President Uhuru Kenyatta this morning left the country for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he will attend a two day African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government summit.
The plane carrying the President and his entourage departed Jomo Kenyatta international airport shortly after 9:00 am.
Top in this year’s African Union agenda is the issue of International Criminal Court (ICC) and the recent Ebola crisis in West Africa.
Kenya is pushing for a comprehensive overhaul of the Rome Statute to ensure that its mechanisms duly recognize the African realities and socio-political context with regard to conflict resolution, justice, accountability and political stability.
President Kenyatta is accompanied by the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta who will be attending the Organization of African First Ladies Against Aids (OAFLA) General Assembly on the sidelines of the AU.
The 24th Ordinary Session of the African Union opens in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia tomorrow, Friday.
Besides the AU summit, President Kenyatta will on arrival in Addis Ababa this morning, attend the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which is expected to thoroughly and conclusively deal with the issue of the South Sudan conflict.
Last week in Arusha, Tanzania, regional leaders among them President Kenyatta witnessed the signing of an agreement between rival factions of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) aimed at reunifying the historical party.
The AU Assembly is a semi-annual meeting of the heads of states and government where most important decisions of the 53-member state are made. The AU Assembly brings together all the African States except Morocco which is not a member of the union.
The theme of this year’s summit is: “2015 Year of women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”.
Preparatory meetings ahead of the Heads of States summit have been going on in Addis Ababa since January 23rd.
Other key issues lined upon for discussion include the establishment of the African Centre for Disease control and prevention (viewed against the recent Ebola crisis ) , peace and security in Africa and alternative sources of financing the African Union.
Besides the AU and IGAD meetings, President Kenyatta is also expected to hold a series of bilateral meetings with other leaders including the UN Secretary General Banki Moon on matters of mutual interest.
Other leaders scheduled to hold talks with President Kenyatta include FAO Director Mr Jose Graziano Da Silva.
President Kenyatta was seen off by senior Government officials led by Deputy President William Ruto and Chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi.