, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 10 — Canadian Foreign Minister Stephan Dion has hailed Kenya for its role in peacekeeping missions in the world.
Urging Kenya to continue supporting peace initiatives, Dion observed that the country’s participation in many of the United Nations peacekeeping missions has significantly contributed to global peace, security and stability.
The Canadian Foreign Minister was speaking Wednesday evening when he paid a courtesy call on President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
Dion said his country would want to partner with Kenya in spearheading peace initiatives across the world.
“We are seriously considering embarking on peacekeeping missions in countries facing instability challenges including Africa. I’m sure we will have an opportunity to work closely with you,” said the Canadian Foreign Minister.
He said his country was also keen on scaling up its bilateral relations with Kenya, especially in peace and security initiatives.
President Kenyatta affirmed Kenya’s commitment to regional and global peace but emphasised the need to restructure the United Nations Peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
The President said Kenya would not accept to be a scapegoat for structural failures of the UN mission to South Sudan.
He said the Government made a decision to withdraw its troops from South Sudan because it was not consulted by the UN on the sacking of Lt-Gen Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki.
The President observed that Lt-Gen Ondieki had barely settled into the new role before the eruption of the recent skirmishes in South Sudan.
President Kenyatta reiterated that the structural failures of the mission should not be blamed on the Kenyan General.
“Even if there were problems, it would have been courteous for the UN to consult IGAD member states before taking the drastic decision,” said the President.
He said Kenya has communicated its decision and forwarded its complaints to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
President Kenyatta said Kenya would appreciate working with Canada in peace initiatives.
The President and the Canadian Minister also discussed the implementation of the one third gender rule.
The President said his Government will continue engaging all stakeholders so as to come up with the best way of implementing the two thirds principle.
The Canadian Foreign Minister said his Government would continue supporting Kenya on its development agenda especially in the areas of education, health and governance.
They also discussed the repatriation of the Somali refugees where they agreed on the need to partner and help in creating a conducive environment for the refugees to settle back in their country.
Dion said Canada would support Kenya to form a Bi-National Commission which would serve as a key forum for bilateral exchanges on political, trade, development and security issues.
Present during the meeting were Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Amb. Monica Juma and Chief of Staff and Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua.