Ambassador Martin Kimani, Kenya's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, outlined the country's position on the Ukraine-Russia conflict during an emergency Security Council meeting on Monday, February 21.
Kimani affirmed that Kenya strongly opposed the undermining of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine by Russia.
In his speech, the Ambassador raised grave concerns over Russia recognising the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as independent states, arguing that this was tantamount to leading to a full-blown conflict.
"In our considered view, this action and announcement breach the territorial integrity of Ukraine," Kimani stated.
He added, " we do not deny that there may be serious concerns in these regions. But they cannot justify today's recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states. Not when there were multiple diplomatic tracks available and underway that had the ability to offer peaceful solutions."
Kimani drew reference to how other African countries solved their territorial issues, urging the two nations to embrace diplomacy instead of choosing to go to war.
"At independence, had we chosen to pursue states on the basis of ethnic, racial or religious homogeneity, we would still be waging bloody wars these many decades later. Instead, we agreed that we would settle for the border that we inherited. But we would still pursue continental political, economic, and legal integration," Kimani remarked.
Kenya's representative at the UN highlighted that Russia should have settled for a democratic approach to solving the row. He reiterated that the nation led by President Vladimir Putin should respect the Charter of the United Nations which encourages member countries to maintain international peace and security. to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.
"The Charter of the United Nations continues to wilt under the relentless assault of the powerful. In one moment it is invoked with reverence by the very same countries who then turn their backs on it in pursuit of objectives diametrically opposed to international peace and security.
"In the two last meetings on the situation in Ukraine and the buildup of forces by the Russian Federation, Kenya urged that diplomacy be given a chance. Our cry was not heeded, and more importantly, the Charter's demand for states to 'settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered' has been profoundly undermined," Kimani noted.
His speech has since gone viral with many lauding him for his boldness to address the issue.
"Kenya's argument is very compelling, almost all the borders Kenya is sharing with its neighbours, divides communities. for instance, KE-TZ borders divide Maasai, Kuria, Digo peoples who live on both sides of the border. imagine if one day we felt like redrawing our borders," one comment read.
"This is the best piece I have read so far. Impactful and far-reaching. We are ready to back Ukraine," another read.
The conflict has caused a major economic shift as the prices of global oil have increased and even restricted wheat export. The conflict could also trigger a sell-off of shares, pulling down a market that has fully recovered from the economic damage caused by the pandemic.
This has forced world leaders including Kenya to intervene to prevent the two nations from going to war.