USIU-Africa student, Muchesia B. Anyika featured in the Platform for Law, Justice and Society Magazine

By Brenda Odhiambo

Muchesia B. Anyika is a third year (junior) student at USIU-Africa studying International Relations, and is also a Mastercard Foundation Scholar. He was recently featured in the October issue of the Platform for Law, Justice and Society magazine. He authored an article on Kenya’s contradicting position on the recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

The article discusses Kenya's position on the recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and the political intrigues and interplay of political unfolding between SADR and Morocco. The Polisario Front established the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) on February 27, 1976, in Bir Lehlu, Western Sahara. Although the SADR administration now only has jurisdiction over around 20–25% of Western Sahara, which was a former Spanish colony, SADR asserts sovereignty over the whole region.

Kenya's foreign policy towards SADR and Morocco is determined by many actors, including and not limited to the Presidency. The article reflects on the conflicting statements made by President Ruto and Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Ambassador Macharia Kamau regarding Kenya's stance on the SADR. The President initially announced that Kenya had rescinded its recognition of the SADR and initiated steps to wind down the entity's presence in the country. However, Amb. Kamau later stated that Kenya's position on the SADR is fully aligned with the decision of the Organization of African Unity and the AU Charter, which calls for the unquestionable and inalienable right of a people to self-determination.

The article uses the rational actor model and bureaucratic models of decision-making to explain Kenya's position on the SADR. The rational actor model suggests that Kenya sought to maximize its available alternatives while adhering to the charters of both the AU and UN, in a bid to cement its image as a global player. The bureaucratic model, on the other hand, highlights the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in clarifying Kenya's stance and appeasing both sides of the dispute to avoid diplomatic problems.

The article concludes that Kenya's contradictory position on the recognition of the SADR serves as a lesson on the practical application of decision-making models and the role of international law in shaping state behavior. It highlights the complexity of foreign policy decision-making and the importance of aligning with international organizations' decisions while considering a state's own interests. Additionally, the article shows that the rules determine why the state acts in a particular way. Therefore, it is essential for states to re-evaluate their foreign policy decisions to ensure they align with international law while also serving their interests.

Muchesia is also a published author, who launched his debut novel, Stars Aligned in January this year. The fictional novel’s plot focuses on the experiences of Robert, the book’s protagonist as an orphan and person with disability.

Read the full article here.

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