Rwanda, SA back Kenya’s Somalia operation

PERTH, Australia, Oct 30 – Kenya on Sunday got the support of Rwanda and South Africa in her cause in Somalia.

At separate meetings with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Jacob Zuma of South Africa in Perth, Western Australia, President Mwai Kibaki briefed the two leaders on the security situation in the war-torn Somalia.

The President also appraised the leaders on the joint military operation that Kenya and the Transition Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, were undertaking to neutralise Al-Shaabab insurgents.

President Kibaki said that the persistent violation of Kenya’s territorial integrity by the Al-Shabaab terror group provoked the government into action to safeguard her national and economic interests.

The Head of State explained that Kenya’s invocation of the relevant United Nations Charter against continued aggression by Al-Shaabab militants was in self-defence.

On their part, President Kagame and President Zuma pledged their government’s total support to the military action against Al-Shabaab extremists whose cross-border criminal activities violated recognised
international protocols.

The South African and Rwandese Presidents condemned provocative attacks by the Al-Shabaab militants saying any interference in Kenya’s interests by aggressors has a direct bearing on their countries and the Indian Ocean coastal region.

The leaders pledged any kind of support that Kenya may require to wade off foreign attacks and other aggressions against her national interests.

“Rwanda is ready and willing to provide any support Kenya will require to win the war against the Al-Shaabab. Make the request and Rwanda is ready to chip in”, said President Kagame.

The two leaders called on the international community to show more commitment to the fight against terrorism and religious extremists who posed a security threat to the Horn of Africa region and Indian Ocean marine trade.

Rwanda and South Africa, allies of Kenya, become the latest African countries to pledge their support to the country’s military action against the Al-Shabaab militants who have blatantly violated the country’s
territorial integrity through escalated cross-border attacks.

On Saturday, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania pledged his country’s commitment to support efforts by regional, continental and the international bodies to stabilise Somalia and the Horn of Africa region.

The leaders, who were in Perth, Western Australia, attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), also discussed various other issues of mutual interest to the between countries.

The talks were attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula and senior officials from the three countries.

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting in Perth, Western Australia has identified piracy as one of the main areas of concern for the development of Commonwealth countries.

The leaders acknowledged the support of the European Union (EU) in the fight against piracy.

The CHOGM leaders lauded efforts by Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania, The Maldives and Mozambique to fight piracy off their coastal boundaries.