Why I skipped UN general assembly trip, Uhuru explains

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Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta has explained why his last-minute cancellation of his trip to the US.

Uhuru, on Thursday, September 15, called off his trip to the United Nations General Assembly in New York but did not give any reason at the time.

Why I skipped UN general assembly trip, Uhuru explains
It is said that everything had been finalised for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s trip to the UN general assembly.
Image: PSCU
The logistics for his trip had already been laid out and his protocol team was already at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The president then delegated the duty to his Deputy William Ruto. Ruto flew to New York on Friday, September 16.

Why I skipped UN general assembly trip, Uhuru explains

Why I skipped UN general assembly trip, Uhuru explains
Deputy President William Ruto with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Ruto was sent to represent Uhuru at the UN general assembly. Image: DPPS

Uhuru, through his spokesman Manoah Esipisu, said there were pressing issues that he had to address in the country and the region.

“The reason for the cancellation, Manoah said, was because after the IGAD summit in Somalia, on September 13, there would be a series of follow-up sessions that the president needed to personally attend to,” NTV reported on Wednesday, September 21.
Manoah added that Uhuru had to stay in the country to address the issue of former South Sudan’s vice president Riek Machar’s asylum. These, according to State House, could not let Uhuru make the 10-day trip to Canada and US.

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However, the explanations did not seem convincing to some Kenyans.

First of all, other leaders from the region (who are also affected by the Somalia and South Sudan issues) attended the meeting.

Why I skipped UN general assembly trip, Uhuru explains

Why I skipped UN general assembly trip, Uhuru explains
Other members of IGAD, Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, attended the UN general assembly. Image: PSCU

Ethiopian prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni travelled to US for the UN assembly.

Secondly, there are no publicly known follow-up meetings after the IGAD summit in Somalia that Uhuru has attended.

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Apparently, the only “notable” thing that the president has done since the cancellation of the trip was going for nyama choma at Kenyatta Market in Nairobi.

Why I skipped UN general assembly trip, Uhuru explains

Why I skipped UN general assembly trip, Uhuru explains
President Uhuru Kenyatta at Kenyatta Market in Nairobi. Image: PSCU

According to David Kikaya, an international relations expert, there are possibilities that Uhuru cancelled the trip to avoid the talks on refugees following US President Barack Obama’s call.

Why I skipped UN general assembly trip, Uhuru explains

Why I skipped UN general assembly trip, Uhuru explains
US President Barack Obama is said to have called President Uhuru Kenyatta to talk about refugees. Image: PSCU

The Kenyan government has maintained their decision to repatriate refugees mostly because they have become a security threat.

http://video.nur.kz/embed=w73agwt2

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