Interview: Western countries need to understand Africa-China relations, says Kenyan official – Xinhua

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ken.jpgHenry Rotich, Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury of Kenya, speaks during an interview in Nairobi, Kenya, March 28, 2018. Henry Rotich has urged Western countries criticizing Chinese loans to Africa to try to understand the Africa-China relationship first, calling such criticism as “unwarranted”. (Xinhua/Lyu Shuai)

NAIROBI, March 29 (Xinhua) — A senior Kenyan government official has urged Western countries criticizing Chinese loans to Africa to try to understand the Africa-China relationship first, calling such criticism as “unwarranted”.

Chinese loans and development support has transformed Africa’s development and Africa-China relations are expected to get even stronger with time, Henry Rotich, Cabinet Secretary for The National Treasury, told Xinhua on Wednesday in an interview in Nairobi.

“Attacks on Chinese loans to Africa are unwarranted,” Rotich told Xinhua. “Those criticizing do not understand the relationship we have with China.”

He said Africa’s cooperation with China is “well structured” under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit which defines the direction of the relationship and development milestones that each country wants to reach with China.

“People need time to understand the relationship. China is walking with Africa to help the continent to get to the level of the developed countries faster. This is a partnership,” he said.

“The days of conditioning support are over,” said Rotich, in reference to the Western-controlled World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s demands for Africans to undertake some economic reforms and policies before they could receive development loans.

“The way to go is mutual cooperation,” Rotich said.

Kenya adopted China as its preferred development partner in 2002 when Kenya was under the leadership of retired President Mwai Kibaki.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has continued with a strong China-Kenya policy which has resulted in support for construction of the 500 kilometer Standard Gauge Railway from coastal city of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi and constructions of several hundreds of kilometers of roads, the Treasury official said.

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Al-Shabab Kills 3 Kenyan Quarry Workers In Mandera Town- Shabelle News

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el.jpgThree miners were killed and one injured by al-Shabab militants at a quarry in Mandera county in northeast Kenya on Thursday, an official confirmed on Friday.

Northeastern regional coordinator Mohamud Saleh said the militants stormed the Shimbir Fatuma Quarry, about 65 kilometers from the Kenya-Somalia border, where the miners were living, on Thursday evening.

“Reports from the scene of an incident is that three were confirmed dead and one injured person is currently at Shimpir Fatuma health center while some are yet to be established where they are,” Saleh said.

He said two of the workers escaped with gunshot wounds. The quarry workers seemed to have defied government orders to vacate the area following increased cases of al-Shabab attacks in the restive region that borders Somalia

Two miners were killed by the militia in a similar incident a year go after they apparently sneaked back to the quarry in Mandera sub-county following a security operation.

The authorities in 2015 ordered all quarries in Mandera County near the Somali border be closed and all workers to vacate the places due to terror threats. The directive came after the murder of 14 quarry workers.

The workers, however, faulted the government’s move saying that they were not given reasons for the closure of the mines but only told to vacate their working places. They argued that the quarries near the Kenya-Somalia border were secure.

According to Kenyan authorities, more than 500 workers mine in the same quarry, something they said terrorists will capitalize on as they gain fame in killing a large number of innocent Kenyans.