US Secretary of State John Kerry is in the country for talks on security cooperation ahead of US President Barrack Obama’s visit in July. Security was tight at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi ahead of Mr Kerry’s arrival yesterday.
Security checks were intensified at all airport entries and exits since Saturday, with more GSU officers deployed there. More checks were mounted across Nairobi. American agents were posted to the control tower before the plane carrying Kerry and his team of about 40 people touched down at about 3pm. The agents even took control of the police lead car as they drove from the airport to the Nairobi National Park for an evening drive.
He was welcomed by Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, he held a brief chat with Ms Mohamed, US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec and military officials before being driven off in an armored BMW. As he landed, former US president Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea, who arrived on Friday, were in Samburu for a visit. The Clintons were scheduled to leave Kenya yesterday.
Kerry will meet the 1998 US embassy bomb blast survivors before heading to State House for talks with President Uhuru Kenya. Ms Mohamed said Kerry will meet the survivors at the bomb blast site around 9.00am, with the clamour for compensation being among the issues likely to come up. He will later meet representatives from Eritrea and Putland, with talks expected to focus on the fight against terrorism in the region.
In the Afternoon, Kerry will be at the United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHRC) and later meet business leaders at 5.00pm. On Tuesday, he will be hosted by civil society groups before leaving on Wednesday morning. Kerry’s trip is the first high-level visit to Kenya since 2012, and comes after a year of tension following President Uhuru Kenyatta case at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC has since dropped the case against President Kenyatta over his role in the 2007-2008 post-election violence, citing lack of evidence and Kenya’s failure to cooperate — somewhat erasing Kenyatta’s pariah status. Al-Shabaab attacks The fight against Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab militants is expected to be high on the agenda, with Kenya still struggling to stop increased cross-border attacks by the militants.
Officials said during talks with President Kenyatta, Kerry would also raise concerns on human rights violations, especially following accusations the Jubilee regime is clamping down on civil society groups and the Press. The visit comes as more security agents continued to arrive in Kenya ahead of Obama’s arrival in July. Already, two special cars that he will use during his visit have arrived in the country. It also comes weeks after a delegation of the US Senate and US Congress also spent time in Kenya where they discussed the war on terror, regional security and trade and investment.
Courtesy of Standard Media Group