Somalia, Uganda to bolster Kenya’s Shabaab offensive

November 16, 2011 1:27 pm
Kibaki with Museveni (L) and Sharif (R) after discussing Somalia situation/PPS

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 16 – Somalia and Uganda have agreed on a co-ordinated approach with Kenya in fighting the Al Shabaab militia to maintain peace in the region.

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 16 – Somalia and Uganda have agreed on a co-ordinated approach with Kenya in fighting the Al Shabaab militia to maintain peace in the region.

The pact was reached at a meeting held between President Mwai Kibaki, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Somalia’s President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed at State House, Nairobi on Wednesday afternoon.

“The meeting emphasised the need for enhancing coordination between AMISOM, TFG forces and Kenya Defence forces in order to successfully defeat Al Shabaab,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula when he briefed journalists after talks by the three leaders.

The presidents revisited their targets of fighting the terror group and agreed to jointly wipe it out and other militia groups to restore security and peace in Somalia and other regions.

“(They) Expressed confidence that the joint Kenya-Somali operation presents the region with a historic opportunity to restore stability and security in Somalia and called for regional solidarity to bring to an end the state of lawlessness that has prevailed in much of Somalia over the last two decades,” The communiqué read in part.

The leaders further appealed to all nations which had agreed to send troops to Somalia to do so in order to strengthen the capacity of Kenyan soldiers who are already there.

“(They) Noted with appreciation the decision of Djibouti to provide troops to AMISOM by the end of the year, called on other African countries which have pledged troops to AMISOM to urgently fulfil their pledges and welcomed Kenya’s willingness to deploy troops to AMISOM,” he said.

The Heads of States also observed that the operation in Somalia had resulted to other challenges of terrorism, organised crime and influx of refugees which they said contributed to insecurity and conflict not just within Africa but across the world.

They also discussed the refugee crisis that had spread to Kenya and the increasing number of displaced people in Somalia.

“The meeting reviewed the political and security developments in Somalia and noted that the protracted conflict had generated numerous problems notably terrorism, organized crime, influx of illegal arms, the refugee crisis, internally displaced persons in Somalia,” Wetangula said.

They also reviewed the burden Kenya had in taking care of the growing number of refugees at the Kenyan camps and asked the international community to explore other strategies that can relieve Kenya.

The leaders were in agreement that they should focus on taking aid to the safe areas within Somalia to help reduce the number of those fleeing to the Kenyan camps.

“They called on the international community to urgently develop modalities for burden-sharing, and encourage humanitarian aid agencies to relocate to the secure parts of Southern Somalia in order to provide humanitarian assistance closer to the famine-stricken communities of Southern Somalia in a more effective manner,” Wetangula asserted.

Kenyan troops are in the interior of Somalia battling the Al Shabaab terror group whose members are blamed for a series of kidnappings and explosive attacks in northern Kenya and the capital Nairobi.

So far, the Kenyan troops have killed more than 50 Al Shabaab insurgents both on land and at sea in the Southern part of Somalia.


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