Kenya and Somalia step up efforts against Al-Shabaab attacks
Sagana, June 05, 2013
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somalia counterpart Hassan Sheikh Mohamud have directed their respective security forces to work closely in eliminating Al-Shabaab security threats.
Speaking today at Sagana State Lodge where he hosted President Mohamud for a two-day retreat, President Kenyatta said the two countries have also agreed to enhance the exchange of information in dealing with the Al-Shabaab elements and their sympathizers.
“In this regard, we have called for the support of IGAD, UNHCR and the international community to ensure the success of this exercise,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State disclosed that during the meeting with the Somalia leader, they discussed the threats, violent attacks and kidnappings
carried out by Al-Shabaab targeting innocent people in the two countes and agreed on joint security operations.
On the issue of refugees, President Kenyatta briefed President Hassan on the position of the Kenya Government regarding the disproportionate burden resulting from hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees and its direct bearing on the economic, social, security and environmental consequences.
In this regard, the two leaders resolved to establish a joint task-force to prepare for a conference on refugees, scheduled for August this year, in Nairobi.
President Kenyatta said that the conference will work out the modalities for the early repatriation and resettlement of refugees to their country.
“We call upon the international community to support regional efforts to create conditions that are conducive including means of livelihood that will ensure safe and orderly return to their homeland,” President Kenyatta said.
The two leaders also appealed to all Somalis, including the federal entities, to support their central government.
President Kenyatta and President Mohamud called on the people of Somalia to embrace the spirit of mutual respect, inclusive dialogue and reconciliation in order to sustain and consolidate all the achievements of the peace process under the provisional federal constitution.
On the bilateral front, President Kenyatta welcomed the recent launch of the Joint Commission of Co-operation as the most appropriate platform for economic and technical co-operation between Kenya and Somalia.
“In this regard, we have directed both sides to meet as a matter of urgency and identify critical areas of co-operation,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State emphasized that Kenya is ready and willing to play her role in the reconstruction of the state of Somalia and urged friendly governments to support the implementation of programs that will help the stabilization of Somalia.
After being briefed by President Mohamud on the outcomes of the Somalia conference that was held on the sidelines of TICAD in Japan, President Kenyatta thanked the Government of Japan for its commitment to help the region in its joint efforts to develop Somalia.
During the retreat, the two leaders also reviewed and followed-up on issues they discussed in Addis Ababa, during the African Union Summit.
“Our meeting is taking place after a very crucial IGAD Summit during which we reviewed progress on our efforts to stabilize Somalia and help in the reconstruction process,” President Kenyatta said.
On his part, President Mohamud thanked President Kenyatta, the Government and people of Kenya for the sacrifices they have continue to make in order to ensure Somalia is stable and peaceful.
Acknowledging the burden Kenya has shouldered in hosting refugees, the Somalia President pledged that his Government will work closely with the Government of Kenya to expedite the orderly relocation and resettlement of Somali refugees in their home country.
President Mohamud expressed optimism that the implementation of the Joint of Commission of Co-operation between Kenya and Somalia would greatly benefit the people of the two neighbouring nations.
The Somalia President also took the opportunity to pay tribute to Kenyans who have lost lives in the quest to restore peace and stabilize his country.
The meeting was attended on Kenya’s side by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohammed and Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Mr. Thuita Mwangi while on the Somalia’s side was the Minister of State Mr. Farah Ali Abdulqadir and Somalia Ambassador to Kenya Mohammed Nur.