, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 – President Mwai Kibaki has reassured that Kenya will continue providing technical and humanitarian support to Somalia in her efforts to achieve peace and security in the Horn of Africa country.
The President, who has mobilised international support for the Somalia peace process, reiterated his call to the World Food Program (WFP) to reopen its offices in Somalia and begin distributing food in that country.
He expressed concern that the recent closure of the WFP offices in Somalia would affect over one million Somali people in dire need of food.
“It is our interest to reinstate and mobilise necessary humanitarian assistance in order to restore human dignity,” President Kibaki said.
President Kibaki was speaking on Wednesday at his Harambee House office where he held talks with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
The Head of State also called on the international community to honour their pledges of support to the TFG.
President Kibaki commended the Somali President for his efforts towards consolidating peace by instituting dialogue and reconciliation with divergent groups willing to cooperate and renounce violence.
He encouraged the Somali leader to reach out and hold talks with factions that are opposed to his government.
The President said that Kenya backs the Djibouti peace process as the only framework for lasting peace, reconciliation and national healing in Somalia.
During the meeting, the Somali President briefed President Kibaki on the current security situation in Somalia.
President Ahmed thanked the Kenyan Government for playing a leading role in the Somali peace process.
The Somali President reaffirmed the Transitional Federal Government’s willingness to hold dialogue with parties ready to commit themselves to peace.
President Ahmed was accompanied by Somali ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance Mr. Ali Jama and Sharif Hassan Sheikh respectively.
Kenya backs IGAD’s decisions to set up mechanisms to deal firmly with those opposed to the Somalia peace process.
Present during the meeting were Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula, Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti and the Minister of State for Defence Yusuf Haji. Others were the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura and Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia.