With a peace deal unravelling in South Sudan and jihadist attacks continuing in Somalia, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi on Monday.
The two discussed regional security and terrorism before Kerry met with the foreign ministers of Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda for talks focusing on a faltering peace agreement in South Sudan and looming elections in Somalia.
A statement from the Kenyan presidency ahead of Kerry’s visit said discussions with Kenyatta would focus on “regional security and stability” including South Sudan where a civil war has been raging since December 2013, Somalia where elections are due next month, and Burundi in the throes of a political crisis since April 2015.
Terrorism would also be on the agenda, the statement said, as the threat from Somalia’s Shabaab militants continues to affect the region.
Kerry’s previous visit to Kenya in May 2015 paved the way for US President Barack Obama’s trip two months later.
The high-profile US diplomatic missions underline Kenya’s importance as a regional partner to the US, particularly on security, and demonstrate a thawing of relations that cooled while Kenyatta was under indictment by the International Criminal Court for alleged election-related crimes against humanity.
Kerry is expected to focus his attention on South Sudan and shoring up a year-old peace deal that has so far failed to end the conflict.
Kerry is due to travel to Nigeria on Tuesday before leaving Africa for Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
Read More: AFP