UK foreign secretary visits Kenya, Sudan to strengthen cooperations

On Thursday, the British Foreign Secretary was in the Sudanese capital to discuss bilateral relations and tensions along the Ethiopian border, Sudan’s state news agency reported.

Dominic Raab, who arrived late Wednesday in Khartoum, met with Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the head of Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council, Abdalla Hamdok, Sudan’s prime minister, and Omar Qamar al-Din, the acting foreign minister, SUNA said.

Raab was on a visit to discuss the situation along the Sudan-Ethiopia border, where violent clashes have taken place between Sudanese forces and Ethiopian militias, raising concerns about a possible military conflict between neighboring countries.

Raab was also expected to discuss Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia’s ongoing water dispute. The dispute is over the construction by Ethiopia of a controversial dam on the Blue Nile River, the Nile’s main tributary.

According to Africanews, after a popular uprising led the military to overthrow the long-standing autocratic Omar al-Bashir in April 2019, after almost three decades of rule, Sudan is on a fragile path to democratic rule. There is now a military-civilian government in power.

In a move to support the Sudanese government’s economic reforms, Raab announced the provision of £ 40 million to the Sudan Family Support Program, which will provide direct financial support to 1.6 million people.

“Sudan is passing through a critical juncture in its transition to democracy,” Raab was quoted by SUNA as saying. “The U.K. takes pride in standing by the side of the Sudanese people.”

However, on Wednesday, the British Government pledged millions of dollars in aid to Kenya to help combat climate change, extremism in the region, and to help Kenya and developing countries roll out COVID-19 vaccines.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Raychelle Omamo, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, visiting British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab explained Britain wanted to ensure equitable dispersion of the vaccine to developing countries.

For her part Omamo said Kenya looked forward to working with the United Kingdom on health, education with a particular emphasis on girls’ education and co-hosting the Global Partnership for Education Replenishment Summit in 2021.

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