EAC: Iconic diplomat Bethuel Kiplagat’s death a very big loss

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THE Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC), Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko, has conveyed a message of condolences to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, following the death of Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat, a career diplomat and distinguished public servant.

In the message signed on his behalf by Ms Jesca Eriyo, the Deputy Secretary General (Finance and Administration), Ambassador Mfumukeko said the Community mourns the passing of a great son of Kenya and East Africa and a towering figure of this time who had left an indelible imprint on the history of the region through his efforts in peace building.

“We mourn the passing of a great son of Kenya and East Africa and a towering figure of our time that has left an indelible imprint on the history of the region through his untiring efforts in peace building.

The Community notes with pride that the departed diplomat was also actively involved in the peace talks and negotiations that led to the independence of the Republic of South Sudan, EAC’s newest partner state,” said the EAC secretary general.

The message further stated that when the EAC Heads of State Summit approved the establishment and functioning of the EAC Panel of Eminent Persons in February 2015 to operationalize the EAC Conflict Prevention and Management Resolution Mechanism, Ambassador Kiplagat was among the first to be appointed to the panel.

Ambasador Mfumukeko noted that the main task of the Panel was to advise the Summit, the Council and Secretary General on issues related to the promotion and maintenance of peace, security and stability by conducting preventive diplomacy and peaceful resolution of conflicts in the Community.

“Together with other EAC Eminent Persons, Ambassador Kiplagat undertook preventive diplomacy missions to Burundi through participation in various roundtables, dialogues and holding one on one consultations with key Burundi stakeholders.

The entire Community and I share with you (President Kenyatta), the bereaved family, and the Government and people of Kenya, the feelings of great loss at this time of deep sorrow,” concluded the message.

Kenya was on Friday thrown into mourning by the death of Mr Kiplagat, who also chaired the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission that documented historical injustices against Kenyans.

His death followed those of other prominent post-independence leaders; Laikipia Senator, Mr Godfrey Gitau Kariuki; Inte rior Cabinet Secretary, Mr Joseph Nkaissery and former Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott.

Mr Richard Kiplagat, the son to the late diplomat, was quoted as saying that his father lost the battle while undergoing treatment at the Nairobi Hospital. He explained that they celebrated his life and what he had done for the family, the country and the continent of Africa. 

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