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Raila Odinga Criticizes Kenya’s ‘Transactional Foreign Policy’

Raila Odinga Criticizes Kenya’s ‘Transactional Foreign Policy’
Opposition leader Raila Odinga. Courtesy

In a candid and exclusive interview with journalists from the International Press Association of East Africa, veteran Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga strongly criticized Kenya’s approach to foreign policy.

The meeting, held in Nairobi on Tuesday, shed light on the country’s shift towards ‘transactional diplomacy’, raising concerns about the absence of a clear ideology and principled policy in critical global matters.

During the discussion, Raila Odinga highlighted Kenya’s involvement in international issues such as Climate Change, food security, and the Russia-Ukraine war.

He lamented that Kenya had become entirely transactional in its dealings, seemingly focused on short-term gains rather than long-term strategic goals.

One of the key issues that Odinga brought to the forefront was Kenya’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine war.

He praised the country’s initial principled stand at the United Nations, which supported multilateralism and opposed expansionist tendencies and the use of force in settling disputes.

The international community at the start of the war applauded Kenya’s stand, recognizing it as a display of strength and integrity.

However, Odinga expressed deep concern that such clarity and principled diplomacy had waned over time.

He said Kenya’s foreign policy seemed to be veering away from the foundations of multilateralism and global cooperation, and instead, the country appeared to be acting with little regard for international opinions and norms.

Odinga further criticized Kenya’s involvement in various regions, including Belarus, Russia, Iran, and the Middle East, without a clear long-term strategy.

He implied that these actions might be driven by knee-jerk reactions and a quest for legitimacy, which he believes the current regime suffers from.

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