Editorial

EDITORIAL

Kenya, a necessary 'peace buffer

The meaning of the UN Secretary General's visit

04-05-2023 by Freddie del Curatolo

This was also reiterated by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, during his official visit: Kenya has always and increasingly been a 'peace buffer' in the midst of the many pitfalls, disputes and battles that often result in bloody wars in sub-Saharan Africa.
The UN number one is in Nairobi to meet President William Ruto and discuss the dramatic situation in Sudan. Ruto has from the outset put himself forward as one of the leaders of the possible, hoped-for mediation between the warring factions in and around Khartoum that are tearing the country apart and forcing tens of thousands of citizens to flee.

This is not the first time that Kenya has risen to the role of peacemaker (or at least tried to): the newfound solidity of its democracy, albeit slightly undermined by the unconscionable opposition of Raila Odinga and his allies (in the manner, more than in the demands) after last August's elections, has once again convinced international actors of the nation's reliability as a guide to solving the political and security problems of the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region. It happened recently in the civil war triggered by the repressions following the uprisings in the Ethiopian autonomous region of Tigre, and has been going on for some time in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the difficult negotiations between the government in Kinshasa and the rebels of the M23 military group in the north-east of the country, and with the more or less presumed influence of neighbouring Rwanda. Anyway, yesterday, even the opposition, after yet another day of protests that created inconveniences in Nairobi and Kisumu, wisely decided to cancel the demonstrations planned for today, agreeing to sit at bipartisan tables in parliament to discuss electoral reforms.

In the midst of these fragile balances, there is the never easy situation of South Sudan, moreover, like Ethiopia bordering Kenya, and the even more delicate one with Somalia, a receptacle for jihadist terrorism and clinging to governments that are always at risk and new autonomies often financed by Islamic lords.
The Kenyan buffer becomes essential, not only for sub-Saharan Africa, but for all investments and agreements between foreign powers, and thanks to this prerogative it has often been able to take advantage of aid, including economic aid and important diplomatic relations, starting with the various international security agencies (read 'secret services').

Being labelled a safe country or at least a healthy bearer of peace is no small responsibility, but it is also a calling card for the economy, and can attract new investments as well as revitalise tourism at a time when recovery is more than necessary.
So I welcome this consecration, if it can make the rulers and the opposition realise that there are more important and even remunerative aspects to it than the blind and deaf thirst for power.

TAGS: pacenazioni unitesud sudancongomediatore

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by Freddie del Curatolo