, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 – President Mwai Kibaki on Wedneday left for Abuja, Nigeria to attend the African Union Peace and Security Council meeting.
Kenya, as Sudan’s neighbour, has been invited to attend Thursday’s opening session of the AU Peace and Security Council meeting which is set to discuss and consider a report by the AU High-Level Panel on Darfur.
The AU High-Level Panel on Darfur (AUPD), chaired by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, was mandated to examine the situation in Darfur and submit recommendations on how best issues of accountability, ensuring peace, healing and reconciliation could effectively be addressed.
The Council, which Kenya is a founding member, is a standing decision-making organ for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. It also serves as a collective and early warning arrangement to facilitate timely and efficient response to conflict and crisis situations in Africa.
Kenya is also expected to push for Africa’s attention on the Southern Sudan comprehensive peace process in the belief that a successful conclusion to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement would help bolster chances of a new peace deal and development pact for the Darfur region.
The Peace and Security Council (PSC) has undertaken several peace initiatives in the continent including deployment of AU Peace Keeping Missions in Darfur, Burundi, Western Sahara, Comoros, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo and the proposed IGAD/AU Mission in Somalia among others.
The PSC is composed of 15 members elected on the basis of equitable regional representation and rotation where 10 members are elected for a two-year term while the remaining five members on a three-year term to ensure continuity. Kenya has submitted her candidature to the council for elections to be held in January 2010.
The plane carrying the President Kibaki and his entourage departed Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after 12.00 noon.
The President was seen off at the airport by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Chief of General Staff Gen. Jeremiah Kianga, Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Amb. Francis Muthaura and Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere among other senior Government officials.