President Uhuru Kenyatta returns from Ethiopia after attending AU summit

Monday February 1 2016

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President Uhuru Kenyatta flew back into the country after the close of the 26th African Union summit during which the status of Africa’s relations with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and regional security concerns were given priority.

During the summit, President Kenyatta rallied the heads of state and government to adopt far-reaching proposals on the ICC, which include the development of a road map for a mass withdrawal from the Rome Statute.

The President also pushed for the AU to refocus on how to strengthen the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) so that the force can deal better with the terrorists threatening the entire region.

During the summit, Kenya was elected to become a member of the African Union Peace and Security Council for three years beginning March 2016. Other countries elected to serve for three years in the council include Nigeria, Egypt, Zambia and Congo.

Burundi, Chad, Rwanda, Uganda, Algeria, Botswana, South Africa, Niger, Sierra Leone and Togo were also elected to serve in the council for two years each.

The AU also tasked the African Union Group at the United Nations to engage the UN secretary-general on who will become the new Unep director.


Three candidates from Africa are vying for the position, with Kenya lobbying for the permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Macharia Kamau, to become the new director of Unep, which has its headquarters in Kenya.

President Kenyatta also held bilateral meetings with leaders including UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon.

President Kenyatta and Mr Ban discussed the role of Amisom in Somalia and the need for a review of the mandate of the forces battling Al-Shabaab terrorists.

The President held bilateral talks with presidents of several African countries, including Mr Alpha Condé (Guinea), Mr Ismail Omar Guelleh (Djibouti) and Hage Geingob of Namibia.

President Kenyatta also attended a meeting hosted by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda to discuss the SMART-Africa initiative, aimed at promoting ICT as a driver for socio-economic growth.

He stressed that Kenya is committed to supporting the initiative and will soon post an official to the headquarters of SMART-Africa in Kigali, Rwanda.

The President, who was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after 9pm and was received by his deputy William Ruto.