By Edmund Blair

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court, is expected to visit London at Britain’s invitation next week for a conference on Somalia.

It will be his first trip to a Western capital since his election in March. Britain and other countries said before his victory that, if he won, they would only have “essential contacts” with him because of the court case.

“Kenya is a vital partner on Somalia and we judge our contact according to the issue concerned,” a spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office said.

Kenya was playing a crucial role in stabilising neighbouring Somalia and housing refugees, he added.

A source close to the Kenyan presidency and a diplomat both said Kenyatta was likely to travel to the meeting, which aims to build international support for Somalia, where Kenyan troops have battled Islamist militants.

The move reflected the West’s desire to keep Kenya as a stable ally at the expense of other principles, Kenyan rights activist GeorgeMorara said.

“It is a U-turn in the UK and the Western world’s approach to the whole issue of impunity,” Morara said.

The March election passed off peacefully, a relief to many Kenyans after ethnic violence erupted following the vote five years ago. The charges against Kenyatta’s in The Hague relate to allegations he had a role in orchestrating bloodshed last time.

Western states view Kenya as an ally in their battle against Islamist militancy in the region and it has sent about 5,000 troops to Somalia as part of an African force that has driven back al Shabaab Islamist fighters.

The British spokesman said the decision to invite Kenyatta was taken in part because the president had committed to cooperating with the court in The Hague.

Britain’s high commissioner (ambassador) to Kenya, Christian Turner, whose remarks about essential contacts had angered Kenyatta’s backers in the former British colony, offered the invitation during a meeting with him on Wednesday.

After the election result, Western diplomats had privately indicated that they would take a pragmatic or “flexible” approach in assessing the level of contacts with Kenyatta, 51.

As well as concerns about alienating an ally, Western powers are wary of jeopardising trade ties with east Africa’s biggest economy and worry the diplomatic wrangle could open the way for China and other Asian states to extend their influence.

Source: Reuters


  1. Well done kenyan people this is what i call REAL nationalism. as most people aware the ICC said Mr Uhuru and Rutho can not run presidential election in kenya since both are pending charges against them. but the kenyan citizen said NO if they commit crime against kenyan people kenya will take them to court not foreign countries who have other motives.

    The ICC they done their best to show or tell rest of keny's these guys are wanted and their main aim was not to elect these guys BUT it backfired badly.

    NATIONALISM is something you BORN with, i solute kenyan folks on this occasion telling ICC piss off

  2. LOL

    The London conference on Somalia is already stained in principle as a consequence of Hassan mahamoud's failure to secure Food, Aid, Weapons and trained soldiers from misuse. Food aid is being sold in ever shop in Muuqdishu while the IDPs starve, Weapons donated to Somalia have been stolen from the Presidents palace and the 20,000 trained military personal roaming free in Muuqdishu are committing majority of the crime in the City-State guarded by Amisom. It is therefore in principle a conference that will fuel the chaos in Somalia and aid the corruption and lack of leadership demonstrated by Hassan Mahamoud.

    Allowing Kenyata to attend the conference is indicative of this conference's lack of foundation or basic principles.

    It is thus befitting to also invite

    Robert Mugabe – Zimbabwe
    Omar al-Bashir – Sudan
    Ismael Gulleh – Djibouti
    Teodoro Obiang – Equatorial Guinea
    Dioncounda Traoré – Mali

    Let this be a gathering of the most corrupt Presidents of Africa 2013. These men have no appreciation of Human rights what so ever and yet the International community accepts them as leaders and funds them to retain their posts.

    Hassan Mahamoud will be among close friends.

    • While Silanyo will be having Shaah with:
      Abdi Hasan Awale-Galmudug
      Abdirahman Farole-Puntland
      Sheikh Ahmed Madobe-Jubbaland
      Rashid Aw-Nure-Awdal
      Ahmed Elmi Osman -Khaatumo

  3. Buxis,

    For God sake know what are you talking about or maybe you forgot taking your medication. kenya is stakeholder in this conference because they host more than five hundred thousand refugee roaming around Nairobi streets. yes, that includes ISAQS who run away from somaliland region get sick of it fake recognition is coming soon high unemployment. they are thousands who want to go abroad some live refugee camps some in Nairobi.

    Whether he's war criminal or not the IC now they recognize his Government full in charge kenya. probably you thought since your Uncle siilanyo regional leader refuse to come everything will collapse WRONG.

  4. Ahmed you are the real sick if someone is sick here. West do not respect the International laws, when their interest is there, regardless who comes and goes. People like you is blinded by hate of Somaliland and its people, but you will very soon that Somaliland flag will be flying at UN Headquarters, because nobody in his sound mind will see another devastating war between Wanlaweyn and Somaliland. The current ruling party in the UK will fail and fail miserably in the election to come, because we the people of Somaliland origin will not vote for them. They feel the agony then.

  5. Boqojire,

    First understand the topic on hand here. secondly, i do not hate no one but what i said was real. it's unlikely Somaliland will get recognition the ODDS are one in forty million same as wining lotto.

    The problem here is still some ISAQS live the past, WHAT war? there will be no war because EVEN what you call walanweyn cease to exist long ago. today Somalia are divided into Northern, North east, central, south and Deep south. Sooner or later autonomous state will be Establish.

  6. Ahmed, I believe you are not the one who understand the top that at hand, because you keep saying Somaliland will not get recognition, while we are talking about the Uhuru going to the UK, while he is indited at the ICC, hence who is not understanding the topic. definitely its you who don't. Furthermore, why you don't want Somaliland to go its way? Why can't you Wanlaweyn rule themselves without Somaliland? Why hate is eating you all? Somaliland will go and get its recognition whether you like it or not.
    I would like to tell you that the interest of Somali speaking people is to have three States in Horn if you are politically mature, while running after people who decided their faith. I believe you are one of the misguided Somalilander, but SACA FAARSO TEGEY, SODDON MAALINTUU QADO, SANDULUU KU SOO NOQON ayaan kaga baxayaa my countryman.

  7. Boqoljire,

    Let's set the record straight you the one who brought "recognition saga' not me read your comment.
    I think no one is holding Somaliland not definitely rest of somalis for simple reason, somalis do not have power to hold Somaliland BUT the IC are the one who told somaliland there is no way we can divide somalia ,and also they know somaliland represent mainly one tribe.

    What this HATE you guys talk about there is no such thing. it looks somaliand have no choice left now the curtain is coming down the MOVIE is over. i hope no one get offended.

  8. I do not have to waste time and effort on you Mr. Ahmed. Somaliland has work to do, and no one in this planet can stop what my people want to achieve, whether you like it or not. Bu I would like to said the last thing to you brother. You are a Somalilander, and hope you will come back to the fold. The prospect of Somaliland becoming a full-fledged state for all of us, is at the door-steps, and I want you to come on board Insha Allaah.

  9. @Boqoljire,

    That is the definition of " SOAMLILAND"?, you guys are misleading each other, the definition of Somaliland is ( all land that inhabit SOMALI RACE ) this includes,

    * Somaliland north
    * Somaliland central
    * Somaliland south
    * Somaliland Ethiopia
    * Somaliland NFD

    BUT these days most somalis think " Somaliland " is only one tribe. to be honest the real work Somaliland should do is STOP lying to each other and get on with the real work which is, start genuine reconciliation among northern community then go forward. recognition is out of the question no need to waste your time.