Museveni, Suluhu Snub Ruto as Kenya’s Longstanding Diplomatic Ties with Neighbours Dwindle

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Museveni, Suluhu Snub Ruto as Kenya’s Longstanding Diplomatic Ties with Neighbours Dwindle

Since taking office in September 2022, President William Ruto has traveled to nearly every member state within the East African Community (EAC).

As an example, on August 14, Ruto journeyed to Uganda and engaged in a private meeting with President Yoweri Museveni. Just one month afterward, on September 7, the Kenyan president was in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, having been invited by President Samia Suluhu to participate in the 13th Africa Food Systems Summit.

On October 27, Ruto accepted an invitation and participated in a climate conference in Congo Brazzaville. Recently, he visited Djibouti for an Igad event after returning from a state visit to India.

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However, concerns are emerging as neighboring presidents were notably absent at the Jamhuri Day celebrations held on December 12 at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.

Given the strong partnerships and camaraderie among EAC nations, it is a customary practice for heads of state to attend significant national events of fellow member countries, such as the Jamhuri Day festivities.

In a departure from the usual scenario, all eight presidents within the EAC regional bloc were notably absent from the event. Instead, they chose to delegate representatives to attend in their stead.

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Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu designated Zanzibar’s President Hassan Mwinyi as her representative, who mentioned in his address that the leader of Kenya’s southern neighbor couldn’t attend due to the devastating impact of floods caused by El Niño rains in the northern part of their country.

In a similar vein, President Museveni of Uganda opted to send the country’s deputy prime minister, Rebecca Kadaga, while the representative for Burundian President General Évariste Ndayishimiye was his Vice President Prosper Bazombanza.

Notably, the remaining EAC presidents—Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Salva Kiir (South Sudan), Félix Antoine Tshisekedi (DRC), and Somalia’s Hassan Sheikh Mohamud—were also absent. Ethiopia, adhering to its tradition, sent President Sahle-Work Zewde to represent Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The absence of neighboring presidents on such a significant day in Kenya’s history underscores questions about the strength of the purported solid relationship between President Ruto and his regional counterparts.

In Other News: Ruto Issues Directives on Construction of Railway Line Passing Through Karen

Museveni, Suluhu Snub Ruto as Kenya’s Longstanding Diplomatic Ties with Neighbours Dwindle

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