Kenya seeks intervention over Somali leadership row
Kenya is appealing to the International Community to prevail upon the President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mahamoud and the Prime Minister Abdweli Ahmed to resolve their leadership differences and help stabilize the horn of Africa country.
Deputy President William Ruto made the remarks Tuesday at his official residence in Karen where he held talks with the visiting Slovakia Republic Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Miroslav Lajcak.
Mr. Ruto said the mistrust between the two Somalia leaders is undermining Kenya’s and IGAD efforts to restore peace in the country.
Said the DP: “We are concerned about the rift between the President and the Prime Minister, the situation remains fragile and we are asking for assistance from the international community to help the leaders manage the personal challenges they have.”
Mr. Ruto said there was need for concerted efforts from the international community to help solve the misunderstanding between the two leaders so as to create a peaceful environment in Somalia that can enable thousands of Somali refugees in Kenya to be repatriated back to their country.
“The refugee situation is a huge burden to us, we are working on a framework to repatriate these refugees, and need a lot of international support in this efforts,” said Mr. Ruto.
Noting that the situation in Somalia remains a thorn in the flesh of the horn of Africa region Mr. Ruto said that a quick solution to the Somalia issue will pave the way for repatriation of refugee back to their country and bring stability to the region.
Mr. Ruto informed the visiting Slovak Deputy Premier that Kenya and IGAD are helping Somalia create the necessary administrative structures in Somalia saying the presence of Amison troops in Somalia in which Kenya has contributed soldiers is a case in point.
The Deputy President emphasized that Kenya would not pull its troops from Somalia until peace is restored in that country.
Said the DP “The call to withdraw troops is blackmail and we will not withdraw. It would be simplistic to pull troops to the border as terrorists would simply cross into Kenya through the long porous border of about 800 KM.”
Mr. Ruto said terrorism was the biggest challenge facing the region and added it was unfortunate that terrorists were taking advantage of the instability in the Somalia to cause mayhem in the region.
Noting that the country is facing challenges posed by extremist and subversive elements, DP noted that cooperation among countries in the region would help eliminate terrorist attacks.
On South Sudan, the DP emphasized that Kenya was committed to working closely with IGAD in ensuring that peace prevailed in that country.
On bilateral relations between Kenya and Slovak republic, Mr. Ruto stressed the need to increase trade and economic cooperation between the two countries adding Kenya could immensely benefit from Slovak technology in various fields.
The Deputy President encouraged Slovakian businesspeople and companies to invest in Kenya assuring them that the government was doing everything possible to guarantee a friendly environment.
“Manufacturing is our next frontier in economic transformation, we can transfer a lot of technological knowhow from your country, we are keen on this kind of relationship that will result in a win win situation.
In Response, the Deputy Prime Minister of Slovak, Mr. Lajcak hailed the cordial relation between the two countries pledging his country’s assistance in various fields of cooperation.
Mr. Lajcak was accompanied by the ambassador of Slovakia to Kenya Mr. Michel Mlynar and other senior government officials.”
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