, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 6 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has arrived in the United Kingdom for the London Conference on Somalia which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
The plane carrying the president and his entourage touched down at Heathrow airport at 6.40am local time.
On arrival, the Head of State was received by senior officials of the government of the United Kingdom and staff of the Kenya High Commission in London led by Ambassador Ephraim Ngare.
The conference, which is co-chaired by the United Kingdom and the shaky government of Somalia, will be held at Lancaster House.
Among other issues the conference will deliberate is strengthening security, policing and the justice system as well as public finance management in the war torn country, as part of the wider efforts to ensure security in the Horn of Africa region.
The president is accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Attorney General Githu Muigai among other high ranking government officials.
His invitation to the UK has not gone without criticism and debate because of his case at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The UK has been criticised for inviting Kenyatta who is facing charges of crimes against humanity.
Sky News which referred to Kenyatta as a ‘criminal’ president has been criticised by Kenyans on social media.
The critics said it was unfair for such comments since Kenyatta had pledged to cooperate with the court and he remains a suspect until the conclusion of his case.
Kenyatta is expected to stand trial on July 7 but the ICC Trial Chamber is yet to determine if the date will remain after its latest decision late last month that required defence to state the amount of time it needed to prepare for trial.
In that decision the court had criticized the prosecution for delay in disclosing evidence to Kenyatta’s defence while at the same time refusing to refer the matter to Pre-Trial Chamber for re-evaluation.
Kenyatta’s defence team accused the prosecution of dropping evidence given by witness 4 and failing to disclose the affidavit before the confirmation decision as was the practice.
The court last week said it will determine if the date will remain or will be changed considering the prosecution released new evidence post confirmation, and also failed to disclose some witnesses within the expected timelines.