Uhuru in Rwanda for AU summit, security and financing on agenda


President Uhuru Kenyatta is seen off by government officials at the JKIA in Nairobi before leaving for Kigali in Rwanda to attend the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union Summit, July 16, 2016. /PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta left on Saturday for Kigali, Rwanda, to attend the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union Summit.

Among issues that will be discussed are peace and security in Africa, AU financing, integration and the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area.

The summit is also expected to elect the new African Union Commission chairman, a deputy chairperson and commissioners.

Kenya’s Ambassador Mahboub Maalim is vying for the post of Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta will attend the opening of the summit. She is in Kigalifor the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) meetings.

Ahead of the summit, Uhuru will join the African Union Committee of 10 (C-10) for a meeting on United Nations reforms.

C-10 is a group of 10 African countries, including Kenya, formed by theAU to lobby for UN reforms.

Other members are Algeria, Libya, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Zambia, Uganda, Equatorial Guinea and Congo.

The President will also join other continental leaders for a meeting on financing the African Union and wrap up the first day of his visit to Rwanda by attending an IGAD Special Summit that will focus on regional peace and security, especially the situation in South Sudan.

On July 8, renewed fighting erupted in Juba, the capital of Africa’s youngest nation, leaving at least 300 dead and more than 42,000 displaced.

Uhuru reached out to President Salva Kiir, First Vice President Dr Riek Machar and Vice President James Wani and urged them to play the roles the people expected them to.

Among leaders attending the summit are presidents Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Ellen Johnson (Liberia), Hage Geingob (Namibia), Macky Sall (Senegal), Ibrahim Keita (Mali) and Allasanne Ouattara (Cote d’Ivoire).

Others are Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Presidents Mahamadou Issoufou (Niger), Teodoro Obiang (Equatorial Guinea), Idriss Deby (Chad) and Jacob Zuma (South Africa) and United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon.