Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat, the former chairman of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) has passed away.
The former Permanent Secretary passed away in the early hours of Friday, July 14, 2017, at the Nairobi Hospital where he had been admitted following a long illness.
Tributes have poured in for the elder statesman including one from President Kenyatta.
President Uhuru Kenyatta mourned Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat describing him as a great Kenyan diplomat and a refined peace crusader who served the country with dedication in various capacities.
“Ambassador Kiplagat was a very humble yet firm public servant who never shied away from stating what he felt was of importance to the country,” said the President.
“Ambassador Kiplagat has been keen to see all societies living at peace with one another through his personal initiatives as director of Africa Peace Forum,” he added.
The Head of State said the late Kiplagat was determined to unite all Kenyans irrespective of their ethnic, color or creed.
“He never wanted our differences to derail our focus on nation building but rather to use our diversity to strengthen our brotherhood and nationhood.”
Uhuru said the fruits of his labor can be seen in his efforts to restore stability in the region.
“The late Kenyan diplomat facilitated dialogue and peace talks between warring parties in countries like Ethiopia and Mozambique.”
“He was a resource person to the IGAD peace process for Sudan and has been advising Sudanese civil societies on conflict resolution apart from facilitating peace talks in Uganda in 1985-1986,” said President Kenyatta.
Uhuru further prayed to God to comfort and give fortitude to the family during this trying moment.
Bethuel Kiplagat served under Moi’s regime for over a decade. He was Kenya’s envoy to France from 1978 to 1981 and then Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1983 before getting appointed as the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He founded the Africa Peace Forum and was also an independent consultant on peace and conflict resolution.
Until his death, Ambassador Kiplagat was engaged in activities aimed at encouraging community-based peace process in Eastern Africa.
May His Soul Rest In Peace.