problem we were trying to combat."

The Times reporter Jeffrey Gettleman explained: "By contributing to the collapse of the coastal tourism industry, the travel warnings may simply be increasing the joblessness, idleness, poverty, drug use and overall desperation — all well-known kindling for terrorist activity — in an already depressed slice of Kenya."

"Many Kenyans contend — and even some diplomats say — these warnings could become a self-fulfilling prophecy," Mr Gettleman wrote.

Assistant Secretary of State Thomas-Greenfield rejected that view in her remarks on Wednesday, telling reporters, "I categorically state that our travel advisories are not contributing to people's participation in terrorism."

LEGAL OBLIGATIONS

She said the US government is acting on its legal obligations in warning its citizens of dangers they may face in visiting certain countries.

Kenya is not being singled out, Ms Thomas-Greenfield, added, noting that the US has issued warnings and advisories regarding travel to many countries around the world.

"The solution is security," she declared.

The US is working with Kenya's government to counter the threat of terrorism, the assistant secretary said.

The objective must be to ensure that Americans and citizens of other countries feel safe when they travel abroad, she added.

The June 19, 2014, State Department travel warning on Kenya notes that the US embassy in Nairobi has "instituted restrictions on US government personnel travel to all coastal counties."

TRAVEL WARNINGS

The Times' February 23 story, which carries a Mombasa dateline, notes that other Western nations "have formulated more nuanced travel warnings."

In contrast to the US, postings by the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Sweden are "highlighting certain hot spots without drawing a giant red X across Kenya’s entire coast, which is about 300 miles long and home to millions of people," Mr Gettleman wrote.

The anonymous US official observed in The Times report that "there are neighbourhoods in Washington — Anacostia, for example — that are way more dangerous than Nyali or Diani.
 

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Wrong coat of arms.

Foreign relations


Thread

Welcome to the Kenya's foreign relations thread.
This thread consists of news, developments and discussion relating to developments in the Kenya's foreign relations.



This thread will discuss foreign relations important to Kenya economically and/or nationally.

The foreign relations discussed here are issues that (don't fall in/aren't covered in) the other categories/threads.​
That's the wrong coat of arms. The official one has lions instead of griffins. Admin kindly change.
 

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Kenya is definately improving in the matters of foreign relations. I say this coz we have seen increased ties with China, India and Japan. And i think its gud to have ties with all the countries instead of just relying on US or UK.
 

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What happened with SK? Under kibaki they we're building power plants etc. hope there brought back to the fold. Along side the other Asian tigers.
 

· thenairobidude
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What happened with SK? Under kibaki they we're building power plants etc. hope there brought back to the fold. Along side the other Asian tigers.
They are training people to run the nuclear plants in Korea. Otherwise Korean Air is supposed to restart its direct flights to Nairobi in Summer. Apart from that we arent gonna see too much investment from Korea. Their companies are always too cautious. Korean Air was the only major carrier to suspend flights to Kenya over ebola, even though we never had ebola.

Singapore isn't really doing much.

Hong Kong is part of China, so not many expectations unless its city to city cooperation.

Kenya is signatory to the one-China policy so there isnt diplomatic communication with Taiwan. We probably only import some stuff from Taiwan.
 

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The Koreans are missing out....

But how about countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam they could offer Kenya investments.
 
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