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Democratic principles prevail: Ruto’s response to diplomatic strife with DR Congo

By IGIHE
On 18 December 2023 at 02:22

Kenyan President William Ruto has addressed the recent diplomatic discord with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) arising from his government’s decision not to arrest self-identified Congolese dissidents. The dissidents, including Corneille Nangaa, the former head of DR Congo’s electoral body, declared the formation of the "Congo River Alliance (AFC)," last week comprising nine rebel groups during a press conference in Nairobi.

In response, the Congolese government demanded the arrest of these individuals. However, Kenya declined to comply, leading to the recall of the Congolese Ambassador, John Nyakeru, from Nairobi.

President Ruto, addressing the situation on Sunday, emphasized that Kenya, as a democracy, does not arrest individuals for making statements.

He stated, "Kenya is a democracy; we cannot arrest anybody who has issued a statement. We don’t arrest people who have made a statement; we arrest criminals. If anybody has committed any crime, we will go out of our way to deal with them." Ruto highlighted the essence of freedom of expression within a democratic framework.

In response to DR Congo’s recall of its ambassador, Ruto acknowledged it as their right but reiterated Kenya’s commitment to upholding democratic principles, maintaining that the country cannot arrest individuals for expressing their opinions.

President Ruto, addressing the situation on Sunday, emphasized that Kenya, as a democracy, does not arrest individuals for making statements.

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