Kenya-Sahara: Raila Odinga denied having attacked President Ruto’s decision to rescind recognition of pseudo-SADR
Raila Odinga, leader of the Azimio La Umoja Coalition and main challenger of William Ruto in the latest Kenyan presidential election, denied reports alleging that he had attacked the Kenyan president’s decision to revoke recognition of the so-called SADR.
“The reports that I attacked Ruto’s decision to review Kenya’s policy on the polisario are erroneous,” wrote the former Kenyan Prime Minister on his official twitter account.
Odinga, who won 48.85% of the votes in the latest presidential election, added that he never mentioned polisario, stressing that he knows the importance of relations between Kenya and Morocco, which he described as “beneficial.”
Following the congratulations message King Mohammed VI sent to the new President of Kenya, William Ruto, Kenya decided to rescind the recognition of the pseudo-SADR and initiate steps to close down its representation in Nairobi.
A joint statement, parts of which were posted on the website of the State House of Kenya, following the delivery, last Wednesday, of the royal message to the Kenyan head of state, said “out of respect for the principle of territorial integrity and non-interference, Kenya fully supports the serious and credible autonomy plan proposed by the Kingdom of Morocco, as the only solution based on the territorial integrity of Morocco,” to resolve the Sahara dispute.
“Kenya supports the United Nations framework as the exclusive mechanism to achieve a lasting and permanent political solution to the dispute over the Sahara issue,” the joint statement said.
In his message, King Mohammed VI congratulated Mr. William Samoei Ruto on his election as the 5th President of Kenya and welcomed the successful unfolding of democratic elections in the country in August 2022, stressing that these deadlines consolidate the position of Kenya as a beacon country in terms of democracy at the continental level.
The Sovereign also welcomed the promise made by the Kenyan President to strengthen and deepen the current bilateral relations between his country and various states in Africa and elsewhere.
President Ruto, for his part, hailed the leadership of King Mohammed VI in promoting policies of tolerance at the level of the Maghreb region, as well as its contribution to world peace and security.
He also expressed his willingness and commitment to work with the Sovereign to strengthen relations between the two countries, which are both committed to raising their bilateral diplomatic relations to the level of strategic partnership in the coming six months, the statement said, adding that the Republic of Kenya is committed to opening its Embassy in Rabat.
Similarly, it was agreed to immediately accelerate economic, trade and social relations between the two countries, particularly in the areas of fishing, agriculture and food security (import of fertilizers).
Cooperation will also cover the areas of health, tourism, renewable energy, security collaboration, as well as cultural, religious and people-to-people exchanges.
Being one of the greatest African powers, particularly in East Africa, Kenya, is currently a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, which is preparing to vote on October 27 on a resolution on the Sahara issue.
The decision made by Kenya, which had been among the supporters of the Polisario, is therefore important in more than one way. It corroborates the momentum of breakthroughs scored by Moroccan diplomacy and deals a hard blow to the separatists and their sponsors.
This new setback replaces the separatist front in its true dimension, that of an agent in the service of the Algerian junta.