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Since assuming office, Uhuru has limited visits to African, Eastern European and Asian nations

NAIROBI
By Biketi Kikechi | October 13th 2013

By BIKETI KIKECHI

The ICC cases have significantly contributed to the current frosty relations between powerful Western nations and Kenya.

President Uhuru has, since assuming office, limited his foreign visits to African countries, Eastern Europe and Asia.

The President skipped the UN General Assembly last month, and also ensured that Kenya was not represented at the meeting for the first time since the country’s independence.

Foreign Affairs officials told The Sunday Standard that the President recalled the Kenya ambassador to the UN Kamau Macharia during the UN meeting.

“Kenya had suspended ties with the UN and that is why ambassador was recalled leaving the country without any representation,” said the diplomat at Foreign Affairs.

Last week, the President summoned the US ambassador to State House for a private meeting whose details have remained guarded.

The meeting came before the President travelled to Addis Ababa to attend the Special African Union Summit, whose agenda was withdrawal by member countries from the ICC and deferral of the Kenya cases against the President and his deputy William Ruto.

It appears that apart from Botswana and Tunisia, countries that have categorically stated that they will not support the severing of ties with ICC, other countries have backed Kenya’s case.

Last month, the President held a meeting with all ambassadors representing their countries in Kenya, after they attended the press briefing at State House over the Westgate Mall attack.

It has emerged that during that meeting, the ambassadors expressed their support for Kenya to withdraw from ICC.

‘RUTO, STOP ATTENDING'

They asked the President not go for the case and demanded that the Deputy President stops attending the court sessions.

But as that was happening, Kenya’s actions expressed the leadership’s disaffection with the treatment they were receiving from Western powers.

Our foreign affairs office source also gave an example of the July 4th US Independence Day, where the Kenya government was again not represented.

“It is all about the push by the US and other Western countries for the President and his deputy to be humiliated by the ICC, when no European country can allow its leader to be hauled before a foreign court,” said the official.

When German ambassador Margit Hellwig-Botte completed her tour of duty a few months ago, she was not accorded an opportunity to bid the President goodbye.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga hosted her at his Karen home before she left. Government sources told The Standard on Sunday that her actions, especially concerning the ICC cases in Kenya, contributed to her rejection by Tanzania where she had been posted after leaving Nairobi. “They said to hell with you. We can’t work with you. That is Africa working together,” said a Cabinet Secretary who also declined to be named. Uhuru’s inner circle argues that former President Kibaki left an impeccable development record in roads infrastructure, electricity supply in many areas and education sectors yet he never visited France or Germany and only went to Britain after he was invited for a conference on Somalia.

Another officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that the President has for weeks not received the new French and Belgian ambassadors.  A senior officer at the Office of The President in Harambee House told The Standard on Sunday they were dealing with other staff at the two embassies.

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