Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has called out the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Kenya Kwanza Administration over their silence over the near killing of Kenya’s Ambassador to Sudan Major-General (Rtd) Ngewa Mukala in June last year.
Following the outbreak of the war in Sudan in April last year, Kalonzo, a former Vice President and a one time Foreign Affairs Minister, in interview with The Nation said the residence of the ambassador in Khartoum was ransacked by Rapid Support Forces militia in contravention of Vienna Convention provisions.
Kalonzo said despite Ambassador Mukala, who has since been succeeded by Jeremy Laibuttah, narrowly escaping death in the attack, the government has not addressed the matter since then.
Narrating Ambassador Mukala’s woes, Kalonzo said he was forced to leave everything behind and fled on a tuk tuk, found his way to Ethiopia from where he flew to Nairobi.
And since then, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been mum, despite the Commander of the RSF visiting Kenya and holding talks with President William Ruto in Nairobi on January 3.
“I caught up with Ambassador Mukala, who has been our Ambassador in Khartoum, and what he explained to me shocked me because of two things. First, the gravity of what he went through as ambassador and secondly, the amazing silence from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or indeed the Kenya Kwanza government that the residence of our ambassador in Khartoum was ransacked, our ambassador was almost killed. He escaped by tuk tuk, by whatever means crossed to Ethiopia and flew back home. Nobody seems to know what was happening. He seems to have lost everything,” Kalonzo narrated.
“When I called him from Juba, he was in a very difficult mood and I think he needed counselling. We would have expected, particularly Hemedti, because it is his soldiers who ransacked the residence, to hear a statement from Ruto after the meeting he had on why that had to happen,” he added.
If the Ministry is afraid to speak, the Wiper leader said, then the committee in charge of Foreign Relations and Defence should summon Foreign Affairs Minister Mudavadi to explain what happened and who is going to deal with the situation.
“The perpetrators are known because Gen Burhan is operating from the port side [Port Sudan] and Hemedti’s soldiers have taken over Khartoum. We want to know how, in contravention of all known international diplomatic norms based on the Vienna Convention, how an embassy of a friendly country can be ransacked and runover,” he added.
Kalonzo said the envoy had to get new phones, while his official vehicle, complete with the Kenyan flag, was driven away by the RSF militia.
The former Vice President, who was heavily involved in the past peace processes in Sudan, said he expected a clear statement on what happened to Gen Mukala and members of staff in the embassy in Khartoum.
According to Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, the private residence of a diplomatic agent shall enjoy the same inviolability and protection as the premises of the mission. His papers, correspondence and his property, shall likewise enjoy inviolability.
Further, the premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property as well as the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.
The receiving State, in this case Sudan, is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.
In June, the Foreign Affairs ministry, deliberately concealing the happening at the mission said, it had shut down its embassy in Khartoum to protect staff.
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Korir Sing’oei said on post on X that Nairobi’s diplomats in Khartoum were facing safety risks, forcing the government to close the embassy.
“We continue to receive disturbing news of the targeting of diplomatic officials by armed groups in Khartoum, Sudan. Kenya Mission in Khartoum which had remained open to facilitate evacuation of any Kenyans still in the country is now closed,” Korir wrote on X.