Kenya defends invitation to Sudanese president to constitution promulgation

10:17, August 30, 2010      

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The Kenyan government on Sunday defended its invitation to Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to attend the promulgation of the country's new constitution, saying it wanted to ensure the current prevailing stability in Africa's largest country prevails.

Addressing a news conference in Nairobi, Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Richard Onyonka said in extending the invitation to Sudanese leader, Kenya was desirous to take advantage of the new momentum for peace in the sub-region to push forward the implementation of the peace deal which climaxes with the referendum in January 2011.

"It is therefore necessary that we maintain frequent interaction and engaged with both parties of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement," Onyonka told a news conference in Nairobi.

The assistant minister said issues of peace, justice and reconciliation in Sudan are mutually interdependent and cannot be separated.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which accuses him of committing genocidal crimes in Sudan's restive Darfur.

Onyonka said it was important to note that Kenya's obligation to the ICC notwithstanding, the country has a legitimate and strategic interest in ensuring peace and stability in the sub- region and promoting peace, justice and reconciliation in Sudan.

"Over the years, Kenya has borne the brunt of instability in the sub-region and her own continued existence as a stable and viable political and economic entity is heavily dependant on the stability of her neighbors. Sudan included," he said.

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