, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 18 – President Mwai Kibaki has urged the international community to help the conflict-ravaged Sudan and Somalia to implement peace deals, in order to restore stability in a region that has been blighted by conflict for decades.
The Head of State, who spoke at the opening of the Global Peace forum in Nairobi, pointed out the need for the international community to support IGAD\’s efforts towards addressing security concerns in Somalia and to ensure Sudan\’s peace program is fully implemented.
He said international backing was also vital for Somalia\’s transitional government, which has failed to exert control over the warlord-infested country.
He observed that over the years, Kenya has been actively engaged in the settlement of disputes involving its neighbours through negotiations, reconciliation and arbitration.
"Kenya is at the frontline in promoting peace not only within the region but also in the world at large by participating in peacekeeping missions as well as ratifying peace protocols at the regional and international levels," he said.
President Kibaki also called on the people of Sudan to give peace a chance as they determine the future of their country in a referendum early next year.
"We must also ensure that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for the Sudan is fully implemented," the Head of State said.
Noting that the process of voter registration has begun ahead of the referendum set for January next year, the President appealed to the people of Sudan to give peace a chance, as they determine the future of their country.
Speaking during the occasion, Ethiopian President Gilma Wolde Giorgis called for greater effort of the international community in restoration of peace in the horn of Africa.
Mr Giorgis noted with regret that the situation in Somalia continued to be a source of great pain to countries in Africa and the World.
On Sudan, The Ethiopian leader called on parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) to exercise wisdom to overcome the challenges being faced as the country decides its destiny in the January Referendum.
Mr Giorgis said what happened in Sudan affects the country\’s nine neighbours and the continent as a whole.
He paid tribute to President Kibaki and the people of Kenya for the leading role the country has played in brokering peace in the Horn of Africa.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka called for religious tolerance in Sudan to maintain peace after the national referendum slated for January next year.
The Vice President, at the same time, urged parties to the CPA on Sudan to accept the fact that they are "one family under God" so as to overcome the challenges that threaten peace.
On Somalia, Mr Kalonzo impressed on the various factions fighting for supremacy in Somalia to rise above clanism and heed calls by the international community to reconcile and live harmoniously.
"It\’s unfortunate that Somalis who all belong to the same religion and as Muslims recognise the supremacy of Allah continued fighting one another," the Vice President said.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga stressed the importance of peace as key to development and crucial in the fight against other enemies of humanity including ignorance, poverty, diseases and bad governance.
Saying that Kenya enjoyed worldwide goodwill after promulgation of the new constitution, Mr Odinga urged Kenyans to inculcate the values of unity and patriotism to deal with ethnicity.
Earlier, the President urged Kenyans to support the implementation of the new Constitution as it will usher in a new era of stability, peace and prosperity.
The President pointed out that the new constitutional order provides the public with an opportunity to transform the nation as it addresses many of the challenges the country has faced in the past.
"The successful implementation of the Constitution will pay a peace dividend," the Head of State said.
The Head of State urged each and every Kenyan to take personal responsibility in their shared duty of building a cohesive and peaceful country.