US, Kenya to cooperate on ending Sudan conflict, DRC talks


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. [David Gichuru,Standard]

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced active engagement between the United States and Kenya to advance shared priorities.

On July 30, 2023, Blinken took to his Twitter account to reveal that he had initiated talks with President William Ruto, with the discussions revolving around finding solutions to the conflict in Sudan and supporting East African Community-led negotiations concerning the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"Spoke today with President William Ruto of Kenya to advance shared priorities, including ending the conflict in Sudan and advancing East African Community-led talks on eastern DRC," said Blinken.

Blinken’s statement comes at a time when President Ruto is facing resistance from General Yasir Alatta, the Assistant Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), in his efforts to bring the country's warring generals together for reconciliation.

The conflict has persisted with clashes between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since April 15.

Despite numerous attempts at international mediation, none have achieved a lasting resolution or even a significant pause in hostilities.

 One such initiative proposed by IGAD, an East African regional bloc of which Kenya is a member, suggested the deployment of peacekeepers in the capital city, Khartoum.

However, the Sudanese army has rejected this Kenyan-led initiative, accusing Kenya of supporting the RSF and considering any foreign peacekeepers as enemy forces.

Conflicts have also been prevalent in eastern DRC, where Consultative Technical Team meetings have taken place involving stakeholders from the region's Peace Process.

 The meetings have focused on addressing the issues highlighted in the Luanda and Nairobi processes.

 The primary discussions have been centred on confidence-building measures, with a specific focus on the warring parties in the eastern part of DRC.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta, has been in the forefront in seeking enduring peace solutions for the conflict-ridden region.