Is Uhuru Kenyatta Playing His Cards Intelligently In South Sudan’s Conflict?
August 19, 2016(Nyamilepedia) ——- Kenyan President, Hon. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, is one of the leaders who is playing tricky cards but politically smart role in South Sudan’s conflict.
Aiming at a big picture as the only president, who has received US President, Pope of the Roman Catholic and many other world leaders during his first term, Kenyatta is handling South Sudan conflict more at a political level with more or less seriousness.
Unlike his counterparts in the region, who have either taken sides or remain much less involved, Kenyatta has opened his State House to South Sudanese politicians who are paying him courtesy calls to brief him on the “peace progress” in their country.
More of a good guy, Kenyatta is utilizing his advantageous position to politically cleanse his damaged skin within the region and also internationally.
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Although there is more war than peace in South Sudan, which has left South Sudanese politicians competing for attention, Kenyatta can chat through the truth and lies with big smiles. No one knows who is cheating who between Kenyatta and the South Sudanese politicians but it is an African culture not to disappoint your visitors
At the back of their minds, Kenyatta and the visiting party know where their loyalty lies and whether they are honest or not but no one dares to question the other.
In the eyes of his supporters and sympathizers, mostly Kenyans, Kenyatta seems to be doing everything in his capacity to help end the conflict in South Sudan which is very less likely.
These Kenyans are cursing nothing but more blessings for the son of Kenyatta for taking up the shoes of his father and standing up for the moral rights of other African nations, especially South Sudanese and Somalians.
To the proponents, mostly Kenyans as well, Kenyatta is doing nothing but cheap talks that are of no goods to anyone but just fueling Al-shaabab’s terrorist activities and refugee influx from both South Sudan and Somalia.
If consulted, this group which is loyal mostly to Odinga would urge Kenyatta to man-up and take bolder positions before the Al-shabaab commits more atrocities and before Salva Kiir’s unknown gunmen chase everyone out of South Sudan.
To many South Sudanese, Uhuru is either doing a service or a disservice to the visiting party.
When Machar visited Nairobi for the first time, for example, in May 2014 and Uhuru government welcomed Machar on a red carpet, Salva Kiir’s many spokesmen went viral accusing Kenyatta and Kenyans for allowing rebels to use their capital city as a launching pad.
For SPLM/SPLA-IO supporters and sympathizers, welcoming Dr. Machar on a red carpet was the most logical thing, ever, to do until Mr. Kenyatta received Taban Deng Gai at his state house and begin to acknowledge him as a successor of Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the First Vice President of the country.
After each meeting, however, Kenyatta takes it to social media, especially twitter, to distance himself and claim that he had represented the position of the regional body, IGAD-Plus and the international friends.
“Briefed on the efforts by the Government of President Salva Kiir to implement the peace accord in line with the IGAD recommendations.” said yesterday after meeting Taban Deng Gai.
Kenyatta has also accommodated the former political detainees and gave them a five-star treatment that Salva Kiir would never accord them until they felt safe enough to move on with their lives.
It could be true that Kenyatta is playing very smart cards but whether such position helps Kenyans and/or South Sudanese remains to be seen.
Kenyatta has welcomed Obama one year ago and he will soon receive the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, at a time when South Sudan is returning to war but none can easily predict if the two leaders would lay a concrete way forward for South Sudan.
It is believed that Kerry will leave a message for South Sudan and other countries in conflicts but the Obama’s administration carries more blames for the conflict in South Sudan as the midwife of the young nation that is now failing.