, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – President Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday re-assured of Kenya’s support to help restore peace in Somalia.
Speaking when he met a delegation from North Eastern Province at his Harambee House office he said the crisis in Somalia was a threat to Kenya as well as the entire East African Region.
“Kenya fully supports the African Union and IGAD’s efforts geared towards the peaceful resolution of the Somali conflict,” he said.
The President promised the delegation that the government will increase funds for the Kazi Kwa Vijana Initiative to benefit more youth to help reduce criminal activities in the country.
He further assured of equitable distribution urging young people in the country to make maximum use of the fund to get involved in development of the country.
Led by Ministers Yusuf Hajji and Mohammed Elmi the delegation said the Kazi Kwa Vijana programme will go a long way to provide employment for the youth in North Eastern Province and guard against their recruitment by Somali militia groups.
President Kibaki also said he was aware of the famine in the area and promised to increase supply of relief food.
He also said the government was considering long term measures to permanently address food shortage in North Eastern.
“Plans are underway to import more maize to cushion wananchi from the famine that has affected many parts of the country,” the Head of State said.
The President said the Government was also working towards finding a lasting solution to the problem of water scarcity in North Eastern Province.
Meanwhile, President Kibaki praised China for its cooperation and relationship with Kenya when he received the incoming Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Deng Hongbo.
“We want to develop genuine mutual cooperation for the benefit of the people of our two countries,” President Kibaki said.
Mr Hongbo said he was optimistic that Kenya and China will continue in economic and technical cooperation in the various fields where memorandums of understanding between the two countries have been signed.
President Kibaki also received credentials from the incoming Ambassador of Slovakia Milan Zachar and the new Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Kenya Jayantha Dissanayake.
The Sri Lankan High Commissioner appreciated the significant contribution Kenya had made to bring peace, stability and prosperity in the East African region and Africa in general.