Kenya’s President, William Ruto, worried about a risk of “famine in the Horn of Africa”

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In an interview with France 24 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Kenya’s new president, William Ruto, warned of a risk of famine in the Horn of Africa, estimating that “3.1 million people face severe drought” in Kenya alone. “It is no longer a country-by-country challenge. It becomes a multilateral challenge,” he insists, calling for help from international institutions and lenders. The Kenyan head of state blames the drought on climate change, but points out that the situation has been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and the resulting drop in grain exports to Africa.

Asked about the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, William Ruto said he was “very concerned”, saying that “what is happening in Ethiopia is reaching Kenya”. However, within the framework of the African Union, “we should be able to bring the parties to the table [de négociation] as soon as possible,” he said.

William Ruto also discusses his relationship with his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, whom he appointed envoy to Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He declares himself to be a “good friend” of Uhuru Kenyatta and believes that the latter “brings value to the processes” in both countries.

Finally, when asked about the conflict in neighboring Somalia, where Kenyan troops have been deployed for 15 years, he replied: “These troops will return home as soon as we finish our mission in Somalia. William Ruto expresses the hope that the new Somali president will be “more committed to the fight against Shebab”.


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