US President Joe Biden will hold his first bilateral talks with an African leader on Thursday, October 14, welcoming his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, as war and a humanitarian crisis shake neighbouring Ethiopia.
The talks will come weeks after Biden signed an executive order threatening to impose sanctions against Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other leaders involved in the conflict over the Tigray region if steps are not taken soon to end the conflict. the war that has been going on for 11 months.
However, the situation seems to deteriorate, with Tigray forces accusing the Ethiopian government of launching a military offensive in an attempt to end the war, denouncing that hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian fighters have launched a coordinated attack on several fronts.
Kenya, which borders Ethiopia, has long had a close relationship with the US, partnering with Washington in efforts to stop Islamic terrorism.
The Biden government has threatened to go ahead with sanctions soon, unless there is a dramatic change in the situation on the ground, while the United Nations warns that hundreds of thousands of people are living in conditions of hunger.
The US and the United Nations claim that Ethiopian troops blocked the passage of trucks carrying food and other humanitarian aid.
Biden’s meeting with Kenyatta comes as the Kenyan leader is facing close scrutiny over the offshore properties he owns that was discovered in a journalistic investigation known as the ‘Pandora Papers’.
Kenyatta is one of more than 330 current and former politicians identified as beneficiaries of secret accounts revealed in a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which denounced the fact that the Kenyan President publicly campaigned against corruption when he raised around 25 million euros in offshores.