Kenya Is One of the Main Supporters to Al Bashir

Kenya Is One of the Main Supporters to Al Bashir Initiative which Resulted to the Signature of S. Sudan Peace Agreement

Muawad Mustafa – Shadia Basheri

Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto visited Khartoum last April. During the visit he stated that Kenya is confident that its bilateral relations with the Republic of Sudan will continue to yield benefits for both countries economically.
Ruto stated that the deeper economic co-operation that Kenya was seeking with Sudan was aimed at expanding to more sectors to generate broader benefits for the people of the two countries.
The Deputy President, at the same time, called on the need for exchange of knowledge, experiences and technology transfer among expertise from various fields in the two countries.
“It is time we exchange experiences in various fields to increase the bonds of friendship and encourage business people to work together in exploiting trade opportunities in our two nations,” he said.
He explained that exchange of expertise and experiences in the fields of agriculture; industrialization, education, maritime, oil, gas, security and training among other areas remain key in effective contribution to socio economic development of the citizens of the two countries.
Last week President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al Bashir received, *at the Guest House* a message* from President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta handed to him over by* the Kenyan Envoy,* Steven Kalonzo* in the presence of Foreign Minister,* Dr Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed* and Ambassador of Kenya to Sudan.
Foreign Minister, Dr Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed said in press statements that the Kenyan Special Envoy* who arrived* in the Country* Wednesday** delivered a message to President* of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir* from* his Kenyan counterpart within context of* consultations over* South Sudan State , indicating that the President* of the Republic, in turn, sent through the Kenyan Envoy a similar message to* President Uhuru Kenyatta.
*The Kenyan*Envoy, for his part, said the meeting was very useful and will push forward the*relations between Khartoum and Nairobi.
*He stressed President Kenyatta’s continued*support to President Al-Bashir efforts*on*South Sudan peace process.
On the background of the considerable improvement in the relations between Sudan and Kenya, Sudan Vision caught up with H.E. the Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya in Khartoum, Mr. Arown K. Suge and conducted a brief interview.
In the interview Mr. Arown K. Suge affirmed that Darfur is back to normal and it is time for peace-building process.
On the relations between Sudan and Kenya, Mr. Suge said that the recent visits of the Kenyan Vice President and the Envoy, Steven Kalonzo aimed at enhancing the relations between the two sisterly countries and to continue that already existing consultations.
He added that the two countries are working jointly on the issues of controlling extremism, human trafficking, besides promoting the economic and social harmony between the two nations.
He lauded that role of the International University of Africa in providing scholarships to some one thousand Kenyan students, and also to Ahfad University for Women in which 100 female Kenyan students are studying.Excerpts
Q: Would you please tell us about the recent visit of the Kenyan special Envoy, Steven Kalonzo, to Sudan last week?
A: I believe that certain issues were discussed which most likely including the topics of money laundering, illegal migration, human trafficking, negative forces and terrorism. Economically I think that promoting the economical relations was discussed considering that Sudan has huge potentials if utilized to the maximum it could bring Sudan out of the poor countries through cooperation with its close countries and Kenya is one of those countries which could provide support in various aspects especially in agricultural and tourism, especially after Sudan overstepped the war era and is witnessing considerable peace and stability in the region.
Kenya also is one of the main supporters to Al Bashir initiative which resulted to the signature of South Sudan peace agreement that brought an end to the bloody conflict. The Kenyan President pushed forward the initiative and was keen that the talks take place in Khartoum instead of Kenya as was proposed earlier.
Q: Can you tell us about your professional background?
A: I actually worked in diplomacy for 34 years, during which I worked, among other stations, in Nigeria, Brussels, Vienna with IEA which was one of my richest periods, Slovakia and Hungary, Hague where the ICC is located, Netherlands, and now in Sudan.
Q: Your impressions on Sudan?
Sudan is a very nice country; it is my first visit to Sudan where I found friendly people who are willing to provide assistance to anybody. One of my experiences it that the watched a football match where the Sudanese team was beaten, but the fans came out from the stadium peacefully and without any quarrels or chaos. In Sudan I feel very safe as I can come out of my residence early morning to practice walking without any feeling that I might face danger. I travelled to many places by road. Sudanese are nice people. So I didn’t find any obstacles or challenges in Khartoum.
Q: Any Comment on Darfur issue?
A: I think that Darfur is now back to normal and next stage is the peace-building in the region. The region needs reconstruction of facilities such as schools and primary health centres to enable the returnees practice their normal activities in a healthy environment. To sum it up, Darfur now only needs improved infrastructure and we should listen to the negative reports on Darfur because some people do not want good to Sudan. Sudan in this stage needs the support of the international community.
Q: What about investments between the two countries?
A: There are a lot of commercial activities such as the International Fair of Khartoum where Kenya had its pavilion in which it products were exhibited especially the Kenya tea. In Kenya there was an insurance exhibition, so there is interaction between the two countries. From Sudan there are few products in Kenya such as lubricants. Also the Sudanese which is not genetically modified is favourable in Kenya. There Memorandums of Understanding signed recently.
One the issue of reviving cooperatives, I believe that the cooperatives contribute in reducing poverty. In Kenya we have a unique experience in this regard and I believe that Sudan can benefit from the Kenyan experience
Actually we are not happy with the volume of trade exchange between the two countries because it is below our aspirations
Q: Do you any figures about the numbers of Sudanese studying in Kenya and the Kenyans who are studying in Sudan?
A: Yes, quite a number. We have 1000 Kenyan students in the International University of Africa getting quality education in medicine and other specializations. We have also 100 female students in Ahfad University for Women. One of the good things in the International University of Africa is the practical training through its farm which is run by the students of the university to achieve self-sufficiency and sell the surplus to the local market. There is also quite a number of Sudanese studying in Kenyan universities.
Q: What about tourism industry?
A: In fact there is a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries in this regard, according to which Sudan and Kenya will be one circuit to promote safari in Kenya, diving and desert tourism in Sudan. I would like here to point out to Khartoum International Peace Marathon which will take place in January 2019 which will be well prepared with renowned sponsors. The marathon will be participated by about ten countries. This activity has its positive impact it will show that Sudan is a key player in the stability of the region as there are discussions to achieve stability in all the neighbouring countries such as Central African Republic and Libya with Sudan’s contribution on those discussions.
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Captions:
* We have 1000 Kenyan students in the International University of Africa getting quality education in medicine and other specializations. We have also 100 female students in Ahfad University for Women.
* Sudan and Kenya will be one circuit to promote safari in Kenya, diving and desert tourism in Sudan
* I think that Darfur is now back to normal and next stage is the peace-building in the region

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