Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has called out the international community for what he believes is a lack of respect for African decisions, reports Africa News. Speaking at the Annual Diplomatic Forum in Kampala, Uganda, on Saturday, Kenyatta questioned the legitimacy of the international community in interfering with decisions made by African countries.
“I cannot think of any African I know who did not accept that the United Kingdom had the right to choose to leave the European Union. But if Africans attempt to exercise their sovereign will – if Africans attempt to exercise their sovereignty, and to democratically set aside international commitments which no longer work for them – we hear a barrage of voices which tell us we can’t,” Kenyatta explained.
He urged leaders to change the way they view the impact of globalization on their nations by figuring out a way to localize business through the opening up of African markets.
“The mirage of the older globalization has faded. We see clearly that we are each other’s best hope. It is time to localize globalization, if I may coin a phrase. We need to open Africa up to each other, and to prosper together. That is Pan-Africanism for this century,” he said.
Brotherhood and Pan-Africanism
He further emphasized the need for Africans to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and solidarity, and to realize that “within the African continent, we are not in competition with each other.
In Africa, we need to collaborate and to cooperate more intensively in order to compete successfully with the rest of the world. We need to open our borders, connect our people, increase trade, support innovation, and promote African knowledge.”
Kenyatta’s recent criticism of the international community comes at a time when the Kenyan government appears to be at odds with the United Nations (UN) following its decision to close Daabab Refugee Camp, effectively deporting more than 300,000 Somali refugees.
The UN has criticized the decision, saying it goes against international law regarding refugee protection. Kenya was set to close the camp, which is located in northeastern Kenya, by the end of November, but it recently extended the deadline to April 2017.
The situation was further escalated two weeks ago after the UN sacked Lieutenant-General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki from his post as commander of the peacekeeping force in South Sudan.
Following the UN’s decision, Kenyatta immediately ordered the withdrawal of all Kenyan troops from the UN mission in South Sudan, insisting that Kenya was not consulted when the decision to sack the general was reached.
Ondieki was reportedly sacked for failing to protect civilians who were attacked and raped by militias inside a hotel in Juba in July.