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Kenyan controversial scholar speaks as Trump sacks Rex Tillerson

Sim Ali
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Sacked US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Kenya's Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, in Nairobi on March 9, 2018. [Photo/US Embassy Nairobi]

Kenya's US-based scholar Prof Makau Mutua has responded after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was on Tuesday morning sacked, a day after he left Kenya for Nigeria.

US President Donald Trump fired Tillerson who he appointed in December 2016.

Tillerson arrived in Nairobi on Friday last week for a three-day state visit, before leaving for Nigeria on Sunday, on his official tour of the African continent.

Upon arrival, he met with Kenya’s leadership led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, to further the US-Kenya partnership and discuss ways they can work together to counter terrorism, advance peace and security, promote good governance, and spur mutually beneficial trade.

Before departing on Sunday, Tillerson met with Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Wildlife and Tourism Najib Balala, Kenya Wildlife Service Chairman Richard Leakey and Kenya Wildlife Service leaders to discuss US-Kenya partnership to combat poaching and international trafficking of illegal wildlife products. 

He also toured the Kenya Wildlife Service forensics lab where DNA from wildlife products and weapons helps arrest and convict poachers and illegal wildlife traffickers across East Africa.

Earlier on, he honoured those lives who were lost and injured in the 1998 US Embassy Kenya terrorist bombing during a wreath-laying ceremony at the August 7th Memorial Park in Nairobi.

"As all of you well know, 1998 terrorists thought they could demoralize and destroy the Kenyan and American people by attacking the U.S. embassy here in Nairobi. Of course, they were wrong. Nearly 20 years later, we meet here to honor those who we lost and those who were injured," Tillerson said on Sunday.

The US President tweeted: "Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!"

It is not clear why Trump sacked him.

Makau Mutua, through Twitter, said: "Wow — Rex Tillerson was FIRED while he was on a visit to Kenya and other African states. No wonder he “fell sick” while in Nairobi.

Rex Tillerson says in a written statement he “didn’t speak to the President and is unaware of the reason” for his FIRING."


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