CS Mutua calls on African leaders to respect electoral outcomes

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua and Canada Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly when they addressed a joint Press conference on bilateral ties between the two countries in Nairobi. [Edwin Nyarangi, Standard]

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua has said that it is important for political players in Africa to respect electoral outcomes as a way of entrenching democracy and fostering post-election stability in the continent.

Dr Mutua who addressed a joint press conference with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly in Nairobi yesterday emphasized that African leaders must learn to respect democratic outcomes since all elections have winners and losers.

The CS said that countries and the international community should send a strong message to those who disrupt democracy saying that Kenya is universally recognised as a model of democracy where the system of governance is regulated by the Constitution.

"President William Ruto was duly elected in conformity and consistent with the dictates of our constitutional dispensation, we are not here to debate the election of President Ruto, that decision was settled by Kenyans and by the country's judicial institutions in 2022," he said.

Mutua noted that Kenya sits at the confluence of the East African region, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region, with the country's security considerations taking into account the ongoing situations in the region.

He explained that the foreign policy pillars are anchored on regional cooperation and are also consistent with Kenya's role as an anchor state and guarantor of regional peace and security and the 40th Extraordinary Assembly of Igad heads of state and government mandated President Ruto with the Presidents of South Sudan and Djibouti to push for peace in Sudan.

The CS assured of Kenya's commitment to host talks aimed at stabilising Sudan and President Ruto's willingness to support the United Nations in its humanitarian efforts in addition to availing the airspace including airports such as Lokichogio for humanitarian support.

"We are working closely with Canada to find a lasting solution to the Sudan crisis and have agreed to continue encouraging both sides to have meaningful dialogue, cease hostilities, guarantee humanitarian access and restore service to all communities, we are working with our Canadian friends and other international partners in the evacuation of their respective nationals from Sudan," he said.

Mutua said the country's credentials as an anchor state and guarantor of regional peace and security have also led to a request by the Caricom- Caribbean community as well as Canada and the United States of America for Kenya to consider providing law enforcement assistance to the nation of Haiti.

He thanked Canada for offering to provide education and employment opportunities to Kenyans saying the country was ready to share skilled and professional workers.

The CS noted that so far 209 Kenyans have been evacuated from Sudan and more than 500 other nationalities had also been rescued from the ongoing conflict with more than 100,000 refugees having escaped to safety in neighbouring countries.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister said that bilateral cooperation has made progress through the Kenya- Canada Binational Commission Framework which has prioritized cooperation in three main areas namely; sustainable blue economy, trade and investment and peace and security.

"The cooperation between our two countries is aimed at poverty reduction, sustainable economic growth, empowerment of women and girls and supporting refugee programmes with Kenya being a pillar of friendship and consistency to Canada, our two countries have close working relations through the Commonwealth," she said.

Ms Joly revealed that Canada has offered Kenya Sh8 billion to help fight hunger and famine in parts of the country.

She assured that the international community was working towards ensuring peace in DRC, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia so the citizens can engage in income generating activities.

President Ruto is expected to host United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kashida for talks this week.

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