BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,14TH SEPT 2022-President William Ruto now says that Kenya does not recognise the existence of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) state amid the ongoing West Saharan conflict with Morocco.
In a statement on Wednesday, President Ruto said that the country was distancing itself from acknowledging the independence of SADR saying that Kenya only supports United Nations (UN) peace initiatives in the region.
He further noted that Kenya had begun the process to shut down the country’s diplomatic mission in Kenya.
“At State House in Nairobi, received a congratulatory message from His Majesty King Mohammed VI. Kenya rescinds its recognition of the SADR and initiates steps to wind down the entity’s presence in the country,” the head of state wrote on his Twitter.
He added: “Kenya supports the United Nations framework as the exclusive mechanism to find a lasting solution to the dispute over Western Sahara.”
The Commander in chief further stated that the country would focus on strengthening the economic ties with Morocco in developing the country.
“We are accelerating relations with the Kingdom of Morocco in areas of trade, agriculture, health, tourism, energy, among others, for the mutual benefit of our countries,” he stated.
The remarks of the president come barely a day after SADR President Brahim Ghali visited the country and was officially recognized during President Ruto’s swearing-in ceremony at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Initially, Kenya was among 41 UN member states who recognized Sahrawi state and had been pushing for a cease-fire with Morocco.
SADR is part of the disputed territory in the North-Western Sahara where it controls about 20 per cent of the region while the rest is controlled by Morocco.
In 2014, former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration accredited Mr. Bah Med as the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in Kenya.