Honour Somalia aid pledge: Kenya

June 19, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 19 – Kenya has appealed to the international community to honour their aid pledge to the shaky Somali government to help it stand the increasing Islamist militia rebellion.

Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula on Friday said that the aid was necessary to help the Transitional Government (TFG) finance its operations and fend off the insurgents that has in the last few months taken control of the country.
“Kenya wants the African Union troops strengthened to aid the TFG as this crisis has a direct effect on Kenya and the whole region,” Mr Wetangula said after hosting diplomats from Europe, Russia and Japan operating in Nairobi.

The plea came barely a day after the Al Shabaab militia assassinated the Internal Security Minister and a former Ambassador to Ethiopia as it increased its control of the war torn country.  Mr Wetangula remained adamant that Kenya would do everything possible to secure its territorial borders. 

“The assurance I am giving to Kenyans is born and founded on the fact that indeed Kenya is protecting its borders and has the capacity to do so,” he said amidst threat from the militia who had warned Kenya to keep off the affairs of  the neighboring country.

“Kenya does not wish to engage in issues that are not worth our comments,” Mr Wetangula scoffed the threat.
A meeting hosted by the African Union and the United Nations in Brussels in April yielded close to Sh17 billion in pledges but only Italy has honoured its promise.

The Prime Minister of the TFG Ali Sharmake who was present at the Friday’s meeting in Nairobi said his government would not be deterred by the attacks from the insurgents.

“We call on the international community to stand with us and assist our security forces to defeat these enemies before they pose a threat to the entire region,” he said in his plea.

Thursday’s killings followed that of Mogadishu’s top police commander, who was assassinated on Wednesday when at least 26 people lost their lives in the capital, half of them when a mortar shell hit a mosque.

The militias have rejected the TFG installed by a UN-brokered peace process last year. The government forces have been battling with the hard-line Islamist militias since May. More than 122,000 people have since been displaced, bringing the total number of war refugees in the country to 1.3 million, according to UN figures.

Dadaab refuge camp in Northern Kenya, the world’s largest refugee camp is bursting at the seams with Somali refugees. Although it was built for a capacity of 90,000 it now shelters 280,000.


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