‘We will all die’: In Kenya, prolonged drought takes heavy toll (Virginia Pietromarchi, Al Jazeera)

As if in a macabre parade, cattle carcasses line the two sides of the dusty road leading into Biyamadow, a sleepy village in northern Kenya’s Wajir county.

The grisly spectacle of dismembered animals rotting beneath the scorching sun is the result of a prolonged drought that has been pushing pastoral communities here – and the livestock they exclusively rely on – to the brink of disaster.

‘We will all die’: In Kenya, prolonged drought takes heavy toll | Climate Crisis News | Al Jazeera

Kenya USA

Secretary Antony J. Blinken Remarks at Bilateral Strategic Dialogue with Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo (US Department of State)

FOREIGN SECRETARY OMAMO:  Well, may I begin by just extending to you again another warm welcome to Kenya.  We are so delighted to host you on your maiden visit to Africa in your capacity as Secretary of State.  We’re really greatly honored that you chose to start here, and I think that is an affirmation of the depth and the scope of the relationship that Kenya and the United States of America enjoy.

We are delighted that you have just been able to hold a meeting with His Excellency President Kenyatta and that you’ve discussed a variety of issues.  This meeting that we are going to hold will be more focused on our bilateral Strategic Dialogue and the pillars that hold up that dialogue.  It’s essential to us as a country that we continue to move forward on that agenda, to renew it, to reinvigorate it, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 challenge and the climate change challenge that we are all experiencing.

So we hope that your visit to Kenya will be a signal of the way forward for U.S.-Kenyan relationships and U.S.-Africa relationship.  There are important signposts to erect so that the whole world knows that the U.S. is indeed back, is indeed back and interested in the advancement of our continent, in the advancement of our peace and our prosperity, and in investment of the U.S. in our people.  So we look forward to the discussions that we will have with you in the next half hour or so, and we trust that this will now open the gates for further relationships to be established and for deeper consultation between our respective ministries.

I would like, before I give you the floor, just to introduce again the Kenyan delegation.  I have with me Principal Secretary Ambassador Kamau Macharia.  I also have in our delegation Dr. Kimani, Ambassador Dr. Kimani, who is our PR in New York; Ambassador Amayo, who is our ambassador to Washington; Ambassador Salim, who is our director general of multilateral affairs; Ambassador Nzusi, who is our director of America; and then our officer, Mr. Afande, who will be taking notes in the meeting.  So Karibu Sana, welcome, and you have the floor.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you so much, and it’s really wonderful to be here, wonderful to be with you.  We’ve had the opportunity to see each other at different international meetings, on the – on video screen, by phone, but nothing replaces actually being here – I was going to say face to face, at least mask to mask.  (Laughter.)  So – and to your point, it really is no accident that I have the great honor of making this my first stop in Africa in my capacity as Secretary of State.  It is a testament to the importance that the United States, President Biden attaches to the partnership between Kenya and the United States, a partnership that we will continue to deepen and strengthen, including with the work that we’re doing together with the resumption of our Strategic Dialogue.  We’re very, very pleased with that.

And I was also very honored to have so much time with President Kenyatta.  We covered a tremendous amount of ground, and that too is a reflection of the breadth and depth of the relationship, the many issues that we’re working together.  And in so many ways, I think what we’ve seen is a relationship that is stronger and stronger on a bilateral basis, but also regionally where we’re doing so much work together, and around the world, including on climate where the example that Kenya has set is a very powerful one, particularly with your use of renewables to produce so much of your energy.  And so on all of the issues that we have before – we, like you, are committed to deepening the work that we’re doing together.

The bottom line for the United States is as we’re looking at the things that we’re trying to help advance around the world, we know we cannot do it without Africa and that means we cannot do it without Kenya.  And whether it is our common struggle against COVID-19, whether it’s our common fight to save our environment, save our planet, combating climate change, whether it’s building truly inclusive economic growth for all of our citizens, we have to do this hand in hand.  And beyond that, as two strong, vibrant democracies at a time when democracies are under some challenge, I think the example that both of us set is more important than ever.

So in all of these areas and more, it’s a pleasure to be here, and very happy to get down to work. Now, my team, I think you know most of them.  You certainly know this gentleman, Eric Kneedler, our charge d’affaires; Suzy George, the chief of staff of the State Department; Ned Price, the spokesperson for the State Department; and I think you may also know Gayle Smith, known to a few people here, who has been leading our international efforts on COVID, and we’re very, very grateful for that; Molly Phee, the assistant secretary of state for Africa; Tom Sullivan, who is a deputy chief of staff at the State Department; and Dana Banks, who is the lead on Africa at the White House National Security Council.  So thank you for having all of us.

FOREIGN SECRETARY OMAMO:  Thank you very, very much.

Kenya USA

Blinken Visits Kenya to Discuss Partnership, Regional Issues (VoA)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Kenya Wednesday to discuss “the partnership” between the two countries and to address regional issues such as ending the violence in Ethiopia, combating terrorism in Somalia and reviving Sudan’s transition to a civilian government, the State Department said Tuesday.

Blinken Visits Kenya to Discuss Partnership, Regional Issues (

Ethiopia Kenya USA

Visit of Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Feltman to Ethiopia and Kenya (US Department of State)

Special Envoy Jeffrey Feltman is currently in Ethiopia to underscore the United States’ grave concern with the escalation of the conflict and the risk of intercommunal violence, and to encourage all parties to engage in a dialogue on a cessation of hostilities.

From November 4 to 7, Special Envoy Feltman traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hasan, Minister of Defense Abraham Belay, and Minister of Finance Ahmed Shide.  He also met with AU High Representative Olusegun Obasanjo, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, UN Undersecretary General Martin Griffiths, and other international partners and government leaders.

From November 7 to 8, Special Envoy Feltman traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, where he consulted with President Kenyatta and other political leaders on the conflict in Ethiopia.  The United States will continue to work with international partners to address the crisis in Ethiopia, including through action with the United Nations, the African Union, and other relevant partners and institutions.  Special Envoy Feltman remains in the region and returned to Ethiopia today, November 8.


Kenya to convert oil plants to LNG in climate-friendly grid push (David Herbling, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera)

Kenya plans to retire or convert heavy fuel oil-fired power plants to use liquefied natural gas by 2030 as the nation pursues a cleaner energy path to a 100% climate-friendly grid.

State-owned Kenya Electricity Generating Co., or KenGen, is conducting a feasibility study on reconfiguring the thermal power plants that currently account for about 7% of the grid load, said Isaac Kiva, renewable energy secretary at the Energy Ministry. The move is part of the East African nation’s target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Kenya to convert oil plants to LNG in climate-friendly grid push | Business and Economy News | Al Jazeera

Ethiopia Kenya USA

Biden to meet Kenyan president as US weighs sanctions on Ethiopia (Al Jazeera)

US President Joe Biden is set to meet Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta as war and a humanitarian crisis roil neighbouring Ethiopia.

The meeting on Thursday will be Biden’s first one-on-one, in-person talks as president with an African leader.

Biden to meet Kenyan president as US weighs sanctions on Ethiopia | News | Al Jazeera

Kenya Somalia

Top UN court sides with Somalia in sea border dispute with Kenya (Al Jazeera)

The United Nations’ top court has awarded Somalia control of most of a potentially oil- and gas-rich chunk of the Indian Ocean after a bitter legal battle with neighbouring Kenya over their sea border.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on Tuesday that there was “no agreed maritime boundary” and drew a new border close to the one claimed by Somalia, although Kenya kept a part of the 100,000 square-kilometre (39,000-square-mile) area, chief judge Joan Donoghue said.

Top UN court sides with Somalia in sea border dispute with Kenya | Border Disputes News | Al Jazeera


Kenya’s cynical offensive against the ICJ (Patrick Gathara, Al Jazeera)

When he was first elected in 2013, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, along with his running mate, William Ruto, was awaiting prosecution at the International Criminal Court. They had been indicted for crimes against humanity in relation to the post-election violence that rocked Kenya following the December 2007 elections. Once in power, the duo set about an ultimately successful campaign using the resources of the state to intimidate witnesses and to frustrate the court into dropping the charges against them.

Kenya’s cynical offensive against the ICJ | Opinions | Al Jazeera


Kenya rejects UN jurisdiction ahead of Somalia border ruling (Al Jazeera)

Kenya has said it rejected the jurisdiction of the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) ahead of a ruling next week on its long-running maritime border dispute with Somalia.

The Horn of Africa neighbours have been feuding for years over a stretch of the Indian Ocean claimed by both nations and believed to hold deposits of oil and gas.

Kenya rejects UN jurisdiction ahead of Somalia border ruling | United Nations News | Al Jazeera

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