, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – Kenya called on the international community to support the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in its efforts to restore peace in Somalia.
Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula on Thursday said Kenya, one of the six IGAD member states, was concerned about the escalating violence in the Horn of Africa nation.
“We recognise the TFG (Transitional Federal Government) of Somalia. Somalia is our friend,” Mr Wetangula said at a briefing in Nairobi.
Kenya is the outgoing chair of the regional bloc which includes Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
He was speaking a day after holding separate talks with the British High Commissioner Robert McCaire and United States Ambassador Michael Ranneberger on regional stability.
Addressing journalists later Mr Wetangula also called on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to support resolutions passed by IGAD and the Africa Union (AU) Peace and Security Council in the past week.
The two blocs recommended that the UN impose a no-fly zone in militia held areas and implement a partial or complete blockade of the supply routes through Kismaiyu and other sea ports.
“I have no doubt whatsoever that the resolutions we passed in Addis Ababa will suffocate these fellows (Somali militia and warlords) to a point where we can be able to push them together to work as the people of Somalia,” he said.
He said the measures are aimed at weakening the influence of the militias that have been frustrating the TFG’s efforts to establish stability in the war torn country.
At the same time, the Foreign Affairs Minister reiterated that Kenya would only deal with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia on matters concerning with the two countries.
He said Kenya does not recognise and will not consult any militia or outlawed group.
“As a government we cannot start talking about pressure groups in a different country that have no relevance to us,” he said when asked about the Al Shabab militia who have been accused of threatening Kenyan interests.
His remarks also came a day after a building housing the offices of the Norwegian embassy in Nairobi was evacuated after a group calling itself ‘Warrior Brave’ warned of an impending attack.
In an anonymous email delivered to the embassy the group accused the governments of Norway and Kenya of trying to annex the Somalia coastline for oil prospecting.
But the Minister refused to comment on the security threat and instead said Kenya’s government would not be drawn into debate with the so called ‘Warrior brave’ movement.
“For us to start talking and signalling out any militias is like recognising them and bring them up to a level they don’t belong. They don’t deserve our mention,” Mr Wetangula said.