In a statement released on October 13, 2021, Senator Risch said he is concerned about deep government graft and told Biden to raise the issue with Kenyatta.
The U.S Senator asked President Kenyatta to explain the ongoing incidents of inter-communal clashes in several parts of Kenya that have seen the government take drastic action such as ordering all non-residents of the designated active security operation area to vacate.
Risch advised Biden to also tackle the issue of Kenya’s increasing debt to China which accounts for about one-third of the country’s external debt that is also the nation’s biggest foreign creditor after the World Bank.
He also expressed concern over the 2022 General Election noting that the political climate in Kenya at the moment was raising temperatures and the U.S should be worried.
“I remain concerned, however, about deep government corruption, ongoing incidents of inter-communal tension in several parts of the country, and increasing debt to China. Kenya is also preparing for a contentious election with a potentially ethnic dimension in 2022,” he stated.
Risch said he is closely following how Kenya will use its position as the United Nations President for October, to address the dire situation in Ethiopia.
“I am closely monitoring how Kenya uses its position as president of the U.N. Security Council in October to elevate the issues related to the crises in Ethiopia,” Senator Risch remarked.
The Idaho senator also acknowledged Kenya’s role in partnering with the U.S to maintain peace in the region which is battling the ISIS-linked Al-Shabaab group.
He added that he was optimistic that the two leaders will be meeting on Thursday, October 14.
“Kenya is an important strategic partner and strong U.S. ally in East Africa, and though it’s long overdue, I’m glad President Biden is finally meeting with an African leader at the White House. From the U.N. Security Council to counter terrorism operations in the region, it is encouraging to see President Kenyatta working with the United States on several fronts,” the senator stated.
Biden will host President Kenyatta where the two leaders will discuss the strong U.S – Kenyan bilateral relationship and the need to bring transparency and accountability to domestic and international financial systems.
They will also discuss efforts to defend democracy and human rights, advance peace, accelerate economic growth, and tackle climate change.