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Kenya issues Somali leader with threat

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – Kenya has threatened to impose sanctions on Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf and his top leadership for allegedly derailing peace efforts in the horn of Africa nation.

Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula told journalists in Nairobi on Tuesday that the government’s intelligence department was in the process of establishing people working with President Yusuf who would also be enlisted for the sanctions.

Mr Wetangula scoffed at the recent sacking of the entire cabinet including Prime Minister Hussein Hassan and the rejection of a new list of ministers endorsed by Parliament.

"The summit (the 13th Extra Ordinary IGAD meeting) told President Yusuf very clearly that the situation in Somalia was not working with people he likes but with those who have the interest of Somalia at heart.

Mr Wetangula maintained that Kenya recognised Prime Minister Hassan and his team.

"If they do not find it necessary to work together, Kenya will take the steps of the UN resolution. We will sanction them with their families, relatives and partners in business," he said adding that Kenya "bears the full brunt of the chaos in Somalia."

The UN Security Council, the African Union and the Inter Governmental Authority on Development have asked countries to impose sanctions on Somali leaders who frustrate peace efforts in the country that has not known peace in the last two decades.

The 13th Extra Ordinary IGAD meeting towards the end of October in Nairobi tasked legislators from Somalia to move with speed in resolving the conflict and warned of "dire consequences."

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President Mwai Kibaki has in the meantime appointed former Agriculture Minister Kipruto arap Kirwa a special envoy to facilitate the Somali peace process.

Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula said that the appointment was in line with recommendations of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development.

"He will be operating within the framework of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development and will be largely based at the African Union offices in Ethiopia because we want to work in collaboration with the AU," he said.

The lifeline of the Transitional Federal Government lapses in the next seven months and IGAD has warned that it would not be renewed.


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