Kenya elevated to the rank of “major ally” of the United States, a reward for Ruto diplomacy

“A historic decision”, “an important turning point”… The Kenyan press was delighted with this announcement on Friday May 24. It illustrates, according to the main dailies, the growing place of Kenya on the international scene and underlines the role that the country has played for peace and stability in the region. Nairobi is particularly involved in the peace process for the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is also a partner of Washington in the fight against the Islamist Shebab.

Joe Biden also underlined it: this status is “the culmination of years of collaboration” between Nairobi and Washington. Kenyan political analyst Dismas Mokua also sees this as a sign that President William Ruto’s active diplomacy is bearing fruit. This status represents, according to the specialist, a mark of confidence from the United States which puts Kenya at the forefront. And could thus attract new investors.

Washington has already announced this week funding for Kenya in the transport sector, the fight against corruption and even the police. This new diplomatic rank will allow Nairobi to have privileged military relations with the United States, in particular for access to sophisticated weapons and for the training of the armed forces.

The two leaders were asked about sending a Kenyan force to Haiti, but did not make concrete announcements on the start of the international mission supposed to bring some stability and security to the country.

This article is originally published on rfi.fr

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