Somalia PM thanks Kenya for solid support

The Somali PM was speaking on Wednesday at State House Nairobi/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 13 – Somalia Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali has thanked Kenya for its unwavering support to the war-torn nation.

Acknowledging the role Kenya has continued to play towards the restoration of peace in Somalia, the prime minister expressed optimism that his country was on the right path towards stability.

Ali particularly welcomed the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Kenya and the Commission of the African Union for the Kenya Defence Forces to formally join AMISOM, saying the move will go a long way towards rooting out negative forces in Somalia.

The Somali PM was speaking on Wednesday at State House Nairobi when he paid a courtesy call on President Mwai Kibaki to brief him on the roadmap towards ending of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia which will pave way for the election of an all-inclusive national government.

Speaking during the meeting, President Mwai Kibaki reiterated Kenya’s desire for the people of Somalia to take charge of the ongoing peace initiatives and move the country forward.

The president emphasised the need for Somalia to strengthen state institutions including the national army, police and Judiciary to steer the reconstruction process.

President Kibaki and the Somali Prime Minister also discussed the plight of Somali refugees where the president encouraged the Somali government to galvanise international support to resettle the refugees in secured regions back in Somalia.

“We believe that the best place for the Somali refugees is in the regions that have been liberated back in their native country,” President Kibaki said.

The president commended the significant progress made by AMISOM in collaboration with the TFG forces, in securing large swathes of South Central Somalia from Al Shabaab and urged the Somali leadership to take advantage of this development to consolidate its authority in the region.

“This will encourage the voluntary return of refugees and other migrants to Somalia,” the President said.

President Kibaki, once again, reaffirmed Kenya’s continued support to the people of Somalia particularly with regard to human and institutional capacity building.

Present during the meeting were acting Head Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia and Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Thuita Mwangi among other senior government officials.