Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will not attend Friday’s inauguration ceremony of Nigeria’s President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, as he is preparing for an emergency summit over Burundi crisis due on Sunday in Tanzania’s capital, an official said on late Thursday.
Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Karanja Kibicho, told reporters that Kenyatta had delegated Deputy President William Ruto to lead a delegation to Nigeria.
“President Kenyatta was to lead Kenyan delegation to attend the inauguration of Nigerian President on May 29. However, the president will not attend the fete and will instead remain behind to prepare for Sunday’s emergency summit on Burundi to be held in Dar-er-salaam,” Kibicho said.
He denied that the president’s absence reflects a diplomatic fall out with Africa’s largest economy.
He also disowned reports circulating on social media that 85 people would be in the delegation to Nigeria.
“The government wish to clarify the purported list of persons to accompany the president to Nigeria is a fabrication from unscrupulous elements,” Kibicho said, adding that Ruto will be accompanied by ten people.
Burundi has been in turmoil since April 25 when President Pierre Nkurunziza, who has been in power since 2005, announced that he will run for a third term in the June elections.
Clashes between protesters and police, mainly in the capital Bujumbura, have left more than 30 dead, according to Burundi’s civil society groups. Enditem