- The President in the Executive Order listed the mission to Jakarta as a consulate headed by a consulate general
- This is despite Ambassador Galma Boru having been posted to Jakarta since November 2022.
President William Ruto has in his Executive Order 2, 2023 seemed to have downgraded Kenya's Embassy to Indonesia to a consulate.
The President in the Executive Order listed the mission to Jakarta as a consulate headed by a consulate general despite Ambassador Galma Boru having been posted since November 2022.
Boru in August 2023 presented credentials to Singapore President Halimah Yacob for a concurrent accreditation.
Kenya opened the embassy in Jakarta during President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration on March 18, 2022.
It remains to be seen what happens to Ambassador Boru as the President did not indicate there would be a mission in Singapore.
As it stands, he becomes the consul general in Jakarta.
Ruto, however, retained fully-fledged missions in Bangkok, Thailand, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The degrading of the mission comes months after President Joko Widodo made a state visit to Kenya in August when the two sides signed various deals and committed to finalising details of a possible preferential trade agreement.
Kenya also signed a deal with Indonesia to manufacture and distribute medicines and vaccines as the country revamps its pharmaceutical industry, alongside six deals on food security, mining and renewable energy.
The two countries also signed a cooperation agreement in mining and geology, including joint studies, knowledge-sharing and capacity building.
Additionally, the two countries also discussed trade and investment, cooperation in higher and basic education.
When Kenya opened the Jakarta mission, witnessed by then Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo and her counterpart Retno Marsudi, the Foreign Affairs ministry in a statement said.
“The official inauguration of the embassy marks a momentous occasion and an accomplishment in the diplomatic contacts established before Kenya’s Independence."
Indonesia was the first to open its diplomatic mission in Nairobi in 1982.
“The opening of this Mission is no doubt a momentous occasion because it marks an incredible milestone in our bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1982.
"It is, therefore, with deep appreciation that I commend the Government of Indonesia for the immense support and facilitation extended to us towards the establishment of this Mission,” Omamo said at the time.
Following the talks, the two sides also signed two MoUs on Cooperation in Diplomatic Capacity Building and Regular Diplomatic Consultations.
Indonesia Ambassador to Kenya Hery Saripudin welcomed the move saying the intensity and volume of trade between the two countries would significantly increase, compared to when the country was covered by the High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.
Secondly, the envoy said, given Indonesia is regarded as a major political player in the region with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations community with 10 members headquartered in Jakarta, Kenya would have access to embassies from friendly countries not only covering bilateral relations with Indonesia but also as Permanent Representatives to ASEAN.
On the economic side, he said, with more than 270 million people in Indonesia, Kenya would have access to a bigger market.
"And also, if you look at ASEAN as an entity consisting of 10 countries, the market is even bigger - now more than 600 million. And since 2015, ASEAN has been adopted as three communities: Sociocultural community, political-security community and economic community," he said in a past interview.