Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

US to declare Kenya a major non-NATO ally

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar May24,2024

US will declare Kenya a major non-NATO ally

Photo: Joe Biden and William Ruto

US President Joe Biden said he would declare Kenya the first major US ally outside NATO in sub-Saharan Africa.

Biden made the announcement while hosting Kenyan President William Ruto on the leader's first state visit African country in nearly 16 years, Voice of America reports.

The strategic move signals a shift in the focus of U.S. cooperation to East Africa at a time when U.S. troops are poised to leave Niger, creating a vacuum that has already Russian forces began to fill in.

Being a major non-NATO ally gives non-NATO countries access to the military and financial benefits that NATO members enjoy.

However, they are not subject to the mutual defense obligations that hold NATO together.

A senior administration official told reporters that Biden will brief Congress on the designation, which takes effect in 30 days.

Biden, who held several meetings with Ruto throughout the day, said the new status is the result of close cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism in the volatile Horn of Africa region.

"This is the result of many years of cooperation in joint anti-terrorism operations, during which the “Islamic State” and “Al-Shabaab” were weakened in East Africa. This is the result of our common support for Ukraine and the unity of the world around the UN Charter. Our work together in Haiti is helping to pave the way to reduce instability and improve security"– Biden said.

However, analysts say Kenya's mixed human rights record, reflected in numerous State Department documents, raises concerns about how Kenya will use its new privileged status.

< p>"Kenya has serious problems with things like extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, torture, cruel, inhuman and other degrading punishment by or on behalf of the government,"– said Michael Walsh, a senior fellow at the Africa Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

During the talks, Ruto and Biden discussed Kenya's plan to send thousands of security personnel to an unstable and chaotic Haiti.

Ruto , who said he was "looking forward to" deployment of forces in Haiti, did not provide dates and other details.

Prepared by: Serhiy Daga

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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