The Kenyan Embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Wednesday, February 16 issued a statement following controversial sentiments made by Deputy President William Ruto.
The statement, signed by Kenya's Ambassador in Kinshasa, George Masafu, indicated that the remarks attributed to the second in command had triggered negative reactions from the business community and members of the general public in DRC.
The Kenyan embassy, however, distanced itself from the remarks stating that the two nations share a deep and respectful historical relationship that dates back to when they both gained independence.
Masafu added that the matter had been escalated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kenya which was working on resolving the situation through diplomatic channels.
Ruto was speaking in Nyeri County on Monday, February 14 where he promised to streamline the milk sector stating that if elected in the August 9 General Election he will negotiate for better deals with the neighbouring country.
The choice of words he used to drive the point is what triggered mixed reactions from DRC with Senator for Katanga Province, Francine Muyumba calling him first.
"Mr Vice President, this is really unacceptable, with all due respect, there is a need to withdraw this statement," Muyumba's statement read in part.
She added, "If DRC did not have a single cow, how could Kenya sign economic deals with DRC? A (Kenyan bank) is currently making money in Congo, this is an insult."
Ruto has however not issued an official statement regarding the diplomatic tensions between the two countries.
Here is the full statement
Attention has been drawn to the Kenya Embassy in Kinshasa, regarding remarks on DRCs agriculture sector attributed to Mr. William Ruto whilst on the political campaign trail in Kenya.
The Embassy has informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nairobi on the negative reactions that the comments have triggered among the business community and general populace in the DRC.
The Kenya Embassy wishes to reiterate that the Government and the people of Kenya share a deep and respectful historical relationship with the Government and people of the DRC.
This relationship stretches back to the independence of our respective countries . Kenya is confident that these relations will be entrenched through Government to government frameworks and people to people partnerships that have been built in the last years.
The Embassy reassures the Government and people of the DRC that the Government of Kenya will continue encouraging the citizens of both our countries to continue engaging and building strong partnerships especially at this historic moment when the DRC prepares to join the East African Community