Diplomacy an option, but so is force – Raila

October 26, 2011 4:38 pm


Odinga introduces Kenyan Ministers to Ivorian President Ouattara
PARIS, Oct 26 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said Kenya remains determined to spearhead peace and stability in the Horn of Africa and using diplomacy as a means of resolving conflicts.

But the country will also use all other means to secure its borders, protect the citizens and its economic interests, the PM said.

The PM said the country has been in the forefront of promoting peace, stability and security in Africa adding that Kenya security officers are frequent participants in regional peace initiatives and in peace-keeping missions in different parts of the world.

Addressing a UNESCO conference in Paris, France early on Wednesday, the PM said the commitment to peaceful resolution to conflicts has seen the country make a significant contribution to the pursuit of peace in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region.

The PM however said Kenya currently faces a big challenge in its quest to ensure a permanent solution to the security and humanitarian crisis in Somalia.

Odinga appealed to the international community to help bring stability to the war torn nation for greater stability in the region.

The PM called for more investment in education of the youth as a means of securing peace and stability in the future.

Odinga made the remarks while addressing a Leaders’ Forum at the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris.

He said only education has the power to free people’s minds from roots of conflict.

Odinga said Kenya is investing in education, science and culture not just as a means of ensuring availability of skilled manpower but also as an investment in greater peace and cohesion in the country.

“We fully believe that communication, education, science and culture are vital vehicles for peace-building. Education and international exposure teach our youth about different cultures, different lifestyles and different religious beliefs,” the PM said.
“The fact is that the kind of peace we can achieve will depend on our ability to transform both the way people think,” he added.

He said education and culture are critical tools to reach out across national borders and lessen the hostility engendered by prejudice and ignorance.

The PM arrived in France on Tuesday and held meetings with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and Environment Minister Natalie Kosciusko-Morizet.

He is due back in Nairobi on Friday.


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