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Kenya Considers Joining Saudi-Led Coalition in Yemen

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FILE PHOTO-Saudi-led coalition spokesperson, Colonel Turki al-Malki speaks during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 26, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri/File Photo

Kenya Considers Joining Saudi-Led Coalition in Yemen

 

Mombasa, Kenya – The United States is reportedly pressuring Kenya to join the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Houthi rebels in Yemen. This comes amid a recent surge in attacks on commercial ships transiting the Red Sea, a crucial waterway for global trade.

 

According to sources familiar with the discussions, high-level US officials, including CIA Director William Burns and Africom head General Michael Langley, recently visited Nairobi. While the Kenyan government has remained tight-lipped about the specifics of these meetings, speculation suggests they centered on security cooperation and potential Kenyan involvement in the Yemeni conflict.

 

Kenya has a significant interest in maintaining stability in the Red Sea. Disruptions caused by Houthi attacks threaten not only regional security but also vital trade routes. Additionally, Kenya is currently seeking financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other sources. Some reports suggest the US may be leveraging this economic dependence to nudge Kenya towards participation in the Yemeni campaign.

 

However, Kenya’s participation in the Yemen War would be a controversial move. The conflict has dragged on for years, resulting in a severe humanitarian crisis. Public opinion in Kenya is likely to be divided on the issue, with some Kenyans expressing concern about getting embroiled in a long-distance war.

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta has not yet made any public pronouncements regarding Kenyan involvement in Yemen. However, his decision will be closely watched by regional powers and international observers. Kenya’s choice could have significant ramifications for the ongoing conflict and the wider security dynamics of the Red Sea region.

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