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President Kenyatta to attend Bashir’s inauguration

The swearing-in ceremony will be held at the National Assembly at Omburaman/FILE

The swearing-in ceremony will be held at the National Assembly at Omburaman/FILE

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Jun 1 – President Uhuru Kenyatta is among several Heads of State and government scheduled to attend Tuesday’s inauguration of re-elected Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir.

The swearing-in ceremony will be held at the National Assembly at Omburaman after which the invited leaders from Africa and the Middle East will retreat for a reception at the new Republican Palace in Khartoum.

Besides President Kenyatta, the other Heads of State and government listed as guests at the inauguration ceremony include African Union chairman and Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe.

The others are the presidents of Egypt, Chad, Eritrea, Somali, Djibouti, the Vice President of South Sudan, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and the Leader of the Arab League among other dignitaries.

Although President Bashir has been in power since 1989, Tuesday’s swearing in ceremony marks his second term in office since the cessation of Sudan from its southern neighbour of South Sudan in 2011 after a national referendum.

Kenya and Sudan enjoy a special relationship on various economic fronts including trade and agriculture.

The two countries are also partners on the war against terror because the Khartoum government continuously faces daunting challenges of militants transiting to the Middle East to join ISIS.

Besides joint initiatives to combat terrorism by the two countries, Sudan and Kenya are also key partners of IGAD in its efforts to restore lasting peace in Southern Sudan.

Presidents Kenyatta and Bashir have previously been charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on various charges against humanity but later cleared of any crimes they were initially charged with.

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On the economic front, Sudan is one of the largest markets for Kenyan tea where 70 per cent of all teas imported and consumed by Khartoum , are Kenyan products.

Some tea importing companies in Sudan also re-export the Kenyan tea to other countries including Chad and Central Africa Republic.

Kenya’s Ambassador to Sudan Arown K. Suge said there is ongoing collaboration between Kenana Technical Services (Wing of Kenana Sugar) and the Sugar Board of Kenya towards the development of Kenya’s sugar industry.

Kenana Sugar, which is produced purely under irrigation takes between 8-10 months to mature whereas Sugar in Kenya takes the upwards of 18 months.

The Ambassador said the Kenya Sugar Board is collaborating with Kenana to import Sudan’s sugar production technical services in the Galana Irrigation scheme that is expected to revolutionize agricultural production in the country.

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