Kenyan journalist asks Ruto tough questions at White House

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 24 May, 2024 09:37 | 2 mins read
A screengrab of Presidents William Ruto (Kenya) and Joe Biden(US) taking questions from journalists at the White House press room. PHOTO/ (@LarryMadowo) X
A screengrab of Presidents William Ruto (Kenya) and Joe Biden(US) taking questions from journalists at the White House press room. PHOTO/ (@LarryMadowo) X

A Kenyan TV journalist stole the show during President William Ruto's state visit to the US on Friday, May 23, 2024.

President Ruto was at pains to explain himself during the meeting at the White House press room after Ayub Abdikadir pressed him to give a justification for sending police troops to Haiti while Kenyans are plagued by similar unrest back home.

"Can you explain the geopolitical goal, 12,000kms away from Nairobi when schools in counties of Baringo, West-Pokot and Turkana are not yet opened because of the banditry problem, yet you are committing our national police force to Haiti," the journalist posed.

This came after defence cabinet secretary Aden Duale vowed to call in the Kenya defence forces to be present in the hostile regions and guard the schools should violence persist.

"Is it not an irony that you are putting out the fire in a far-away neighbour's home when our own home is on fire," he continued.

Journalist gets response

In a quick response, President Ruto stated that he made a campaign commitment to stem the insecurity in the northern Rift Valley region and that he had deployed some 3,000 military officers, 2,000 police officers and renovated 15 schools there.

"That does not take away our responsibility...even as we deployed security officers in our country, we still posted 1,000 troops to the DRC because that is our neighbourhood," Ruto quipped.

"We have 5,000 troops in Somalia because equally, that is our responsibility and Haiti should not be an exception," Ruto added in the video seen by K24TV.

US deal with KDF

This came after the Kenya defence forces got a major boost after signing a cooperation deal with America in which the US promised to construct Manda Bay airstrip to handle large aircraft.

According to the deal, the Manda Bay airfield will be expanded to handle large aircraft and enhance flexible mobility for both KDF and US soldiers.

Defence CS Aden Duale with the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee holding the agreement document. PHOTO/ @HonAdenDuale/X.
Defence CS Aden Duale with the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee holding the agreement document. PHOTO/ @HonAdenDuale/X.

The expansion of the airfield will strengthen the country's efforts in combating terrorism from Al Shabaab militants.

"Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, to enhance security measures and joint military operations," Duale stated.

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