Minister Dermot Ahern Commences Visit to Kenya
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern TD will meet with the President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga in Nairobi this week during his two day visit to the country. The Minister leaves for Nairobi tomorrow (Tuesday).
Minister Ahern is to visit Eldoret, the scene of serious unrest
earlier this year and will meet with local religious leaders,
including Bishop Cornelius Korir and Bishop Maurice Crowley. He is
also due to hold talks with his Kenyan counterpart, Moses M.
The visit by the Minister follows funding provided by the Irish Government in the immediate aftermath of the civil unrest. A reported 1,000 people were killed and more than 350,000 others displaced following the outbreak of violence over disputed presidential poll results last January.
The Irish Government part-funded the mission by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who brokered the current peace deal which established a power sharing Government. The Government also provided €1.5 million in emergency aid earlier this year.
Minister Ahern is to meet with aid workers at two camps for internally displaced people as well as representatives of the Red Cross.
Minister Ahern said: “I am looking forward to seeing at first hand the relief work being carried out on the ground. There was great concern in Ireland at the unrest earlier this year and Ireland was pleased to be in a position to help those who suffered during that difficult time.”
“We also quickly answered the call made to us by the United Nations to assist in funding Kofi Annan’s work in putting in place the Coalition Government. While Kenya may be out of the headlines, it is important that the international community continues to focus on both rebuilding the damaged communities and helping build the economy.”
Minister Ahern will arrive on Wednesday, 23rd April, and spend Wednesday visiting aid camps in Eldoret and meeting local and religious leaders in Kitale. On Thursday he meets with Kenya’s President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in Nairobi.
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