Kenya pushes for Somalia peace

June 26, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 26 – Kenya will not resort to military intervention in the ongoing conflict in Somalia, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has said.

Mr Musyoka said that Kenya would uphold the principal of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and would instead support the efforts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union to restore peace in the country that is experiencing upsurge in violent crisis.

He also urged the international community to urgently assist the people of Somalia through peaceful means to resolve the conflict and restore stability and hope in the war ravaged country.

“Kenya will protect its national interest when under threat from any quarter to guarantee security for its citizens,” the VP said.  

Saying peace in Somalia was crucial for Kenya, the Vice President appealed to leaders of the warring parties to take the interest of that country before their own.

“Somalia must help us to assist them find a lasting solution to the ongoing conflicts,” he stressed.

Mr Musyoka made the remarks on Thursday evening when he launched two publications of peace negotiations that followed the post-elections violence of 2007. The two “Waters Edge”: Mediation of Violent Electoral Conflict in Kenya and “Mpatanishi”: A Community based Mediation Handbook, by Peace and Development Network Trust (PeaceNet Kenya) are authored by the renowned Nairobi University Professor, Mukami Mwagiru.

PeaceNet Kenya is an umbrella organisation of Non-Governmental Organisations, Community Based Organisations, religious organisations and individuals committed to encouraging peace building and promotion of justice and conflict resolution in Kenya.

Mr Musyoka commended PeaceNet Kenya for the role it played during the post- election violence, pointing out that it had brought together civil society organisations to address the crisis which resulted in the formation of Elections Violence Response Initiative.

He asked Kenyans to learn from the events of early last year in which over 1,300 people were killed and hundreds of thousands more displaced following the violent conflict that arose out of the 2007 disputed poll.

“I believe that Kenyans have learnt their bitter lesson and that they will not allow a repeat of that sad episode in our country’s society,’’ said Mr Musyoka.

Mr Musyoka urged Kenyans to shun hate speech and instead cultivate peace and harmony, particularly by redirecting energies of the youth towards positive engagements.

He  said the implementation  of  Agenda Four of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation Act  was on course  and that soon the Truth, Justice  and Reconciliation Commission would be in place to help Kenyans in the healing process.

Mr Musyoka expressed confidence that the Grand Coalition Government – first in Africa – would survive the entire term and would deliver services to Kenyans.

He urged Kenyans and development partners to support efforts by the government in addressing the many challenges facing the nation and ignore the negative publicity by the media.

“The media should highlight more on matters affecting Kenyans including the challenges of the ravaging famine instead of misleading Kenyans and international community on the situation in the Grand Coalition,” he added.

Mr Musyoka said that there were many challenges facing Coalition Governments in the world and was not a preserve for Kenya alone.

The Chief Executive, PeaceNet, Mr Mutuku Nguli, said the organisation was involved in organising peace negotiations at all spheres  including community level to resolve differences that may trigger conflicts.

Professor  Mwagiru  said the book that highlights on peace negotiation process of post election violence would help Kenya reconcile and avoid the repeat of the same in future.



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