Kenya pleads Somalia case

February 25, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 25 – Kenya reiterated its call for the international community to continue with efforts to end the conflict in Somalia on Wednesday, even as fighting raged in the capital Mogadishu.

President Mwai Kibaki urged governments to channel support to the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, which has embarked on a reconstruction of the war-torn nation after more than a decade of anarchy.

He appealed to the international community to continue providing financial aid to Somalia as it moves towards reinstating other essential structures of its government.

“While there is progress in the peace process in Southern Sudan, Kenya remains concerned at the situation in Somalia. We continue to call upon the international community to constructively engage the Transitional Federal Government for the sake of the people of that country.”

President Kibaki was speaking on Tuesday evening at a State banquette held in honour of visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who leaves Nairobi on Wednesday after a two-day state visit.

Deadly clashes resumed in the lawless Somali capital of Mogadishu on Wednesday between fighters loyal to the city’s Islamic courts and the warlord alliance.

At least seven people have been killed and dozens wounded, raising the death toll from a series of battles between the two sides since February to more than 300, despite urgent appeals for peace.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry has constantly warned that countries should not resort to what it called "unilateral actions" that contradict positions held by the United Nations, the African Union, and others.

The Ministry has said that an uncoordinated intervention in Somalia would result in a growth of influence wielded by warlords, compounding the problem and increasing conflict.

The Transitional Government, which was set up in Kenya in 2004, has accused Washington of funding the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT) and contributing to instability.

The US, which accuses the Islamists of harbouring extremists, including Al-Qaeda members, said it has been "wrongly blamed" for the fighting but has refused to confirm or deny its backing for the alliance.


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